By Rabbi Sue Mauer Morningstar
I have had an experience that was hardly describable in words. The gathering of the Women of the Wall (WOW) was intense, powerful and extremely beautiful. There were 100 of us there, way in the back of the women’s section, far back from the actual Kotel wall. he Tmen on the other side of the barrier were supporting us with their singing, and protecting us. Also many police people who were protecting us and keeping harrassers away from us, and many photographers. We were permitted to wear our tallitot prayer shawls only as scarves around our necks, not in the traditional way. There was a little screaming going on from the men’s side, particularly one man who tried to drown us out by screaming “ASUR! ASUR!” (forbidden!) This inspired us to sing louder, with women’s strong voices praying the Hallel, singing halleluya!
I was moved to tears and had to hold my siddur over my face. AP snapped me then…
After that we marched, holding the Torah, from the main area to a section that was designated for the WOW group called Robinson’s Arch, where we had the Torah service.
Everything was accessible to me, including an elevator that got me to the arch! Halleluya to that!!!
It was smooth and perfect and completely other wordly to be reading about the karbanot sacrifices that were brought to the temple on rosh chodesh, ON rosh chodesh, AT the temple. Oh my God.
These rosh chodesh gatherings at the Kotel have been going on monthly for the last 22 years. Since the arrests of Anat Hoffman and Nofrat Renkel, momentum has been building to open the Kotel to women’s prayers, women’s singing and women’s wearing sacred garb. The time for silencing women is coming to an end. All people must be allowed to pray and praise God in a loud and strong voice.