The Orthodox group Women for the Wall is fending off a move by the Reform-backed Women of the Wall to commandeer the Kosel Plaza on Friday morning, Rosh Chodesh Adar II.
A WFW spokesperson told Hamodia in a phone interview on Thursday evening that Women of the Wall had obtained a letter from assistant attorney general Erez Kamenitz informing Kosel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz that the group was entitled to hold a prayer gathering there, including use of the microphone. This referred to the main Kosel plaza, not the area set aside for non-Orthodox prayer some distance away.
WoW claimed that they were expecting a thousand participants for their Rosh Chodesh event, and therefore deserved access. Women for the Wall is expecting 5,000 to 10,000 women to be there for the regular Rosh Chodesh tefillos.
Leah Aharoni, of Women for the Wall, stressed that the main issue was not merely use of the public address system, “but that the assistant attorney general supports Women of the Wall’s right to take over the Kosel.”
Rabbi Rabinowitz, however, assured her group that they would have sole access to the Ezras Nashim of the main Kosel area, and that the chazan of the men’s Shacharis would have the microphone.
Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef wrote a letter to the Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit protesting his assistant’s sanctioning of a chillul Hashem by allowing WoW at the Kosel.
Asserting the exclusive authority of the Chief Rabbinate to administer the Kosel area and to determine what are the prevailing customs, Rabbi Yosef wrote that allowing the WoW to do as they wish at the Kosel would distance the Divine Presence from the holy site.
The Women for the Wall prayer rally will be held at Shacharis on Friday, Rosh Chodesh Adar II, at 6:45 a.m. at the Ezras Nashim of the Kosel.
Below are the details for travel to and from the rally:
Transportation to the Kosel
By the Light Rail to Kikar Safra; from there on foot via Jaffa Gate (security provided) to the Kosel. In order to avoid congestion, please try to arrive by the Light Rail.
Bus: Egged will be adding buses on Routes #1 and #3, making the regular stops, between 6:00 and 7:30.
Special Buses from Neighborhoods
From Ramot and Ramat Shlomo, there will be private buses to the Kosel.
The bus from Ramot departs at 6:00 at the gas station on Kisufim Street.
The bus from Ramat Shlomo departs at 6:00 on Chazon Ish Street next to the Kehilos Yaakov school.
At the conclusion of davening, the buses will be waiting to take students to the seminaries.
Updated Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 2:09 pm .