Hey, I’m Hallel. I’m here to rant, or blog -- or something.

I want to focus on the word ”virtuous”. It’s been showing up around me a lot recently and I think there’s something to it. Less than two weeks ago, Kay Long, a transgender woman, was not allowed into the women’s section (where she feels comfortable) or the men’s section of the Western Wall.

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A woman who stood at the entrance, who, apparently, has taken it upon herself to prevent "non-virtuous" women from entering the place, noticed my height and came up to me and said, 'You cannot enter.' When I asked 'Why not?' she responded that it was a section for women only.”

Her reason being she wasn’t “virtuous”. Who defines virtuous? Who decides who’s pure? And what’s pure about discrimination? About hate? And why would anyone want to put out such bad energy as not letting a soul to reach and connect to the holiness and prayer of the Western Wall? Anyone should be free to place a note between the rocks of our historic holy place, regardless of one’s genitals and his or her relation to them. Sexual identity is not the business of anyone who is uninvited to that discussion.

As an active member of Women of the Wall, I was sadly unsurprised when I read about Kay Long’s account of her experience at the Kotel. Laws may change, but bigoted judgment does not change with it. I wonder about the soul-purity of the woman who makes other people’s soul-purity their business. But I will not make my judgment her problem. It’s between her and God, and if she so desires, she is free to seek that relationship at the Kotel.

Jerusalem stone, layered like a dream with fresh white snow, the sun shining and the birds chirping. That’s purity.

Its opposite is cruelty.

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