Once again the Women of the Wall gathered this week for Rosh Chodesh prayers at the Kotel. Once again approximately 100 women of all denominations who gathered to pray were taunted and cursed by traditional Jews on both sides of the divider. The police filmed. And it was hard to believe that last year at Rosh Chodesh Kislev, prayer leader, Nofrat Frenkel was arrested for leading the prayers and wearing a tallit.
According to all the reports I’ve read and reports from friends this Rosh Chodesh Kislev did not have any “incidents” other than the taunts and angry rants that seem ever present.
The absolute absurdity of the traditionalists and the Israeli government in regard to women’s prayer groups and in particular to Women of the Wall is baffling. One of the things that Judaism professes is “The More Torah the More Life” words from the Talmud. But when Women of the Wall put forward more Torah, and reading Torah, they are called whores.
How horrifying. How sad.
Religious thugs do not represent Judaism. They are intimidating brutes who use religion to bully and to play power games. And the Israeli government that continues to condone such thuggery ought to put an end to this.
It is the 21st century not 16th century Poland.
But the true spirit of holiness resides with the Women of the Wall. In their efforts to bring more Torah into the world and yes, indeed More Life! May they go from strength to strength.