Women of the Wall
Women of the WallMaayan Barabi/ TPS

Women of the Wall (WOW) on Friday morning arrived at the Western Wall to hold a prayer session in honor of the start of the new month of Tamuz, together with "Rabbi" Sergio Bergman, President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ).

The women were stopped at the security gate to the Western Wall after they attempted to bring a Torah scroll into the plaza, to use for a bat mitzvah girl who had arrived together with them.

The Western Wall has its own set of Torah scrolls and does not allow any scrolls to be brought in from outside.

After WOW left the Torah scroll at the gate, the women claimed that a group of men began cursing and pushing them, while taking a suitcase with prayer books, breaking it, and ripping the prayer books.

Leah Aharoni, founder of Women For the Wall (a traditionalist organization promoting the preservation of the status quo at the Western Wall), who was also at the Western Wall at the time, said that there was "violent pushing and grabbing" and that a WOW leader screamed "at the top of her lungs" at religious people at the Wall, claiming that G-d "rejected" them and using the Meron tragedy as proof that "G-d no longer wants their way."

Aharoni also said that one of the WOW women "violently pushed and grabbed" her, and only police involvement prevented actual injury.

Yochi Rappaport, WOW CEO, said: "The traditional public understands that we are close to achieving our goal - equal prayer at the Western Wall - and is worried about losing their monopoly on Judaism. For 32 years already, Women of the Wall has been fighting to free the Western Wall, and we will not cease until we reach our desired equality."

The Western Wall Heritage Foundation said: "The Western Wall Heritage Foundation is dismayed at the agitated spirits. Western Wall stewards did everything they could to separate those fighting and to calm the atmosphere. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation calls to remove all disagreements from the Western Wall Plaza, and to preserve the site as one which is unifying."