'Women of the Wall' are detained praying at Kotel

Western Wall Rabbi describes the women's behavior as blasphemy, calls on authorities to prevent future "desecration."

August 19, 2012 13:04
Women of the Wall member raises Torah

Woman raises Torah scroll 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem /The Jerusalem Post)

Police detained four members of the Women of the Wall organization on Sunday morning for wearing tallitot (prayer shawls) at the Western Wall plaza.

According to a 2001 law, it is illegal for women to perform religious practices traditionally done by men in Orthodox Jewish practice at the Western Wall, such as reading from a Torah scroll, wearing tefillin or a tallit, or blowing a shofar.

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Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz expressed shock and deep sorrow over the behavior of Women of the Wall members, saying that "many worshipers who came to pray Sunday morning instead bore witness to a fanatical political struggle which undermines the sanctity of the Wall."

Rabbi Rabinowitz called on authorities to prevent a repeat of what he described as blasphemy and a desecration of the holy place.

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