Women of the Wall set up tefillin booth in J’lem

Controversial group wants tefillin stand in downtown Jerusalem public space "just like the Chabad movement has," director says.

By
February 3, 2019 19:07
1 minute read.
Law enforcement officials escort Women of the Wall Director Lesley Sachs.

Law enforcement officials escort Women of the Wall director Lesley Sachs at the Western Wall in Jerusalem (file photo). (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
X

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 analysis 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

The Women of the Wall prayer rights group set up a tefillin-laying booth on King George Street in downtown Jerusalem on Sunday, with several dozen women putting on the ritual prayer articles throughout the morning, generating interest as well as some argument.
The “World Wide Wrap,” as it has been dubbed, is the brainchild of the US Conservative movement’s Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs initiative to get more Jewish youth to start putting on tefillin.

Women of the Wall director Lesley Sachs said that the organization’s adoption of the initiative was part of part of its goal to encourage women to take up Jewish customs and practices which are allowed by Jewish law, even if not traditionally practiced by women.
“It’s always very exciting because a lot of women who have never even thought about putting on tefillin came and did so today,” she said. “It’s very uplifting to see more and more women coming up to lay tefillin, as well as men vocally giving us their support.”

Sachs noted that WOW requested permission to run the booth in September 2018 from the Jerusalem municipality, and was initially refused.

After involving lawyers, the group eventually secured a permit to run the booth.


Sachs said that there had been some opposition from some passersby who objected to the stall and to women laying tefillin in public.
She rejected claims that the event was “a provocation,” saying such accusations were leveled at the suffragette movement in the early 20th century, and was merely a tool to delegitimize an effort to advance change.

“There’s also an important aspect here of claiming the public domain, saying we can have a booth wherever we want, just like the Chabad movement has, and that there’s room for everyone,” Sachs added.

Women of the Wall was formed in 1988 and is chaired by Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism and a former Jerusalem City Council member from the Meretz party.

Related Content

Violent clashes between police and residents of Bedouin village in Negev
June 17, 2019
Violent clashes between police and residents of Bedouin village in Negev

By YASSER OKBI/MAARIV

Cookie Settings