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April 12, 2013


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jump to 9:13 for old footage from the 30's of the kotel with mixed men and women

Rueven Aharon

Also, I'd like to know the following.

Judaism's holiest site: How come we're favoring the Muslims, of all people, over us over there? *The Waqf controls the Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount plaza, etc.*

Christianity's holiest sites: Why do the monks of different orders dispute each other and refuse to fix their churches? Also, why do territorial spats between Christian monks result in fights?

Baha'ism's holiest sites: Why do the Baha'i only have a token presence in Israel? What's the problem with having their own adherents live near their holy sites?

Samaritanism's holiest site (Mount Gerizim): How come it's still in ruins? What's keeping the Samaritans from putting up a new temple or something?

Yoel Mechanic

Will the court apply the same principle to force police to guarantee unfettered Jewish access to pray on the Temple Mount (not that I would go up there at present, but hey, freedom is freedom)?

Otherwise, this is just political posturing.

Posted by: PulpitRabbi | April 12, 2013 at 09:05 AM

Of course, this statement is an edgy provocative hypothetical. And it's an outrageous comparison. But I'm glad someone is pointing out the outrageous irony that "security concerns" of keeping you know who happy is causing one of the oldest nations not to exercise sovereignty or the free practice of religion at the sight that symbolizes their illustrious heritage.

Magister Miguel

Were these women interfering with other people praying? Were they getting in the way of vehicle of pedestrian traffic? If not, they were not disturbing the peace, pretty much by definition.

The haredi should be free to pray to their imaginary god. So should the WoW. And if someone decides to pray while wearing a Bobba Fett costume, that should be just as legal.

Alter Kocker

From a legal standpoint, Israel is a parliamentary democracy. That generally means that legal precedent becomes the law of the land. That being said, it is unnecessary for this decision to be re-debated in the knesset, as it is law. The only method by which it can be overturned is by an appeal to a higher court or by enacting an entirely new law in the knesset.

Joe Field

Posted by: Canuck | April 12, 2013 at 01:21 PM

What irks me about your generalized statement about theses WOW, how do you know what their intentions are. Did you ever consorted with any of the WOW participants? Maybe I should make a general statement and, let’s see how you would refute my claims.

I believe that all the Orthodox Jew disprove woman donning prayer shawls, tefillin, because, they believe woman do not have chaskas kashrut, and therefore woman are always considered dirty, in order to purify they need to go to the mikvah and complete the ritual immersion. But they need two witnesses, which precludes woman. Therefore they hate the idea that woman could lead or read from the Torah. Now, you and I know what I just made up is bunk, nevertheless, what you wrote is hogwash to. So welcome to the hog fest.

Edge Man

The judge had been praying at the wall the day before so she should have recused herself.


The Kotel has been designated by the Israeli government as an outdoor orthodox synagogue. One can agree or disagree, but should respect this fact and behave accordingly, until or if the law is changed. Legal means to protest and lobby are available. However, I don't think these women really care much for religion, but are simply looking for excitement through a fashionable new cause.

Joe Field

From a cursory read of this news story, I came away with this understanding, the judge ruled, that if a female dons prayer shawls and, tefillin that by itself is not disruptive therefore, the arrest was illegal. My question, how was the original law actually written, is wearing these religious garb by itself a disruption or, it could lead to a disruption therefore, illegal.

We need an Israeli lawyer to confirm what I believe the judged ruled.


I smell a lawsuit for false imprisonment. It is the only civil claim for which one does not have to prove damages. It is necessary, now that the judge ruled that the detention was without merit. It is also the only way to get the police to revise their bullying tactics and set clear standards for their role towards civilians.

I have a feeling the police will have to appeal the ruling. I hope it's not overturned by a higher court.

Joe Field

Posted by: Adam Neira | April 12, 2013 at 10:56 AM

He is back.

Adam Neira

To D.

There has to be some sort of command and control structure in place for a monument, place of worship, holy site, home, sports arena etc. or anarchy will prevail. The Old City of Jerusalem is no exception. In any good organisation, company or family unit there are clear roles and boundaries defined that relate to who does what and who issues commands and who carries them out. The best organisations are the ones with the best philosophy and the wisest leaders. A ship without the best captain and crew will run aground, and the passengers are happy to pay their fare if the people at the helm know what they are doing and can navigate the way forward. BTW, in the past there was a Temple Tax in place but alas many of the kings, sages and clerics did “evil in the sight of Lord” and things collapsed. Thus the destruction of the first two temples...


