Israel has once again arrested a group of women for daring to pray at the Western Wall in ways that the state does not allow. That is, they were arrested for wearing traditional male prayer shawls rather than the female ones. Because that’s really important for some reason.
Police on Monday morning arrested 10 women for wearing tallitot while praying at the Western Wall, including Women of the Wall founder Anat Hoffman.
During an emotional monthly service featuring veterans from the 1967 Six Day War who fought in and around the Old City, police detained the women, including the sister of American comedian Sarah Silverman.
Police detained Israeli- American Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman and her daughter, Hallel, 17, at the Western Wall Plaza as they walked through the security gate toward Robinson’s Arch.
These women dared to show up wearing tallitots, or prayer shawls, that look like the ones traditionally worn by men (blue and white or black and white) instead of the ones traditional worn by men (which are multi-colored).
Police allow women to wear the colorful tallitot around their shoulders, which police refer to as “female tallitot” – as opposed to the larger “male tallitot,” which are blue and white or black and white, and worn folded across the shoulders.
“The moment they put on the other [male] tallit, it’s problematic,” Ben-Ruby said.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that worshipers must “uphold the customs” of the holy site, though there is nothing written in the court decision about specific types of tallitot.
According to Rabbi of the Western Wall Shmuel Rabinovitch, a council led by the chief rabbi of Israel determined the customs of the site in 1967 when the Western Wall came under Israeli sovereignty.
“[The Women of the Wall] are trying to hurt and offend other people’s sensitivities,” Rabinovitch told The Jerusalem Post a number of weeks ago.
No, they’re trying to achieve equality. That equality offends bigots like you only speaks to how backwards you are, not to their motivation. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are often as totalitarian in their zeal for control as Bin Laden or the Christian Reconstructionists. And the government continues to support them and enforce their dictates. It’s disgusting.