Police Brace for Fresh Clashes Between Women and Ultra-Orthodox at Kotel

Talks Fail To Head Off Western Wall Confrontation

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By Yair Ettinger (Haaretz)

Published June 03, 2013.

Jerusalem District Police are preparing for another round of confrontations at the Western Wall next Sunday, as tensions continue to escalate surrounding the Women of the Wall’s demand for equal worship at Judaism’s holiest site.

Police were also on guard after threatening letters were sent to the Chief Rabbinate and to the rabbi in charge of the Western Wall, warning of physical violence should the women not be allowed to pray as they choose.

The Women of the Wall group has angered ultra-Orthodox Jews by wearing prayer shawls and phylacteries, and reading from holy scriptures at the Western Wall, a revered remnant of the Biblical Jewish Temple.

Haaretz has learned that despite intensive talks in recent weeks to reach a solution to tensions, the government has failed to formulate new regulations determining what should be considered “local custom” at the Western Wall.

Pending these regulations, police are committed to continue respecting a District Court ruling that allows the women to wear prayer shawls and phylacteries and read from the Torah at the holy site, while contending with fierce ultra-Orthodox opposition to these prayers.

For more got to Haaretz



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