I am a Man with No Rights at the Kotel

(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

in honor of Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin & Rabbi Debra Cantor, detained today for wearing a tallit at the Kotel

As my wife just commented, the arrest of women at the Kotel for wearing Tallitot: “confirms …that if there is any anti-Semitic country in the world, it is Israel. And that makes me terribly sad.”
And while the language is certainly harsh, isn’t it clear that, in any country other than Israel that claims to democracy and rights for all religions (as encoded in the Israeli Declaration of Independence), the only group in Israel without true religious freedom is Jews with convictions other than those of the Charedi-dominated Rabbinate? It is harsh, in that way.
The Kotel, the Wailing Wall, is an Israeli national landmark, not an Orthodox synagogue. It is public space, and is state maintained.

To those who believe women already have a space to pray at the Wall:

I am a man who cannot pray at the Kotel, because my prayer is based in this world, a world in which Jewish access to God cannot be limited based on gender. I can only truly pray if my wife, daughter, sister, and mother are treated by the Jewish State as equals in the eyes of God.

3 Comments

  1. Tzvi Kahn, Jerusalem
    February 17, 2013

    I am a man who lives in Jerusalem. I’ve been praying at the Kotel during the last few months more than in all of the 40-odd years that I’ve been living in Jerusalem, because of my support for Women of the Wall. If we stop insisting on what is Jewishly right (that women should be able to wear tallitot & tefillin if they so choose), then we’ve lost. We can’t give up!

  2. Yaffa
    February 17, 2013

    When Hashem took the census, every person had to give half a shekel. That is because we are all equal in the eyes of Hashem. We should be able to pray equally to Hashem at any religious site.

  3. Dvora
    February 17, 2013

    Amen


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