Dance, prayer, and protest at the Western Wall

Religious Zionist students protest Women of the Wall at Western Wall plaza.

Hezki Baruch ,

Thousands of protesters and worshippers
Thousands of protesters and worshippers
Hezki Baruch

Thousands of National Religious yeshiva boys and high school girls gathered on Monday morning at the Western Wall in protest of the Women of the Wall's debasement of the Western Wall plaza.

The Women of the Wall come to the holy site only on the first day of the Hebrew month, disrupting the prayers of regular daily worshipers with provocative actions that are against the rules laid down by the rabbinate for prayer at the Wall. The courts, despite the rabbinate's claim that secular courts do not have jurisdiction on religious issues, granted the group an area for mixed prayer at Robinson's Arch. That was not accepted by a breakaway group, who want the main Kotel Plaza to be the site of mixed gender prayer, although it was always a place of separate prayers for men and women except for when the authorities forbade it before the establishment of the Jewish State.

After the conclusion of the morning prayers, Torah classes given by local rabbis, including Yeshivat Hakotel dean Rabbi Baruch Vider, and Rabbi Elisha Vishlitzky are planned.

The girls will then dance on the women's side of the plaza, accompanied by Israeli pop and folk singer Din Din Aviv.

The media has consistently tried to portray the conflict over changing long term tradition at the Western Wall as a haredi vs. liberal issue to gain more support for the Women of the Wall. However, Religious Zionists have been against the change from the start, and the organization named Women for the Wall is part of that protest.