Haredi rabbis want teenage female seminary students to arrive en masse at the Kotel at 6:30 am, a half hour before the Women of the Wall group is scheduled to begin praying, to choke off access to the holy site.
Haredim Plan Mass Demonstration At Kotel Tomorrow Against Women Of The Wall
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMesssiah.com
Haredi leader Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman and other prominent haredi rabbis called for another large demonstration at the Kotel (Western Wall) tomorrow morning against Women of the Wall, the group of women who form public women’s prayer groups at the Kotel on the first of every Hebrew month (except the month of Tishrei, which is Rosh HaShanah), Ha’aretz reported.
The rabbis want teenage female seminary students to arrive en masse at the Kotel at 6:30 am, a half hour before the Women of the Wall group is scheduled to begin praying, to choke off access to the holy site.
But because those seminaries are on summer break, the rabbis made special arrangements for buses to transport the teens to the Kotel.
Two months ago, the last the teens came to protest, haredi men and teens rioted, hurling stones, water bottles and other objects at Women of the Wall members and at police after the haredi girls’ attempt to choke off access to the Kotel failed.
Hundreds of haredi men are expected to demonstrate against Women of the Wall tomorrow, as well, the Jerusalem Post reported, but the rabbis have limited male participation to married men only in an attempt to reduce violence.
Haredi rabbis object to public women’s prayer groups and to women wearing tallits (prayer shawls) and tefillin (phylacteries) and have launched a holy war of sorts to prevent the group from doing so, despite an Israeli court ruling that Women of the Wall has the right under law to pray at the Kotel as they see fit.
Women of the Wall reacted to news of yet another haredi protest by welcoming the haredi girls to the holy site.
“Though this may be intended to intimidate and overpower Women of the Wall, we truly welcome the young women and their prayers. This act just proves what we have always said: there is enough room at the Kotel for all women from all backgrounds and traditions to pray side-by-side. Women can share the space at the Kotel,” Women of the Wall reportedly wrote in a prepared statement.