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November 04, 2013


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This is what boggles me the most. Charedi jews dont want traditional judaism yet they try to take the most traditional jewish site in the world and mark their territory on it! can anyone explain this logic in a mature fashion?

Office of the Chief Rabbi


I recall some years back a printed discussion about "land for peace" in which a number of Reform leaders (Israelis, I think) were willing to give up the Old City because, after all, they didn't care about The Temple (either the Second destroyed one, or a hypothetical rebuilt Third one). Some just didn't care about the Kotel.

In this discussion of Nashot haKotel, however, please remember that the founders of that group 25 years ago were not Reform Jews. They were Orthodox and orthoprax Conservative Jewish women, well educated Jewishly. I know this for a fact as a close family member was part of that group.

The schism that surfaced last month between Anat Hoffman (of the Reformists) and the Old Guard is quite telling in this.


This is what boggles me the most. Reform jews dont want traditional judaism yet they try to take the most traditional jewish site in the world and mark their territory on it! can anyone explain this logic in a mature fashion?

Steven Wolf

While Appricating the emotional symbolism of the wall, though to young to remember the six day war, I am stirred with emotion while watching the news real film of the chief Rabbi blowing the shofar there, as part of a Jewish state, for the first time in two thousand years.

Though I am finding the cynical politics, and fanatics on both sides leaving me asking, " might present day Judaism be better without this ancernt bricks and mortar?".

No I am not avocating returning east Jerusalem, as I am sure temple mount would be used to fire missiles at Tel Aiv.

Steven in Uk.

Yochanan Lavie

First Bloomberg tuches kissing, now this. Shransky used to be my hero. He has jumped the shark.


From today's NYTimes (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/04/world/middleeast/to-shape-young-palestinians-hamas-creates-its-own-textbooks.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131104&_r=0)

"When a class of Palestinian ninth graders in Gaza recently discussed the deadly 1929 riots over access to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, it was guided by a new textbook, introduced this fall by the Islamist Hamas movement.

Asked the lesson of the uprising, one of the 40 boys in class promptly answered, “Al Buraq Wall is an Islamic property,” using the Muslim name for the site, one of the holiest in Judaism."

As has been said: Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts. Looks like both Hamas and Sharansky have a problem with historical fact.


I read this article, which was quite favorable to the Women of the Wall. As the Times of Israel is pretty conservative (politically) in its views, I was pleasantly surprised.

Yes, the article did quote Scharansky as saying the Kotel is an Orthodox synagogue, "the oldest in the world," something I thoroughly disagree with. The Kotel belongs to all Jews, including ones like me who are generally irreligious. It only became orthodox in 1967 because of some political horse trading, and is Exhibit A as to why religion and state should never mix, not even in the Holy Land.

I was about to write Scharansky another letter similar to one I wrote him in April, which was in response to another of your comments, in which you wrote that Scharansky sniffed that women not wearing tefillin, phyllacteries, etc. is the custom and that custom needed to be maintained. I was quite angry, and wrote Scharansky a very nasty letter saying he left his balls in the gulag.

A couple of weeks later Scharanksy announced his great compromise. He never answered my letter; I didn't expect him to, but maybe he read it.

However, what Scharansky did not say, at least not in the Times of Israel article you linked to, was that the Kotel needed to be protected from WoW, seculars, and non-orthodox. The person who said that was you.


Reform is doing just fine in the US as far as I can tell.

I'm from Missouri

I don't understand the significance of the head Reform rabbi attending the Schluchim convention. Is this a major change in direction for the Reform movement or some nefarious scheme being perpetrated by Chabad?


Reform and Conservative unfortunately ae withering in a slow death.

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