Rosh Chodesh Tammuz (June 9, 2013) at the Western Wall Plaza
JERUSALEM, June 7, 2013 – Women For the Wall, a grassroots organization committed to preserving the sanctity of the Kotel as a place of prayer and Jewish unity, calls upon all women who treasure Jewish tradition and the unity of the Jewish people to participate in a peaceful prayer service at the Western Wall, on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, Sunday June 9 at 7 AM.
“The overwhelming majority of Israeli society would like to preserve tradition at the Kotel,” said Ronit Peskin, Women FOR the Wall founder. “We are very concerned that Women of the Wall’s activity is turning the Kotel, the most sacred place available to the Jewish people today, into a place of political and media battles. This is our alternative – a quiet, dignified and respectful prayer service, which allows each person to establish a connection with God without hurting the sensitivities of others.”
Women For the Wall have caught the attention and endorsement of Rabbinic authorities and Jewish leaders from across the spectrum of Israeli religious life. Most recently, Rabbananit Tzivia Eliyahu, widow of the late Sephardic Chief Rabbi Rav Mordechai Eliyahu zt”l, said that it is necessary to prevent “disgracing the Holy Site” and called upon the Women Of the Wall to cease their deliberate provocation.
Women of the Wall led by Anat Hoffman of the reform movement, have stepped up their activity in recent months, going so far as to call for turning the Western Wall plaza into a “national monument” devoid of religious symbols. Most recently, and after claiming to desire to “reduce the tension,” they have declared their intent to come to the Wall with a Torah scroll, violating site regulations and once again risking arrest.
“We are extremely pained by the atmosphere of divisiveness created at the Western Wall, which is a spiritual home for every Jew, religious observance notwithstanding. We are deeply concerned with the death threats received by the Chief Rabbis and the Rabbi of the Kotel,” said Leah Aharoni co-founder of Women for the Wall. “We call on Women of the Wall to create honest dialogue, which will hopefully calm the situation and lead to a solution. Although our previous attempts to create dialogue have been rebuffed, we are not losing hope. Respectful and fruitful conversation is possible.”
All women able to join Women For the Wall for quiet and peaceful prayer at the Western Wall are invited to join them at 7 AM, Sunday morning June 9, Rosh Chodesh Tamuz on the Hebrew calendar. For those unable to be present in person, live video links will enable women to join them in prayer at that time. Links will be posted from the website, http://womenforthewall.org/ .
Women For the Wall is dedicated to ensuring that the Kotel can be a place for all Jews to come and pray with respect and dignity. It believes that only by preserving classical Jewish practice at the Wall can it be a place where all Jews can be welcome.