Praying Together for Unity Amongst Jews
To all women who wish to pray at the Western Wall,
This Friday May 10th, Women of the Wall will gather, as we have for nearly 25 years, for Rosh Hodesh prayers at the Kotel. This month is different from past months; we have received the legal ruling of the Jerusalem District Court to pray freely on the women’s side of the Kotel. After many months of intimidation and arrests, we gather this month in celebration of this and in great anticipation to pray peacefully, each woman according to her own custom. We are happy to invite you all – Haredi, Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Renewal, Reconstructionist and unaffiliated Jews – to join our women’s prayer.
We know that there are new groups organizing to recruit women to come to the Kotel early on Rosh Hodesh and protest our prayer. We hope that these groups, who know little about Women of the Wall, are not coming to the Kotel to provoke conflict, but to pray. Such fringe groups have organized just in the past two months, since media has begun to gather at the Kotel on Rosh Hodesh. Though each group has a right to assemble and to claim their 15 minutes of fame, Women of the Wall eagerly awaits the day when all women pray, free of media and police alike. Please know that there is no reason to be threatened by pluralism; the truth is quite the opposite, Women of the Wall respects all Jewish denominations and each woman in the way in which she chooses to live.
If you are a free-thinking woman recruited by these groups that wish to provoke a fight at the holy site, we urge you to take a moment, listen to our prayer and see our honest intent. If the mood strikes you, you are welcome to pick up a copy of our siddur and pray with us.
For those women coming to pray on Rosh Hodesh, nothing could make us more proud. It is because of the years of prayer and struggle of Women of the Wall that you can finally do so freely now. We have faced cursing, physical assault, spitting and more on the journey towards women’s religious freedom at the Kotel. We have done so in order to pave the way for women like you, who begin now to gather in groups at the Kotel, and it gives us great pleasure to see you organize, so long as it is for the purpose of raising the spiritual ground of the Kotel and not to protest our peaceful prayer.
When we arrive at the Kotel on Friday, we will all have a choice, to be on the side of baseless hatred of Jew against Jew or to pray with Women of the Wall for unity amongst Jews. We welcome you to join us as we pray side-by-side, each woman as she believes but with respect for the other.
We look forward to sharing our sisterhood with you,
Women of the Wall