Rabbi Rabinowitz: Sharansky Plan Won’t Change Status Quo


Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky has met with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rav of the Kosel, and assured him that he had no intention of changing the existing arrangements at the Kosel Plaza, the Rav’s office said in a statement released this week.

Sharansky also condemned the provocations of the “Women of the Wall,” in coming to the Kosel in tallis and tefillin, and said that people who visit the holy site should conduct themselves in accordance with the rulings of the High Court, sources said.

During their meeting, Rabbi Rabinowitz stressed that any attempt to divide up the current Kosel Plaza to allow for Reform services would be met with stiff opposition.

“I am obligated to act with all my power to prevent the Kosel — a symbol of the unity of the Jewish people — from turning into a battleground,” he said. “Any change will only deepen the rift in the nation and lead to more demands from the various split-offs.”

Sharansky clarified that he never intended to make changes at the Kosel Plaza itself. His proposals pertain to an existing arrangement at the archaeological garden near Dung Gate that is not part of the Kosel Plaza.

Rabbi Rabinowitz responded that believing Jewry opposes any deviation from halachah there or anywhere else in the world.

“I want the Kosel to continue to unite the Jewish people, and not deviate from halachah,” he said. “Just the same, we must examine with Gedolei Yisrael and the Chief Rabbinate whether to wage a battle against proposals that pertain to Robinson’s Arch, which isn’t part of the shul at the Kosel, if this will lead to a solution that is acceptable to all.”

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