Above: Today's Women of the Wall Torah reading at the Kotel
Women Of The Wall Smuggles Mini Torah Scroll Into The Kotel, Holds Torah Reading Bat Mitzvah, Kotel’s Haredi Rabbi Angered
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Women of the Wall (WoW) smuggled a miniature Torah scroll into the women’s section of the Kotel (Western Wall) today after police again refused to allow them to bring a full-sized Torah to the site.
Although the law as understood by Israeli courts allows WoW to pray as they see fit in the women’s section of the Kotel, the haredi rabbi the government put in charge of the holy site, Shmuel Rabinowitch (also spelled Rabinowitz and several other ways), refuses to allow it.
Using a ruling he made (ostensibly in order to prevent people from stealing the site's own Torah scrolls) that forbids anyone from bringing their own Torah scrolls to the site, Rabinowitch bars WoW from bringing in its own Torah scroll. But Rabinowitch also refuses to allow WoW to use any of the the site’s 100-plus Torah scrolls dedicated for public use, meaning WoW has to constantly try top get past the site’s police guard with a Torah scroll.
This morning, after being held up by police for about an hour, WoW entered without its full sized scroll but with a concealed miniature Torah scroll, which it then used to celebrate a girl’s Bat Mitzvah.
Through his office, Rabinowitch lashed out at the feminist group after he realized what had taken place.
"A small group of Women of the Wall carried out a deception this morning; after they were prevented from entering with a large Torah scroll – they cunningly took a small Torah into the women's section (of the Western Wall). The Western Wall rabbi decided not to give further importance to the incident, and has asked for their failure to abide by the rules at the Wall, out of concern for the sanctity of the Torah. In future, efforts will be made to ensure that this does not happen again, and the introduction of Torah scrolls will be banned for everyone - men and women,” the statement, quoted by Ynet, read.
Since the Kotel does not own any of these miniature Torah scrolls, there should be no reason to stop anyone, especially WoW, from bringing one to the site.
However, it is likely Rabinowitch will acquire a miniature Torah scroll for the holy site so he can argue that, indeed, a reason to bar WoW from bringing a similar miniature scroll to the Kotel exists.