Anat Hoffman and other Women of the Wall praying at the Wall.
Anat Hoffman has written an article “Answered Prayers” in which she announced “Judge Moshe Sobel of the Jerusalem District Court issued a groundbreaking ruling saying our group was not illegal and we would be allowed to pray at the Wall without fear of further detentions. That same week, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky sat with Women of the Wall to discuss his plan for new section that would be set aside for egalitarian prayer at the Kotel. I began to receive congratulations from around the world as if the struggle was over, but, as is often the case in politics, the devil is in the details.”
Today I received the following mail informing me that Ultra Orthodox Jews have vandalized the home of one of the Woman of the Wall. What is with the ultra orthodox Jews why can’t they allow Jewish women to pray at the wall wearing their tallit? This is shameful.
With Anat away on a speaking tour in the United States, I wanted to update you on some disturbing patterns we have been observing here in Jerusalem.
Since the landmark Sobel ruling in Jerusalem’s District Court, which enabled Women of the Wall to pray according to their customs at the Kotel, the backlash from the ultra-Orthodox community has been growing steadily. We witnessed a wave of violence at the Kotel last Rosh Hodesh. A week ago, Peggy Cidor, a board member of Women of the Wall, had her home vandalized with threatening graffiti.
The spiritual leader of the Shas political party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, has threatened to bring 100,000 protesters with him on June 9th for Rosh Chodesh. Hopefully, this will not lead to a repeat of last month’s violent outbursts at the Western Wall.
Given the increase in violent rhetoric coming from opponents of the Sobel ruling and the Sharansky plan, it is our duty to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions. Anat is the most visible leader in the Jewish world on this issue. Her safety is always our primary concern and we will make sure that all relevant security measures are in place, both at home and in the office, to enable her continue to lead us in the fight for equality and freedom.
Meanwhile, we need to keep up the flow of emails to the Prime Minister’s office until next week, letting him know that although the ultra-Orthodox can make a big show, we are still the majority of world Jewry.
Please write to Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Ultra Orthodox Jews at the Wall threatening women of the wall who had gone to pray