Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

The Western Wall Clashes: Searching for a New Way Together

May 17, 2013 9:14 am 0 comments

Jews in mourning at the Western Wall. Photo: Tazpit News Agency.

Concerning Developments

“Clashes erupt at women-of-the-wall prayer service,” read the main headline of a prominent newspaper on Friday last week.

According to some media reports, “thousands of ultra-Orthodox protestors clashed with Israeli police during the first monthly prayer service held by Women of The Wall just a few days ago.” The tension between ultra-orthodox groups in Israel and the “women-of-the wall” has been on the rise during the past few weeks. Although, the Jerusalem District Court has officially allowed women to wear prayer shawls at the western wall, a handful of ultra-orthodox Rabbis have called their constituents to protest this ruling.

These developments are concerning. When Jews clash with Jews, it hurts. As history demonstrates, such conflicts almost always lead to havoc and destruction.  So how should we respond? What can we do?

A Sense of Proportion

My dear mentor, world-scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, once imparted to me that the difference between a wise man and a fool is that a wise man “makes the important issues of life important and the trivial issues trivial,” yet the fool “makes the important issues trivial, and the trivial issues important.”

His poignant advice summarizes best the approach we should adopt today: We must maintain a sense of proportion between the truly important issues and the trivial ones. After all, that which unites us is so much greater than that which divides us. We all desire to make the world a better place. We all endeavor to nurture our children and surroundings with the richness of our heritage and traditions. We all care deeply about our communities, and we all wish to harness their dynamic force. But we can only do so if we learn to decipher the important issues from the trivial ones. And we ought to come together, as members of the same family, and focus on our common contributions, values and goals.   

Joining Hands Together

The eminent Chassidic master Rabbi Chaim of Tsanz (1797-1876) related the following to a disciple who had had a bitter dispute with a friend: “A man was once lost in a forest for several days. Finally, he saw another man approaching him. ‘Please show me the way out of the forest!’ he called out to him. ‘My dear brother, I too am lost,’ the other man replied. ‘But I can tell you this: the way I have come from leads nowhere; it has only led me astray. Let us join hands and search for a new way together.'”

It is time for us join hands together in the sometimes overgrown forests of confusion. And though we each have unique perspectives and ways of conduct, we ought not to walk alone.

Instead of fighting over the different forms of prayer, let us pray over the different forms of fighting, and ask that we reunite as one, with our hearts and ears, in respect and in dignity. This will build bridges, not walls; love, not apathy; harmony, not dissonance.

An acceptable solution for all internal conflicts will then undoubtedly arise.

THE WESTERN WALL CLASHES
Searching For a New Way Together
By Rabbi Pinchas Allouche
Concerning Developments
“Clashes erupt at women-of-the-wall prayer service,” read the title of a prominent newspaper on Friday last week.
According to some media reports, “thousands of ultra-Orthodox protestors clashed with Israeli police during the first monthly prayer service held by Women of The Wall just a few days ago.” The tension between ultra-orthodox groups in Israel and the “women-of-the wall” has been on the rise during the past few weeks. Although, the Jerusalem District Court has officially allowed women to wear prayer shawls at the western wall, a handful of ultra-orthodox Rabbis have called their constituents to protest this ruling.
These developments are concerning. When Jews clash with Jews, it hurts. As history demonstrates, such conflicts almost always lead to havoc and destruction.  So how should we respond? What can we do?
A Sense of Proportion
My dear mentor, world-scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, once imparted to me that the difference between a wise man and a fool is that a wise man “makes the important issues of life important and the trivial issues trivial,” yet the fool “makes the important issues trivial, and the trivial issues important.”
His poignant advice summarizes best the approach we should adopt today: We must maintain a sense of proportion between the truly important issues and the trivial ones. After all, that which unites us is so much greater than that which divides us. We all desire to make the world a better place. We all endeavor to nurture our children and surroundings with the richness of our heritage and traditions. We all care deeply about our communities, and we all wish to harness their dynamic force. But we can only do so if we learn to decipher the important issues from the trivial ones. And we ought to come together, as members of the same family, and focus on our common contributions, values and goals.
Joining Hands Together
The eminent Chassidic master Rabbi Chaim of Tsanz (1797-1876) related the following to a disciple who had had a bitter dispute with a friend: “A man was once lost in a forest for several days. Finally, he saw another man approaching him. ‘Please show me the way out of the forest!’ he called out to him. ‘My dear brother, I too am lost,’ the other man replied. ‘But I can tell you this: the way I have come from leads nowhere; it has only led me astray. Let us join hands and search for a new way together.'”
It is time for us join hands together in the sometimes overgrown forests of confusion. And though we each have unique perspectives and ways of conduct, we ought not to walk alone.
Instead of fighting over the different forms of prayer, let us pray over the different forms of fighting, and ask that we reunite as one, with our hearts and ears, in respect and in dignity. This will build bridges, not walls; love, not apathy; harmony, not dissonance.
An acceptable solution for all internal conflicts will then undoubtedly arise.

