Haredi school girls to protest Women of the Wall

By
May 10, 2013 03:47

Women of Wall to conduct monthly prayer service at Western Wall; set to be met by protest devised by United Torah Judaism MKs.

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Women of the Wall 521

Women of the Wall 521. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Large numbers of haredi school girls are expected to visit the Western Wall to pray on Friday morning, in protest against the Women of the Wall activist group that will be conducting its monthly prayer service at the site.

The idea was devised by MKs from the United Torah Judaism party earlier this week in consultation with principals of haredi girls schools, on condition the initiative received approval from the leading haredi rabbis.

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According to a report on haredi website Kikar Hashabbat, spiritual leader of the haredi world Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman gave his blessing to the proposal on Thursday and hundreds if not thousands of haredi school girls may arrive at the Western Wall on Friday morning.

Many participants in the Women of the Wall services don prayer shawls and perform other customs usually performed by men in Orthodox practice, that has until now been prohibited by state law, and as of late, women have been arrested on a frequent basis for wearing prayer shawls during the WoW services.

A court ruling two weeks ago reinterpreted existing laws and the Women of the Wall will on Friday be able to perform their own customs, such as wearing prayer shawls and tefillin, without fear of being arrested.

At a hearing of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women earlier this week, a representative of the Jerusalem Police confirmed that the police would not act against the recent Jerusalem District Court ruling which decided that WoW’s customs did not contravene “local custom,” that has been the basis for outlawing the group’s non- Orthodox customs.

United Torah Judaism MK Yisrael Eichler expressed outrage during the committee hearing at what he referred to as the Women of the Wall’s “provocations.” He asked if the police would allow the right of protest and demonstration against the group’s prayer service.

The Women of the Wall issued a statement on Thursday celebrating their new found freedoms.

“We have the great merit that Israeli women will arrive in their masses tomorrow for the prayer service for the New Month of Sivan. We call on the public which supports us, women and men, to come and pray with us, to liberate the Western Wall and to turn it into to the home of everyone,” the group said.


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