For the first time since its inception 25 years ago, Women of the Wall, the organization behind the battle to wrest control of Judaism’s holiest site from the Orthodox establishment, will hold a special prayer service at the Western Wall that is not connected to its regular monthly Rosh Chodesh gathering.
The women’s prayer group has announced that it will hold a special Selichot service at the Western Wall on Sept. 1. Selichot are the penitential prayers and liturgy recited each night starting in the Jewish month of Elul and up until the High Holy Days.
A spokeswoman for Women of the Wall said the decision to hold this nighttime gathering at the Western Wall was a response to popular demand. “Our core group has grown in recent months from about 50 participants to 200,” said Shira Pruce, the organization’s director for public relations. “The women love being involved and meeting at the Kotel, so they’ve asked to start meeting more.”
The gathering on Sept. 1 will take place at 10 P.M. The Western Wall typically draws crowds of tens of thousands of people who come to recite the Selichot prayers in the nights leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
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