THE WESTERN WALL CLASHES
Searching For a New Way Together
By Rabbi Pinchas Allouche
Concerning Developments
“Clashes erupt at women-of-the-wall prayer service,” read the title of a prominent newspaper on Friday last week.
According to some media reports, “thousands of ultra-Orthodox protestors clashed with Israeli police during the first monthly prayer service held by Women of The Wall just a few days ago.” The tension between ultra-orthodox groups in Israel and the “women-of-the wall” has been on the rise during the past few weeks. Although, the Jerusalem District Court has officially allowed women to wear prayer shawls at the western wall, a handful of ultra-orthodox Rabbis have called their constituents to protest this ruling.
These developments are concerning. When Jews clash with Jews, it hurts. As history demonstrates, such conflicts almost always lead to havoc and destruction.  So how should we respond? What can we do?
A Sense of Proportion
My dear mentor, world-scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, once imparted to me that the difference between a wise man and a fool is that a wise man “makes the important issues of life important and the trivial issues trivial,” yet the fool “makes the important issues trivial, and the trivial issues important.”
His poignant advice summarizes best the approach we should adopt today: We must maintain a sense of proportion between the truly important issues and the trivial ones. After all, that which unites us is so much greater than that which divides us. We all desire to make the world a better place. We all endeavor to nurture our children and surroundings with the richness of our heritage and traditions. We all care deeply about our communities, and we all wish to harness their dynamic force. But we can only do so if we learn to decipher the important issues from the trivial ones. And we ought to come together, as members of the same family, and focus on our common contributions, values and goals.
Joining Hands Together
The eminent Chassidic master Rabbi Chaim of Tsanz (1797-1876) related the following to a disciple who had had a bitter dispute with a friend: “A man was once lost in a forest for several days. Finally, he saw another man approaching him. ‘Please show me the way out of the forest!’ he called out to him. ‘My dear brother, I too am lost,’ the other man replied. ‘But I can tell you this: the way I have come from leads nowhere; it has only led me astray. Let us join hands and search for a new way together.'”
It is time for us join hands together in the sometimes overgrown forests of confusion. And though we each have unique perspectives and ways of conduct, we ought not to walk alone.
Instead of fighting over the different forms of prayer, let us pray over the different forms of fighting, and ask that we reunite as one, with our hearts and ears, in respect and in dignity. This will build bridges, not walls; love, not apathy; harmony, not dissonance.
An acceptable solution for all internal conflicts will then undoubtedly arise. THE WESTERN WALL CLASHES

Searching For a New Way Together

By Rabbi Pinchas Allouche

Concerning Developments

“Clashes erupt at women-of-the-wall prayer service,” read the title of a prominent newspaper on Friday last week.

According to some media reports, “thousands of ultra-Orthodox protestors clashed with Israeli police during the first monthly prayer service held by Women of The Wall just a few days ago.” The tension between ultra-orthodox groups in Israel and the “women-of-the wall” has been on the rise during the past few weeks. Although, the Jerusalem District Court has officially allowed women to wear prayer shawls at the western wall, a handful of ultra-orthodox Rabbis have called their constituents to protest this ruling.

These developments are concerning. When Jews clash with Jews, it hurts. As history demonstrates, such conflicts almost always lead to havoc and destruction. So how should we respond? What can we do?

A Sense of Proportion

My dear mentor, world-scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, once imparted to me that the difference between a wise man and a fool is that a wise man “makes the important issues of life important and the trivial issues trivial,” yet the fool “makes the important issues trivial, and the trivial issues important.”

His poignant advice summarizes best the approach we should adopt today: We must maintain a sense of proportion between the truly important issues and the trivial ones. After all, that which unites us is so much greater than that which divides us. We all desire to make the world a better place. We all endeavor to nurture our children and surroundings with the richness of our heritage and traditions. We all care deeply about our communities, and we all wish to harness their dynamic force. But we can only do so if we learn to decipher the important issues from the trivial ones. And we ought to come together, as members of the same family, and focus on our common contributions, values and goals.

Joining Hands Together

The eminent Chassidic master Rabbi Chaim of Tsanz (1797-1876) related the following to a disciple who had had a bitter dispute with a friend: “A man was once lost in a forest for several days. Finally, he saw another man approaching him. ‘Please show me the way out of the forest!’ he called out to him. ‘My dear brother, I too am lost,’ the other man replied. ‘But I can tell you this: the way I have come from leads nowhere; it has only led me astray. Let us join hands and search for a new way together.'”

It is time for us join hands together in the sometimes overgrown forests of confusion. And though we each have unique perspectives and ways of conduct, we ought not to walk alone.

Instead of fighting over the different forms of prayer, let us pray over the different forms of fighting, and ask that we reunite as one, with our hearts and ears, in respect and in dignity. This will build bridges, not walls; love, not apathy; harmony, not dissonance.

