How Women of the Wall sneak in Torah scrolls for Reform prayers

Controversial Reform prayer group uses soldiers to smuggle Torah scrolls for monthly non-traditional prayer services at Western Wall.

Eliran Aharon ,

Women of the Wall read Trah scroll
Women of the Wall read Trah scroll

The controversial Women of the Wall group, which conducts non-traditional prayer services once a month at the Western Wall, has apparently discovered new ways of sneaking in Torah scrolls past Western Wall Plaza officials, using soldiers to smuggle in the holy books.

While the Rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, has banned Reform and other non-traditional prayer services at the traditional site of Jewish worship, the dozen or so regular participants in the Women of the Wall’s monthly services have found sub rosa means of bringing the necessary religious books into the plaza area.

In the past, members of the Women of the Wall have used children to smuggle the holy books in, hoping that plaza guards won’t inspect youngsters as thoroughly.

Now, sources involved with the Western Wall Plaza tell Arutz Sheva that the Women of the Wall have found a new way to smuggle in Torah scrolls, asking IDF soldiers headed to the Western Wall to carry the scrolls in their duffle bags.

IDF soldiers are not required to pass the full security check at the entrance to the Western Wall, and are allowed to pass through without having their bags examined, thus enabling them to sneak in the scrolls.

The Women of the Wall, however, have denied the claim.

“Obviously this is another fabrication by the Rabbi of the Western Wall, made in order to prevent us from praying, in accordance with Jewish law, with a Torah scroll at the women’s section at the Western Wall,” the group said in a statement.

“We believe that both female and male soldiers in the IDF must obey the rules and regulations of the army, and prevent the misuse of their uniforms. The important question is not who is helping the Women of the Wall bring in a Torah scroll to the women’s section, rather, who is preventing them from bringing it in to the Western Wall, in violation of the laws of the state and a decision of the Supreme Court. And that, unfortunately is the State of Israel, which aids the policy of discrimination against women and exclusion of women led by the rabbi of the Western Wall.”