Israeli women’s group upset by ban on Jewish prayer at holy siteSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 05/04/2013 6:04 am in World / no comments
JERUSALEM, April 4 — A group of Jewish women expressed their outrage on Thursday toward a new directive, which prohibits them from reciting a Jewish prayer at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.
The group, known as “Women of the Wall,” was formed in 1988 to fight for women’s rights to pray at the holy site.
In a letter dated March 14 published on the Ha’aretz daily, Jerusalem Police Chief Yossi Pariente ordered a new regulation according to which women cannot say the Jewish prayer of mourning, Kaddish, in the place.
The directive has been issued ahead of a month of national memorial days, including the national Holocaust Memorial Day and the remembrance of the fallen Israeli soldiers.
“The police chief’s decision… is not enforceable,” Anat Hoffman, founder of the group, told Xinhua. “We will continue and fight for our right to pray as we wish and as we see fit.”
“The police are taking the ultra-Orthodox side because they are afraid of them and their power. But we are not afraid of anyone, and we’ll go on as we do every time,” she added.
According to the Orthodox law, women and men are segregated at the site where worshippers pray. Women have tried to change the situation and be allowed to pray in traditional men’s prayer shawls at the site’s main area.
In June 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that women have the legal right to pray at the Western Wall but with limitations, pushing them to a nearby archeological site, called Robinson’s arch, which the country was supposed to renovate into a new prayer site but hasn’t.