'Dividing Western Wall for the Reform will divide the people'

Head of Ateret Cohanim says Chief Rabbinate must approve any change at Western Wall, site must be respected as a synagogue.

Benny Toker,

Jews pray at the Western Wall
Jews pray at the Western Wall
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

An expanded panel of seven justices held a hearing today on a series of petitions concerning the Western Wall layout plan.

Matityahu Dan the, chairman of Ateret Cohanim, told Arutz Sheva: "I pray that the judges will have the wisdom to make the right decisions, but in any case we have to fight, and the truth will endure forever, if not in this generation, then in the next generation."

Dan explained that the Western Wall outline that the Reform movement wishes to adopt means "joint entry to the Wall for everyone, and each person can choose whether he goes to the usual square or the mixed space. It means that we recognize that there is Reform Judaism - is this our vision?"

He said that the decision to divide the Western Wall into traditional and egalitarian sections would divide the Jewish people. "I think that we will not be able to explain to our children how we sat on the sidelines when the Israeli government allowed prayer without a partition near the remains of the Temple. With what will we reach the mountain of the Lord? With mixed prayer and assimilated Judaism?"

According to Dan, the time has come to say with full force that the Western Wall is not a national archaeological site. "Justice Menahem Alon ruled that the Western Wall has the legal status of a synagogue. The Western Wall is a holy place, and everyone should respect it and behave according to the custom of the place. This is the court's discussion: Is the remnant of our Temple a holy place or public space? Is the Western Wall a national archaeological site or a religious site? And if it is a religious site, nothing can be done without the approval of the Chief Rabbinate."

He said that he was pleased that the Chief Rabbinate to an active stand and objected to the Western Wall deal. "Thankfully, this time he Chief Rabbinate and Rabbi Lau appointed a representative to present the position of the Chief Rabbinate, and for the first time after twenty years of discussions that the position of the rabbinate is being presented."

"Unfortunately, it is presented but not represented, because the State Attorney's Office did not formally give the rabbinical representative and opportunity to argue during the hearing, but only to present his remarks in written form, which is itself is puzzling. Is it conceivable that the Rabbinate can not fully present its position? In the previous hearing, the Rabbinate presented a 160-page document with 700 appendices, in which there is a clear position on the tradition at the Western Wall, and also according to the English system (from the Mandatory period), the one which determines this is the Chief Rabbinate.

"Everything that has been done to this day at the Western Wall, including the requests at Robinson's Arch, have been reached through dishonest means, and not with the approval of the Chief Rabbinate," he said.




top