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May 27, 2013


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Atheodox Jew

"The moment one side stands up and sincerely shows that their perspective is based on what the Torah says and not the mores of an era...the real discussion will begin."

I generally like R. Brackman's perspective, but in this case I think it's a bit naive. What he's saying is essentially: "Let's just see what the Torah says." If we can be "authentic" to Torah, we'll come with the right solution. But here's the thing...

1) People are always "nogea b'davar" - it's unrealistic to expect people to look at the issue impartially and not choose which halachic sources to draw from and which to ignore.

2) This is an issue that may not have clear halachic precedent - i.e. it's not so simple to just "do what the Torah says".

3) All that is beside the point - we have people in this equation who don't believe that halacha should be the final arbiter on this issue. So how can we say that the Torah is supposed to resolve it when the basic philosophy of one side is at odds with classical/halachic Torah?

This is more than just a turf battle over the Kotel - it's a battle of freedom of religion and democracy vs. rule by halacha. The proper compromise solution as I see it would be to allow women to daven the way they want in the women's section (since it's absurd to make it "illegal" for women to daven with tallis and tefillin), but keep mixed services restricted to a different area, ala Sharansky's proposal (since it's absurd to think we could make the main Kotel area egalitarian without provoking a major civil uprising).


"The moment one side stands up and sincerely shows that their perspective is based on what the Torah says and not the mores of an era"

Tell you what, Rabbi - the moment you can show me where in the Torah it says you have to have two sets of dishes and you can't eat a cheeseburger, I'll be willing to listen to your reasons as to why Women of the Wall are wrong.


PoW, because the Israeli government put its spine into a blind trust and caves in more often than Obama the moment the Haredim open their mouths.

Pearl Of Wisdom

I really don't understand this. If this wall belongs to Isreal, why isn't Isreal making the rules? I cannot believe that someday when I can visit this wall a bunch of men who do not believe what I believe will be sceded the power to tell me where I can go and where I cannot. Isn't Israel a democracy? Doesn't the majority decide these things?

Charles P. Cohen

Several times the author says that he's in favor of feminist goals.


. . . only if they can be accomodated
. . . within halacha (as he understands it).

So feminism (which means 'equal rights for women') is good for non-Jews, and good in non-Jewish settings --

. . . but don't let it touch us, please!

What a pile of hypocrisy!

. charles

Alter Kocker

You are entirely correct, and a multilateral commission is required. One thing is for sure, in this scenario: All other streams of Judaism will listen to the commission, the Haredim, on the other hand are extreme and will likely riot, have physical confrontations, throw dirty diapers, etc. etc.

I suggest a system of penalties as well: if your group infringes on the rights of another group, then your group will be banned for a period of time. No group will be allowed to use your section while you are banned, however the ban will be enforced.


This is how the status quo persists. Some "reasonable" figure strokes the feelings of one side but gives no ground. Hopefully , no one will be fooled by that and change will come.

old time brooklyn

as the great sage and idol of mine john lennon said - and 1000 pct correct - woman is the nigger of the world


There is no more going to be agreement between Haredim and non-Haredim on what the Torah directs than there is going to be between Tea Party Republicans and liberal Democrats on the interpretation of the US Constitution. It all comes down to a matter of interpretation and, in the case of the Torah, to belief. Access to the Kotel should be regulated by a multilateral commission and parceled out with some degree of physical distance between worshippers of different streams without the presumption that any one of them (ie: Haredim) owns the shrine in fief-complete, to borrow a term.

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