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Kotel Women Strike Again, Police Detain 10

About 100 Kotel women held prayers at the Kotel Plaza in contravention of a High Court decision.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 2/11/2013, 11:44 AM

MK Aliza Lavie
MK Aliza Lavie
Israel news photo: Flash 90

About 100 "Kotel Women" (WOW) held prayers at the Kotel Plaza Monday morning in contravention of a High Court decision.

Police detained ten of the women after the prayer. The rest of the women dispersed quietly.

The Kotel Women demand that they be allowed to pray with tefillin, kippots and tallits, which are usually only used by men in Orthodox Judaism, at the Kotel Plaza They also insist on reading from the Bible scrolls – also an obligation and right reserved for men (if said after a blessing) by mainstream Orthodox tradition. The custom honored at the Kotel does not allow for such interpretation.

Israel's Supreme Court ruled that the traditions at the Kotel must be maintained and allocated another prayer spot along the length of the Kotel for the WOW, near Robinson's Arch. The women defied the court ruling and came to the Kotel Plaza.

New Yesh Atid MK Aliza Lavie said Monday that prayer arrangements at the Kotel should be changed so that they better reflect the variety of Jewish streams.

"It is sad to see how the Kotel, which is supposed to symbolize peace and fraternity in the Nation of Israel, has become a scene of constant bickering, which sometimes devolves into violence," she said.

"I intend to act soon for a renewal of arrangements at the Kotel Plaza, so that it fits all of Israeli society and not just one sector or another."

However, she added, "The Kotel Women's consistent modus operandi, which runs directly counter to the High Court rulings, is not the way to solve the problem. An arrangement needs to be found, which will be proper for the growing, varied groups that come to the Kotel in large numbers."