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Egalitarian Prayer Supporters Barred From Western Wall

(JTA) — Security guards at the Western Wall prevented a group of men and women promoting gender-egalitarian prayer for accessing the holy site’s main plaza with a Torah scroll.

In the incident Friday, about 300 people were barred from entering the main plaza of the Western Wall while holding a Torah scroll, according to Women of the Wall, a group which is fighting for the lifting of regulations barring women from introducing Torah scroll to the site, singing aloud, wearing kippahs or praying with men.

At the end of their prayer at the women’s section, Women of the Wall joined their supporters, who waited with the Torah scroll at the egalitarian prayer section at the southern entrance to the plaza.

One of the supporters, a Six Day War veteran named Micha Eshet, 70, was shoved to the ground by Orthodox protesters while holding the scroll, according to Perl. The Women of the Wall group and their supporters encountered shouts, hisses and shrieks by Orthodox worshipers, she said.

The supporters of women of the Wall who showed up at the site Friday were protesting the government’s refusal to apply a compromise reached on prayer there between the authorities and promoters of egalitarian prayer.

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