K’lal Yisrael – Praying for Pluralism with Women of the Wall, by Alli Cohen

This post orignally appears in http://praying4pluralism.blogspot.co.il/

Alli (right) at Torah Services at Police Station
Alli (right) at Torah Services at Police Station

This past week, I experienced my first Rosh Hodesh service with Women of the Wall. I woke up early, excited to arrive at the Kotel for the 7AM service. Tallit in hand, I stood in the back of the women’s section just about ready to pray, not knowing what was in store. After being handed a siddur, I placed myself in the middle of the cluster, surrounding myself with the women of the wall. Similar to the stones of the Western Wall, separated enough to fit a prayer into but united enough to withstand time, the Women of the Wall are an enduring group. While each woman came from a different background, we all joined together for a common purpose: freedom of religious expression. I had heard about recent detainments for wearing a tallit, a prayer shawl, and while I was a bit apprehensive, I was ready to stand up for what I believed in. I unfolded my tallit, made the blessing, and placed it over my shoulders as always. I flipped to the right page and began praying. As we chanted and sang together, our voices became one, and I was filled with the immense strength and courage that flowed through our group. We stood as one, praying aloud at the Kotel. WOW is right! Although there was an Israeli officer videoing our actions, I closed my eyes and did my best to focus on my prayers. I was proud to be standing there with those women, where we belong! To read more click here.

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