A Rosh Chodesh Kislev Testimonial

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!

Photograph by Eitan Priel

I was moved to tears and had to hold my siddur over my face. AP snapped me then…

AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill

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.

Photo by Cynthia Kendall

Everything was accessible to me, including an elevator that got me to the arch! Halleluya to that!!!

Photo by Cynthia Kendall

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.

Photo by Eitan Priel

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.

2 thoughts on “A Rosh Chodesh Kislev Testimonial”

  1. Beautiful! Maybe our Rosh Chodesh group could someday join you at the actual Kotel Wall! Now that would be amazing! Be strong, and God bless you.

  2. This was my second Rosh Hodesh with WOW – last one was about 15 years ago. While I have been in Israel between those date, never in Jerusalem on Rosh Hodesh. It was inspiring, but sad to see that we had been pushed back from the face of wall and that we needed police protection. But it was reassuring to have it there since I came to pray, not to fight. The one old man was a nuisance and there were a group of younger black hats who tried (in vain) to drown us out. Maybe one day these men will realize that g-d created and loves the two genders equally and exults in hearing all of humanity’s voices raised together in song (or why wouldn’t we all have been created to sing in the bass clef?).

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