FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thousands of Women to Join in Prayer Service — Rosh Chodesh Av (July 8, 2013) at the Western Wall Plaza
JERUSALEM, July 7, 2013 – Thousands of women will come together for a peaceful prayer vigil, organized by Women for the Wall, at the Western Wall on Rosh Chodesh Av, Monday July 8 at 6:30 AM.
The event has received the endorsement of leading rabbanim from across the spectrum, including Rav Aharon Leib Steinman, Rav Shmuel Auerbach, the Gerrer Rebbe, the Viznitzer Rebbe, the Beltzer Rebbe, the Erloy Rebbe, and the Slonimer Rebbe shlit”a. In previous months leading rabbis from the national religious community, including Rav Dov Lior and Rav Shmuel Eliyahu shlit”a have given their support to the cause, as did the Chief Rabbi Rav Shlomo Amar.
“Western Wall is the preeminent symbol of Jewish faith for millions of Jews around the world, religious affiliation notwithstanding,” said Ronit Peskin, Women for the Wall founder. “We are very concerned that Women of the Wall’s ongoing efforts to turn the Kotel, the most sacred place available to the Jewish people today, into a political battleground erodes this symbolism and sanctity.”
Women of the Wall 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. Last month, the police favored the prayer of Women of the Wall over that of thousands of regular visitors, preventing Orthodox Jews from reaching the Western Wall during the morning prayer hours and closing off access to the Old City.
“The upcoming month of Av is a time of reflection, when Jews seek unity,” said Leah Aharoni, co-founder of Women for the Wall. ”A joint prayer by women from across the spectrum is a fitting alternative to Women of the Wall, whose actions have unfortunately introduced a spirit of division.”
Women for the Wall is dedicated to ensuring that the Western Wall 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.