Women Of The Wall Prevented From Reading Torah At The Kotel, Board Member Arrested
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A board member of Women of the Wall (WoW) was arrested at the Kotel (Western Wall) this morning when she tried to sneak a Torah scroll into the women’s section, Ha’aretz reported.
Rachel Cohen-Yeshurun was arrested at the security checkpoint at the entrance to the Kotel plaza after her bag was searched. She was held in custody, questioned by police and then eventually released.
Even though a Jerusalem court previously ruled WoW has the legal right to read from a Torah scroll in the women’s section of the Kotel, the Kotel’s haredi rabbi, a state employee, has done everything in his power to prevent that from happening. Police most often cooperate with him in that regard, even though the court specifically lashed out a police for doing so.
Two months ago Charlie Kalech, a man working with WoW slipped a Torah scroll through the fence separating the men’s and women’s sections. He was assaulted by Kotel security guards, none of whom were arrested even though photos showing the assault were published in the media.
Despite the assault, WoW managed to read from that Torah scroll two months ago. In response, the Kotel’s haredi rabbi tightened the security around the scrolls, had a a special locked barricade installed between the two gender-segregated prayer sections, and vowed to prevent WoW from reading from a Torah scroll at the holy site again.
Approximately 200 WoW members participated in the group’s monthly prayers this morning at the Kotel. They were reportedly joined near the close of the prayer service by a group of about 100 members the Conservative Movement’s Noam youth group. WoW and Noam were reportedly heckled by both male and female haredim during the entire time they at the Kotel. Despite the disruption those haredim caused, no arrests were made – even though that court ruling specifically orders police to arrest haredim who disturb the peace at the Kotel and not to arrest WoW for exercising its legal right to pray.