Women of the Wall: Rabbi should consult his sister

Controversial group disrespects Chief Sephardic Rabbi after he objects to their Hannukah candle lighting initiative.

Reut Hadar ,

Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef
Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef
Flash 90

Anat Hoffman, chairwoman of Women of the Wall, reacted with disrespect Sunday to the Chief Sephardic Rabbi, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, after he expressed his objection to the controversial group's plan to light Hannukah candles in the Women's Section of the Western Wall Plaza.

"For the Chief Rabbinate, time has stood still and stopped in the Middle Ages," she said. "Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef's last lesson demonstrates his disconnection and insensitivity to the world of women in Israel in 2015."

"The rabbi pretends to know what the Women of the Wall's motives are, in the struggle to light a Hannukah candle in the Women's Section of the Western Wall," she added. "He thinks their motive is the desire to create a commotion and a provocation. Lighting a Hannukah candle for faith's sake, out of a desire to take an active part in the Hannukah festival, is a motive preserved only for men," she said sarcastically.

Hoffman called on the rabbi "to check with his sister, Mrs. Adina Bar-Shalom, and ask her what she, as the recipient of the Israel Prize in education, thinks about the motives of the Women of the Wall."

She went on: "The rabbi stressed before his students that Judaism accords women great respect and even gave examples, and in all of them, the woman keeps her mouth closed and remains within the home. His sister will have something to say about this too."

Hoffman noted that the rabbi told his students that a Knesset bill that would have cut the number of chief rabbis from two to one was frozen after his intervention. She said that she agrees with him on this matter, and believes that the second chief rabbi should be a woman.

Bar Shalom is a member of the Public Council of the Geneva Initiative. She has signed petitions favoring an Israeli pullout from the Golan Heights and an Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 lines to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.