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April 5, 2013 5:59 pm

Reported Compromise Permits Women to Say Kaddish at Western Wall

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Western Wall. Photo: Wayne McLean.

A compromise agreement has reportedly been reached to allow women to say the Kaddish mourners’ prayer at the Western Wall, although they will still be barred from brandishing traditionally male external religious symbols such as prayer shawls.

Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz said he had agreed to the proposal, presented by MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) and Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky, in which police would not arrest women for saying Kaddish.

The agreement followed an uproar over a letter sent by Jerusalem District Police Commander Maj. Gen. Yossi Pariente to the Women of the Wall organization recently stating that police would enforce the law and arrest any woman donning a prayer shawl or saying Kaddish at the Western Wall.

Announcing the compromise agreement on Thursday, Lavie said, “Today it was proved that the path of dialogue is that which leads to change.”

Women of the Wall chairwoman Anat Hoffman responded defiantly, however, saying she would continue to wear a prayer shawl at the wall next week despite the law, and would encourage other members of the organization to do the same.

“I won’t tell a Jewish woman not to wear a tallit [prayer shawl]. Furthermore, on the upcoming Rosh Hodesh [the first day of a new month, when special prayers are said], I will also encourage the wearing of the tallit,” Hoffman told Israel Hayom.

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