‘Women of the Wall’ is pleased that the prohibition of women saying Kaddish at the Kotel shocked Chairman Sharansky but we wish that he would be equally shocked at the arrest of any woman for any act of prayer at the Kotel. We hope that Sharansky’s recommendations to PM Netanyahu in regards to this conflict will include the immediate end to all arrests of women praying at the Kotel, including women wearing Tallit and reading torah. This condition would reflect his commitment to the majority of the Jewish people he represents worldwide.
The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Chairman Natan Sharansky met today with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, Chairman of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation to express his shock at a letter sent by the Israeli Police. The letter stated, in part, that the police would arrest women who recite Kaddish (the mourner’s prayer) at the Western Wall.
Rabbi Rabinovitch assured Sharansky that, contrary to the letter, no woman would be arrested for reciting Kaddish at the Western Wall.
Sharansky is currently in the final stages of drafting recommendations for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to decrease the tensions and ensure that every Jew in the world can pray in the manner that they are accustomed to at Judaism’s most important national and religious site.
In recent days, Sharansky has met with a number of appropriate ministers in Israel’s new government on this issue and is engaged in a last round of discussions with leading religious and public figures in Israel and the Jewish world.
Chairman Sharansky said that the growing tensions at the Western Wall highlights the urgent need to find a solution. He added that “The Kotel must continue to be a symbol of unity for all Jews in the world and not a symbol of strife and discord.”