An acceptable solution for all internal conflicts will then undoubtedly arise.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Middle East Larry King Asks Saudi Arabian Fan If Taking Pictures With Jews Is Permitted

    Larry King Asks Saudi Arabian Fan If Taking Pictures With Jews Is Permitted

    Jewish former CNN host Larry King asked a Saudi Arabian fan if taking pictures with Jews is allowed in his country, before agreeing to pose for a photo with the man, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. The world-famous interviewer was leaving the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C. with a New York Times reporter when a “dark-skinned man” approached and asked to take a picture with him, according to the publication. Whereupon, King asked the fan where he was from. When the man said Saudi […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Britain’s Lord Sugar Says Synagogues Will Be Empty With Yom Kippur Matchup of Jewish-Supported Soccer Teams

    Britain’s Lord Sugar Says Synagogues Will Be Empty With Yom Kippur Matchup of Jewish-Supported Soccer Teams

    British-Jewish business tycoon Lord Alan Sugar joked on Wednesday that London synagogues will likely be empty during Yom Kippur with congregants fleeing to watch the match-up of two leading English soccer teams known for having hordes of Jewish fans. “Spurs V Arsenal cup game drawn on most important Jewish festival,” Lord Sugar pointed out on Twitter. “Both teams have loads of Jewish fans. Conclusion Synagogues will be empty.” North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC will go head-to-head in the Capital One Cup third-round […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Jewish Men Pass Jimmy Kimmel Social Experiment, Rescuing ‘Spongebob’ in Distress (VIDEO)

    Jewish Men Pass Jimmy Kimmel Social Experiment, Rescuing ‘Spongebob’ in Distress (VIDEO)

    Two Jewish men were the only unwitting participants in a social experiment conducted by Jimmy Kimmel, for his popular TV show. As part of a candid-camera-like sketch featured Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host devised different street scenes to observe human behavior — in particular, to see how long it would take people walking down California’s bustling Hollywood Boulevard to notice and interact with others in distress. One scene involved a man in a Spongebob Squarepants costume who had “fallen down” on the sidewalk and needed help […]

    Read more →
  • Education US & Canada International Jewish Organization Blasts Israeli-Born Star Natalie Portman for Comments on Holocaust Education

    International Jewish Organization Blasts Israeli-Born Star Natalie Portman for Comments on Holocaust Education

    A major Jewish organization rebuked actress Natalie Portman on Monday for saying in a recent interview that Jews put too much emphasis on teaching about the Holocaust relative to other genocides. The Israeli-born movie star told the U.K.’s Independent that the Jewish community needs to examine how much focus it puts on Holocaust education over other issues. She said she was shocked when she learned that a genocide was taking place in Rwanda while she was in school learning only about the horrors of the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Book Draws Parallels Between Holocaust and Palestinian Nakba, Sparks Outrage

    Book Draws Parallels Between Holocaust and Palestinian Nakba, Sparks Outrage

    JNS.org – A new book that draws parallels between the Holocaust and the Palestinian Nakba (the Arabic term for the displacement of Palestinian refugees during Israel’s War of Independence) has sparked outrage ahead of an official book launch, to be hosted by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute on Sept. 7. The Zionist organization Im Tirtzu wrote a letter to the institute demanding that it cancel an event it planned in honor of the book’s authors, under the title The Holocaust and […]

    Read more →
  • Education US & Canada Natalie Portman Says Holocaust Education Shouldn’t be Used for ‘Fearmongering’

    Natalie Portman Says Holocaust Education Shouldn’t be Used for ‘Fearmongering’

    Famed actress Natalie Portman warned on Friday against the use of Holocaust education to evoke fear and paranoia. In an interview with the U.K. Independent she added that the trauma should make Jews more empathetic to others who have also experienced hatred. “Sometimes it can be subverted to fearmongering and like ‘Another Holocaust is going to happen,’” the Israeli-American star said. “We need to, of course, be aware that hatred exists, antisemitism exists against all sorts of people, not in the same way. I […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary A Righteous Gentile Navigates the Sharkpool of Washington’s Middle East Correspondents (REVIEW)

    A Righteous Gentile Navigates the Sharkpool of Washington’s Middle East Correspondents (REVIEW)

    The Tribalist, by Louis Marano, is ostensibly a work of fiction but at its core a kind of love song by a gentile journalist for the State of Israel, and especially its secular Zionist core. (Because of the relentless attacks by left-wing polemicists on Israel’s allegedly “messianic” fringe, it’s often forgotten that most of Israel’s founders and all its leaders have been secular Zionists.) The author, the product of an Italian-American family in Buffalo, served two tours of duty in […]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Rugelach Roundtable: Does Beloved Pastry Need Dairy to Taste Good?

    Rugelach Roundtable: Does Beloved Pastry Need Dairy to Taste Good?

    JNS.org – Rugelach (singular: rugala) are a beloved traditional Jewish pastry, with a quirky history to boot, but they often present a kosher conundrum. Though parve rugelach are often a preferred dessert after a meat meal for those observing kosher laws (which stipulate a waiting period between eating meat and dairy), some of today’s most popular rugelach are known for their dairy fillings. Pastry chef Paula Shoyer—author of the books “The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy” and […]

    Read more →