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Western Wall

June 8, 2000
"Israeli Women Defy Custom, Say a Prayer for Equality" (June 5) describes the "Women of the Wall" (the Western Wall in Jerusalem) as "mostly secular women" who have been praying monthly for years at that most holy site in Judaism. It is a misnomer to describe these non-Orthodox women as "secular." To do so plays into the ultra-Orthodox claim that only they are keepers of Jewish religious tradition. To be "religious" in Jewish life today has many legitimate expressions. Reform and Conservative Judaism (representing 80% of American Jewry and a rising percentage of Israeli Jews, now estimated at between 30% and 40%)
May 23, 2000 | From Associated Press
In a groundbreaking decision, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that women may read aloud from the Torah at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site. A panel of three judges reinterpreted a law governing Jewish holy sites and lifted bans on women praying from the Torah scroll, the Jewish holy text, and wearing the prayer shawl traditionally worn by men at the wall. Ultra-Orthodox Jews say women praying from the Torah violates Jewish law and the division of roles that God assigned men and women.
August 15, 1999 | STEVE HOCHMAN
Less related to the pair's Trio projects with Dolly Parton, this set of bold song choices and vivid textures is more a payoff of Harris' 1995 "Wrecking Ball" explorations. But where producer Daniel Lanois dominated that noteworthy but flawed set, veteran producer Glyn Johns seems truer to Harris' gifts and vision on "Wall" (which comes out Aug. 24).
April 4, 1999 | ALAN BEHR, Alan Behr is a lawyer and writer in New York
It's the first time in Israel for my wife, Julie, and me. I'm Jewish; she's Christian. We arrive in Jerusalem as yet another peace accord is being reached--in faraway Maryland. We joke about tight security but suffer no greater calamity than Julie's discovery, at the airport, that she has left behind the key to her luggage lock. A customs agent produces wire cutters the size of hedge clippers, the lock snaps and we are off to our hotel in what used to be Arab East Jerusalem.
June 6, 1998 | From Times Wire Services
Men and women praying together at Jerusalem's Western Wall once again faced attacks from Orthodox protesters this week, but unlike other incidents in the last few years, this time the worshipers received police protection. Rabbi Ehud Bandel, president of the Conservative movement in Israel, called the police protection of the male-female service "a historical precedent."
Amir Zilka, a Jew, remembered him with Psalms at the Western Wall. Omran Siyam, a Muslim, prayed for him at the Dome of the Rock. Sister Katrina, a Christian, lighted candles to his memory in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Thus did common purpose settle over the holiest places of three great religions Monday in the fractured city that is the cradle of their faith. It was the parting gift of Yitzhak Rabin, the warrior who died making peace.
September 19, 1995 | From Associated Press
Rabbi Yehuda Meir Getz, the first and only Israeli rabbi to preside over the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, has died of a heart attack. He was 71. Getz, who died Sunday, was to be buried on Jerusalem's Mt. of Olives, said Ofer Amar, a spokesman for the Religious Affairs Ministry. Born in Tunis, Tunisia, Getz immigrated to Israel as a child and pursued an army career.
Gerda Mathan sees the light in the people and places she photographs. Whether pictures of a woman praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem or the foliage in a courtyard in Cordova, Spain, they beam with a radiant energy. "Light turns me on," said Mathan, who is based in Berkeley. "You see a view and it comes to you that something is great about it. I can't plan it. It just happens."
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