Account of Anat’s arrest by Fran Immerman

Fran Immerman from Cleveland

This morning, Rosh Chodesh Av, I left my home at 6:50 and arrived at the Kotel, via Shaar H’ashpot, somewhere midway in Shacharit. Donning my talit in a “scarflike” manner, as per the request of the policeman directly in front of me, I added my voice to the voices of the Women of the Wall as did over 100 other women from around the Jewish World, spanning continents and generations as grandmothers from the joined with Jewish college students from New Haven, Ct. With Rabbis Levi Weiman-Kelman and Steve Wernick, head of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, close by, we stood and then we walked in solidarity with Anat Hoffman, Nofrat Frenkel and the other women who gather every Rosh Chodesh to exercise our sacred right to pray at the Kotel.

Chevre, I am blessed and honored to have been a participant in the davening this morning. As a result of my participation, I am also a firsthand witness to what happened this morning as Anat, carrying the Sefer Torah, attempted to proceed to the area known as Robinson’s Arch, so that we could continue with our Rosh Chodesh celebration. I saw the policeman grab her neck from behind. I, with great pride and with thanks to the Divine for the strength, pried his hands from her neck. If Anat has bruises there, I can offer testimony to the way she was handled by a representative of the Jewish State this morning, Rosh Chodesh Av, as she held a Sefer Torah on her way to the place that is permitted to us, by the law of the Jewish State, to read from the Torah, our Master Story. Instead, yet another dramatic chapter in modern Jewish history was written, and will be remembered as we continue to work toward the free exercise of our Spiritual Rights in our Spiritual Home.

Chodesh Tov. May this Tisha b’Av herald a time of true change in the Jewish State.

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