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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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  • jerry hersch

    Often if there is a marital dispute in a religious family and any court decision is requested -it is most often the male,due to his accustomed role,who initiates the action..more than likely he will chose the option of going through the religious courts-If initiated there rather than through the secular system HE is at an advantage..AND the secular courts may then be precluded from the decision making process from that point on-to the womans disadvantage.

  • jerry hersch

    Only in a true democracy is there true freedom to practice religion in a public setting..
    It is about time to abolish the Yiddishe Ayatollahim.

    Bellicose in their words-yet refusing to fight-they send others to their deaths and yet refuse a surviving spouse of the right to say kaddish.
    The “rationale” is a Talmudic passage…
    One can ask which of a myriad of Talmuds was selected for this decision..which Ravof antiquity.
    Talmuds are not done deals they are opinions..The Talmud is not dead..it did not die in the middle ages..It is alive and it incumbent upon each generation to also come to offer thoughtful decisions..
    It was only in the Ghetto/Shetle culture starting in the late middle ages that New thought and opinions were stifled..
    The Talmud is not dead…it needs to be liberated from the rabbinical courts..it needs to breathe again