The Women of the Wall vs. The ... Wall?
Yisrael MedadI am a resident of Shiloh, with my wife and children, and now grandchildren,...
The Western Wall of the Temple Mount, constructed by Herod, is approximately 488 meters (1,600 feet) long.
Apart from at the Western Wall Plaza, there are two other exposed above-ground sections along the length of the Western Wall: the Southern Section of the Western Wall, and the Small Western Wall in the Muslim Quarter.
The Small Western Wall is located about 170 meters (558 feet) north of the Western Wall Plaza. Elders of Jerusalem used to come to the Small Western Wall to recite Tikkun Hazot (A Kabbalistic Midnight prayer for redemption). There's a recent picture I snapped here.
Are you asking what is the relevance of all this?
No, it is not that elements in the Palestinian Authority seem to deny Jewish rights to the Wall.
No, it is that we now learn that the Women of the Wall do not recognize the Southern Section as part of the Western Wall and demand to have their monthly prayer quorums at the Western Wall Plaza solely.
The chairperson of Women of the Wall, Anat Hoffman, is adamantly opposed to an initiative by Religions Minister Naftali Bennett, to open a separate area next to the Kotel for non-Orthodox prayer, and to limit her group's prayers to that area. She was quick to denounce the offer almost as soon as Bennett announced it...The “new” prayer area is outside the Kotel plaza but still adjacent to the wall. It has been approved as a prayer area alone, and cannot be used for wedding or circumcision ceremonies...Speaking on IDF Radio, Hoffman said: “We must not let thugs decide our policy. I am willing to talk with Minister Bennett right this minute and give him some excellent suggestions that will not hurt anyone's feelings.” "I respect other people's emotions very much, but I will not be relegated to an alternative offer that is located lower, and there is importance to this,” she said.
I know that women are very good at fashion and culinary arts. But to distinguish between 'that' wall and 'that' wall? It's one wall. The area they have been provided is amazing as it is close to at least one Second Temple mikveh, remnants of stores where sacrificial animals were purchased and where there is an inscription on one of the stones.
It is holy. It is sacred.
They can pray there and commune with God. After all, they are not displaying themselves to people, or are they?
Is that their purpose, to be seen by others?
I have been informed that the Jerusalem Chapter of Emunah women davened at the Small Wall ("HaKotel Hakatan") for years on Rosh Chodesh because they wanted to encourage people to realize the holiness of the entire Wall. In addition to all their education and welfare projects and with no obsessive desire for publicity, just davening.