June 10, 2013 |
Sometimes the debate over gender equality around the globe is easy to decide. Women in Saudi Arabia should be able to drive cars and compete in sports. Yes, of course, girls in Pakistan should get equal education. Other times, it's not a matter of obvious civil rights. That's the case in Jerusalem, where members of an organization called Women of the Wall have, for two decades, endured taunts, threats of violence and arrest to pray at the sacred and iconic Western Wall. It's not the fact that they're praying; it's the way that they choose to pray.
June 9, 2013 |
JERUSALEM -- Under heavy police protection and confronted by Orthodox protesters, hundreds of women attended prayers held Sunday morning at the Western Wall in what has become a heated religious and political issue. Members and supporters of the Women of the Wal l organization gathered for monthly services in ways Orthodox Judaism has traditionally reserved for men, including donning prayer shawls, skullcaps and tefillin boxes. "Provocation women," read one protest sign, accusing them of inventing "a new religion.
May 10, 2013 |
JERUSALEM -- Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews flooded into the Old City's Western Wall Plaza early Friday in a boisterous and sometimes violent protest against a group of female activists exercising a newly court-affirmed right to pray at the holy site in a similar fashion as men do. It was a rare scene of chaos, protest and sporadic clashes by Jewish worshipers in front of what most view as Judaism's most sacred place after the Temple Mount....
May 10, 2013 |
CAIRO -- Prominent youth activist Ahmed Maher was arrested on Friday as he sought to leave the Cairo international airport, members of his April 6 youth movement said. Maher, who helped lead the revolution that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak, will be held for four days pending investigations into charges of resisting authority, insulting the police, and disturbing traffic, the Middle East News Agency reported. He was arrested only minutes after returning from the United State.
April 11, 2013 |
Israeli police detained five women for wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall on Thursday, days after a new proposal emerged to set aside part of the holy site for men and women to pray together. Female worshippers at the sacred site are barred from performing religious rituals that Orthodox Jewish religious authorities say are solely for men. Women have repeatedly been detained for violating those rules, a continuing clash between the Orthodox rabbis who steer Israeli religious institutions and more liberal strains of Judaism in which women can use prayer shawls and lead congregations as rabbis.
January 8, 2013
Re "Talking to a wall, connecting with God," Opinion, Jan. 4 Reform Rabbi Ben Kamin may imagine that the "stern, bearded men" he sees at the Western Wall in Jerusalem are "scolding" him "with their fierce eyes" for not wearing a skullcap, but even his imagination should not twist the facts. Rabbi Kamin's female relatives are, despite what he seems to imply, not barred from praying at the site. Yes, the area of the wall plaza is segregated by sex, befitting a place that is the remnant of the courtyard of a temple where such separation was instituted to ensure a feeling of solemnity and holiness for worshipers.