By: Jonah Rank
Men praying in the Men’s section specifically with Women of the Wall were few. I only counted one friend of mine and myself.
It was a cold, windy morning with a slight drizzle. This means the weather wasn’t clear enough for the reappearance of the guy who shouted some angry polemics at me last month. Nobody bothered to substitute for him.
I stood fairly close to the mechitzah (partition) that divides the men from the women. I was able to hear the women’s voices just clearly enough to sing along from my side of the Wall.
No one stopped me. I was permitted by all.
Today was the first time I’ve prayed with Women of the Wall without talking to a single police officer or curious onlooker. I felt a greater sense of freedom today than I have ever felt at the Wall.
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Jonah Rank is a musician and a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, currently spending the academic year in Jerusalem studying at the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary. An avid blogger, Jonah writes for his own personal website and Oholiav: A Community for Viewing Arts & Entertainment Through a Jewish Lens, which Jonah co-founded. Intensely passionate about enabling Jews to live meaningful and inclusive Jewish lives, Jonah first became aware of Women of the Wall through reading news reports about the treatment of women and religious pluralism at the Western Wall. Recognizing Women of the Wall as a medium through which to engage both in prayer with the Divine, and in conversations with those who pray at the Western Wall, Jonah has committed to pray alongside Women of the Wall throughout his year in Israel, to stand as a peacekeeper in the Men’s section, where the intentions of Women of the Wall are gradually coming to be better understood.