Police confiscate Torah from Women of the Wall, detain group member

Rachel Cohen Yeshurun was handcuffed and taken into police custody.

July 17, 2015 13:48
1 minute read.
Women of the Wall supporter Ella Rembrand (center) pushes back against orthodox woman

Women of the Wall supporter Ella Rembrand (center) pushes back against orthodox woman. (photo credit: SHANA MEDEL)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Police seized a smuggled Torah scroll on Friday morning intended to be used in social advocacy group Women of the Wall’s monthly Rosh Hodesh service.

Rachel Cohen Yeshurun, one of the group’s board members, was taken into police custody before the service, along with the Torah she had stowed in her bag.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

As she went through security early in the morning, she was confronted by staff from the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. When asked to open her bag, she refused.

“The police came over and said they were going to take me to the police station and detain me,” Yeshurun recounted. “When I told them I didn’t want to go, they told me they would take me by force.”

She was then handcuffed and taken to the police station. She was not allowed access to her cellphone and the Torah was taken from her.

Yeshurun said she was arrested for “acting suspiciously” and trying to bring a “questionable object” to the Western Wall.

Women of the Wall aims to achieve equality for women at the Kotel. With goals ranging from the right to read Torah aloud to the ability to change social perceptions, Women of the Wall says it strives to educate and empower Jewish women to take a stand against their limitations at holy sites.

Since its inception, group members have been confronted by shouting crowds and individuals, flying objects and violent assaults. Many women have been arrested for their participation in prayer services, including Anat Hoffman, who is chairwoman of the group.

Although regulations established by Rabbi of the Western Wall Shmuel Rabinowitz permit women to wear prayer shawls, bringing a Torah scroll to the women’s side is forbidden.

Mickey Rosenfeld, foreign press spokesman for the Israeli Police, said Yeshurun’s detainment was a direct consequence of breaking this rule.

Yeshurun was not charged and has been released.

Related Content

Stacks of Israeli shekel notes [Illustrative]
August 16, 2018
Food for thought