Women of the Wall at the Kotel
Women of the Wall at the KotelHadas Parush/Flash 90

Anat Hoffman, the head of the Women of the Wall organization, sent a letter to the Rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, asking him to place a menorah in the women's section of the Western Wall Plaza during the Hannukah holiday so that women can hold their own candle-lighting ceremony.

Hoffman relied on the opinion of Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber, who ruled last year that the exclusion of women from lighting candles at the central Hannukah candle-lighting ceremony at the Wall constituted “unacceptable discrimination" against women, and called for women to be allowed to participate in the ceremony.

Hoffman writes that despite the ruling of the Deputy Attorney General women did not properly participate in the candle-lighting ceremony last Hanukkah. Only once, on the fourth holiday night, was a candle lit by women, Minister Gila Gamliel and MK Tzipi Livni.

"In our view" Hoffman wrote," a (second) large menorah should be placed in the women's section so that the women can have a ceremony parallel to the men's, or the main menorah should be placed in the plaza where women can have access to the ceremony with dignity. We emphasize that we do not believe that (the token inclusion of women) makes any difference if the main ceremony is held only with men, without the (full) participation of women."