Thousands of religious women are expected to arrive at the Kosel early Monday morning, Rosh Chodesh Av, for a tefillah gathering at the request of Gedolei Yisrael in view of the ongoing campaign to desecrate the holy site with heterodox ceremonies.
The tefillah was scheduled for 6:30 a.m., with buses converging on the Kosel from neighborhoods all over Yerushalayim. Egged agreed to increase the number of buses on routes to the Kosel in order to accommodate the huge crowd. Neighborhoods that are not serviced by direct buses to the Kosel will have special buses along the stops in that area that will go directly to the Kosel.
Rav Yosef Asher Neuman, Rav of Shearis Yosef Asher in Har Nof, was slated to lead Shacharis. Rav Avraham Direnfeld, Rosh Kollel Iyun of Chasidei Belz, was asked to lead Hallel and Mussaf.
Yerushalayim Deputy Mayor Yossi Deitsch (UTJ), who has been coordinating the event along with other UTJ members, dismissed the group known as Women of the Wall as “a small handful of women who are just interested in causing a provocation.”
“The real women of the wall are those righteous women who go every day to pray sincerely at the Kosel. What the so-called Women of the Wall are doing is a debasement of the Kosel.”
In the United States, the event was also being followed closely.
“Gedolei Yisrael, Roshei Yeshivah and Rebbes, in Eretz Yisrael, have directed their nashim tzidkaniyos; seminary age, young marrieds and mothers and grandmothers, to join in tefillah at the Kosel early Rosh Chodesh morning,” said Rabbi Pesach Lerner Executive Vice President, Emeritus, of the National Council of Young Israel.
“They have expressed their concern for maintaining the holiness of the Kosel, from any changes to halachah or minhag. And, they are acting upon that concern…Especially during the month of Av, we must all do what we can to show Hakadosh Baruch Hu that we are concerned for the holiness of His Mikdash and His Kosel.
“May we merit to see the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash, speedily, in our day.”