Robinson's Arch opened to Masorti

Masorti prayer groups are also allowed to use the area, which has a maximum capacity of about 300, on high holidays.

By MATTHEW WAGNER
February 11, 2007 23:31
1 minute read.

 
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Members of the Masorti (Conservative) Movement will be allowed to pray at Robinson's Arch, according to an agreement reached Sunday with the government. Just one day before the two sides were slated to solve their dispute before the Supreme Court, government representatives acquiesced to a request by the Masorti movement for free access to the southernmost section of the Western Wall. According to the agreement between the sides, supplicants will be given free access to Robinson's Arch every day between 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and on Friday evening until one hour after the beginning of Shabbat. Masorti prayer groups are also allowed to use the area, which has a maximum capacity of about 300, on Tisha Be'av, Shavuot and other holidays and occasions, if coordinated in advance with the government. Rabbi Andy Sacks, director of the movement's Rabbinical Assembly, said that demand for use of Robinson's Arch has been steadily growing. "We were originally offered free access until 9 a.m. that was simply not enough for our needs," said Sacks who added that there were three Torah scrolls stored on the premises. Over seven years ago, the Masorti movement signed an agreement with then-cabinet secretary Isaac Herzog that permitted free access to Robinson's Arch. However, in August 2005, the government began demanding an entrance fee.

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