Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky presented his proposal on the Women of the Wall to the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women on Tuesday.
The proposal to set up a new egalitarian prayer section at the holy site, which has the support of the Reform and Conservative movements, centers around renovating the Robinson’s Arch area adjacent to the Western Wall. This is the area the High Court in 2003 had designated as an alternative so that it could accommodate both WOW and non-Orthodox groups who wanted to hold services.
The organization behind the struggle to change the rules of prayer for women at the Kotel expressed reservations about the proposal last week, citing they would like to continue operating as a women’s group.
MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), who chairs the Knesset panel on women and had advocated for Sharansky’s proposal, warned that the current limbo, “in which it isn’t clear what is permitted and what is prohibited, could lead to serious problems on Friday.”
This coming Friday, WOW plans to hold its prayer service in honor of Rosh Hodesh (the first day of the Hebrew month of Sivan), with prayer shawls, tefillin, a Torah scroll.
Michael Frankenberg, legal advisor to the Jerusalem Police said at the meeting that they would act in accordance with a recent court’s decision to allow women’s prayer and would not obstruct the women’s prayers, shawls, tefillin and all.
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This story "Confusion Reigns as Women Plan Monthly Prayer at Western Wall" was written by Yair Ettinger and Jonathan Lis (Haaretz).