That judge's logic is backwards. The group of women went to the Kotel, not to peacefully pray, but to cause a disruption and get media attention. They caused the disorder, not the bystanders who protested the disrespect shown by these Women of the Wall. I hope the police continue to enforce the laws, and don't succumb to intimidation by activist judges or MKs who openly claim that they are above the law. If they want to change the law, they can debate it in the Knesset, and take it to a vote.

Adam Neira

How the Haram Al Sharif/Noble Sanctuary/Temple Mount should best be managed is a real puzzle. Important places in the world should have a good management plan in place. This plan should address things such as : Philosophy of the Site; Command and Control Structure; Timetable etc. Sometimes management systems run smoothly and sometimes they do not. Some problems can be anticipated whilst others come up from nowhere. e.g. The Louvre was closed this week because of the plethora of pickpockets becoming way too brazen. The poor shop assistants were feeling besieged and overwhelmed. (Ten million visitors per annum to a place requires a certain security presence, I think.) Fortunately, albeit a little after the horse had bolted, Paris City Hall beefed up the police presence and visitors are now flowing again to see such wonders as La Gioconda and The Great Sphinx from Tanis. The Statue of Liberty had an excellent management plan in place to allow visitors to ascend the crown and view the harbour which sadly was interrupted by Hurricane Sandy late last year.

BTW, all this commotion over the Western Wall and Kotel Plaza is interesting. Storm in a teacup really. They are not the "holiest" places in the world for the Jewish people. (They are close but no cigar.) Also, it is debatable as some Rabbis state as to whether the divine presence/schechina actually does rest at the Kotel Plaza at all times. I am certain that design of a space affects the likelihood and probability of "Stability, Order, Benevolence and Expansiveness" manifesting. i.e. Violence makes time implode. Perhaps Jerusalem requires the presence of certain people and the right management paradigms to facilitate and draw down the schechina...

P.S. Mathematicians in league with Google scientists recently discovered that a Rubik's Cube could always be solved in twenty moves if the correct algorithm was in place. They called this "The G-d Algorithm".



Yay for the judge! Of course, the police and the acting God of the Western Wall will ignore it.


If it's the former then fine, the judge was correct but one can still understand the police. They'd rather deal with a handful of uppity women than a mob of violent chareidim. But if it's the latter and disturbing the peace isn't part of it then the law should be changed but until it is they're stuck.

Doesn't matter. Because then the police run afoul of selective enforcement.

Legally, the charedim making a ruckus should be just as "stuck" as the WOW are for wearing tallitim at the Kotel.

And a woman quietly wearing a tallit on her own side of the mechitza is a lot less of a civil disturbance than a crowd of yelling men on the other side.

That the police choose to arrest the women more often than the men in these cases looks very bad.

That, I believe, is what led the judge to rule the way that she did.

Garnel Ironheart

Is the law about disturbing the peace or, as crazy as it sounds, showing up at the wall wearing a tallis when you're a woman?
If it's the former then fine, the judge was correct but one can still understand the police. They'd rather deal with a handful of uppity women than a mob of violent chareidim. But if it's the latter and disturbing the peace isn't part of it then the law should be changed but until it is they're stuck.

dapper danny

Police Spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld can go fuck himself. He is not the judge.

Lamed Vovnik

So, the police should follow the instructions of some rabbi and not the orders of a judge? Are there any other instances where the police are subject to the orders of a local rabbi?


Garnel –

No. What the court is saying is that the women did not disturb the peace – haredim and police did. The basis for the High Courts old ruling (a ruling that is void, BTW, because the government did not uphold its part of the deal) is that the WoW disturb the peace – but they did not.

Garnel Ironheart

No, this is a problem. There is a law. The court didn't like the law so it attacked the police for upholding it.
The problem here is the activist court. Whether or not you agree with the law governing clothing at the Wall the WoW were breaking it and the police were enforcing it. If the court doesn't like that, too bad. Is Israel a democracy or a court-ocracy?


PulpitRabbi –

Are you on drugs?

The Temple Mount is governed by certain security concerns that do not exist elsewhere.

What yeshiva did you go to? My word.


Will the court apply the same principle to force police to guarantee unfettered Jewish access to pray on the Temple Mount (not that I would go up there at present, but hey, freedom is freedom)?

Otherwise, this is just political posturing.

Alter Kocker

The Police now have a clear path. Leave the Women of the Wall alone. Arrest anyone disturbing the peace or causing The police are there to enforce the law. This magistrate has just created a precedent.

This comes down to one thing. The police should not be out there enforcing religious doctrine.

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