The Reform-backed Women of the Wall group, which holds non-traditional services at the Kosel once a month, drew harsh criticism Wednesday after several activists were caught attempting to sneak sifrei Torah into the plaza in a very disrespectful and provocative manner.
The Women of the Wall continuously try to smuggle sifrei Torah for their monthly gatherings, in violation of rulings by the Kosel Rav.
While in the past they have attempted to smuggle the sifrei Torah in duffel bags, guards at the Kosel found Wednesday that they had concealed sifrei Torah on their bodies, in an unprecedented chillul hakodesh.
Rav of the Kosel, Harav Shmuel Rabinowitz, voiced his outrage at this new low: “Today, Rosh Chodesh Elul, [Women of the Wall] have crossed all red lines. They smuggled sifrei Torah wrapped around their bodies and hid whistles, and all for what? For the sake of a civil war at the Kosel.
“This kind of provocative action causes a chillul Hashem.
“Their shofar blowing,” said Harav Rabinowitz in pain, “wasn’t a call for teshuvah, rather a call for war.”
For years, the Women of the Wall have demanded they be allowed to hold alternative, non-traditional services at the Kosel.
“The Kosel’s desecration pains me,” said one of the religious girls protesting the Women of the Wall’s provocative gathering. “There are women and there are men, each with their own mitzvos and place [to daven]. They’re degrading the Kosel. We always daven here, but not like that, not wearing tzitzis or a tallis. That’s not the way of the Torah.”