When a Jewish Mother’s Breast Meets the Muslim Dome of the Rock (VIDEO)
The campaign for Jewish rights to the current Temple Mount compound and within its precincts has always has its feminine side. There is a “Women on Behalf of the Temple and Temple Mount” group with their Facebook page. Others promote specific preparatory crafts, such as weaving, as a means for raising consciousness about the restrictions Jews face at their most holy site. In the past, Rabbanit Penina Pel’i, Esther Abutbol and Rabbanit Esther Breuer were among the leading figures two and three decades ago. Today, Rabbanit Rivkah Shimoni and Rachel Sela and others.
Tuesday, November 9th, was, perhaps, a turning point.
Those who wish to ascend while keeping to as full a commitment to the stringent Jewish ritual obligations as possible face a daunting task. There is the mikveh immersion previous to arrival and keeping within a limited route for the walk-about. Since the police are very uncooperative, there are long waits which include rising early to get there in time for the 7:30 a.m. opening and the long wait to enter, while hundreds of tourists go in through a parallel security check gate freely.
A nursing mother faces a daunting possibility: will she be able to complete the entire procedure without recourse to suckling her infant, or not?
This week, Michal Ben-Uri needed to feed her infant while within the Temple Mount. The police refused her permission and did it in a nasty and brusque, if not brutal, fashion. Here is a short clip:
A second, longer clip, was posted at a major Israel news web site.
There were rabbis who reacted in a negative fashion, asking whether the act was to be done in a modest way, that is, no flesh seen. Others even asked if the act itself is permissible.
The responses came and noted that at the Hakhel ceremony at the end of the Shemittah seventh year period, all were to be present when the King read out from the Torah scroll. Others noted that every year during the Succot holiday, there was a special joyful Drawing of the Water event, at which children were also present. It would be logical that infants were there and that they would be needing to feed. Presumably, if modesty were kept, there would be no problem. The Talmud, Tractate Chagiga 6A, notes that while minors are technically exempt from the command to see and be seen at the Temple, nevertheless:
Abaye said: Wherever a major is obligated according to the law of the Torah, we also initiate a minor according to rabbinic law.
The Western Wall feminists have been successful. Will the “Women of the Temple/Temple Mount” be so now, as well?