Guitars at the Kotel on Shabbat?

by David Benkof, Jerusalem Post

The Women of the Wall (WoW) will once again attempt to worship at the Kotel in a non-Orthodox fashion by reading from the Torah and singing out loud, practices that have upset many more-traditional worshipers. Their monthly prayer event has been a constant source of controversy in Israel for more than two decades.

Supporters of the WoW frequently argue that female Kotel worshipers should be allowed to pray as they do at home, including reading Torah and singing loudly – with any restrictions being a violation of their freedom of worship…

Curiously, though, my extensive Googling suggests that non-Orthodox Jews have never complained about another major way they are unable to worship at the Kotel as they do at home: with musical instruments on Shabbat…

Shouldn’t true religious freedom enable the maximum number of people to pray according to their beliefs? I recently asked a friend of mine who is a prominent WoW member what kind of Shabbat guitar policy the Kotel should have. She said she didn’t know. That’s a good answer, but not a surprising one, given that the conversation on non-Orthodox worship at the Kotel has really been about feminism and identity rather than the right to worship according to one’s custom.

Read the full article at the Jerusalem Post.