Why is there the "Women of the Wall" group?

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  • #609386
    Avi K
    Participant

    Today I saw the following sign (in English) on the window of an optical store on Ben-Yehuda St. in the center of Yerushalayim: “Kabbalistic UV sunglasses imprinted with mystical scriptures for the acquisition of good fortune, wealth, health, long life and love”. Under it was a sign (also in English): “Kabbala secrets” and under it keriat shema in ketav stam (big problem to treat it as something secular and even bigger when they decide to change their marketing approach and get rid of it). Add to that the red string purveyors, the Na-Nas with their blaring music and dancing in the middle of the street and the worshippers of dead people is it any wonder why intelligent non-observant Jews are turned off? If we want to look for signs from Above should we consider the “Women of the Wall” a punishment for not speaking out against these distortions of Judaism, especially being that Hashem punishes midda keneged midda.

    #956186
    SpiderJerusalem
    Participant

    Just because they’re antagonists doesn’t mean you’re not stagnant.

    #956187
    akuperma
    Participant

    Because the Reform and Conservative Jews want to push the frum Jews out. They want to have their religion established as the official religion in the State of Israel, and to have our “Torah and Mitsvos” relegated to the status of a persecuted marginalized cult.

    The efforts of “Women of the Wall” should be seen as being part of the same movement that includes drafting yeshiva students, cutting off funding of yeshivos and introducing punitive taxation aimed at yeshivos, banning gender separation in public, and probably to the rash of criminal prosecution of Orthodox Jews on dubious charges. Just because we aren’t shooting each other, doesn’t mean we are not at war.

    #956188
    SpiderJerusalem
    Participant

    Don’t worry akuperma… we’ll get there. The children of Israel have rejected Daas Torah as illegitimate.

    #956189
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    They’re bored. If they would have just found YWN, we could have avoided the whole thing.

    #956190
    rebdoniel
    Member

    WOW exists because some women wish to don the tallit and tefillin. Ii have no problem with a woman doing that; I just wish women wouldn’t make brachot on mitzvot they have no obligation in, which is a problem which transcends the WOW fad.

    My solution is to revert the kotel to its status in the olden days: it should not function as a shul, period. Don’t let any group hold tefilla be tzibbur there. That way there won’t be any WOW problems. One way to make everyone happy is to make everyone unhappy.

    #956191
    WIY
    Member

    Popa

    Aha so you’re a defector.

    #956192
    lesschumras
    Participant

    Akuperma, where do you get your paranoia pills? They want equality, not to take your place.

    #956193
    Toi
    Participant

    they dont want equality, they want their own religion.

    #956194
    akuperma
    Participant

    lesschumras: I’ve spent a good deal of time working with Reform and Conservative Jews. They hold that Orthodox Judaism, with its strict adherance to mitsvos, is a recent innovation, and that they (the Reform and Conservative) are really normative Judaism. To them we are a misguided cult who invented all this stuff out of whole cloth over the last few centuries. That is why they see no problem is trying to get the Kossel switched over to “normal” (as they see it) Judaism rather than the (weird, as they see it) orthodox practice of gender segregation.

    #956195
    yytz
    Participant

    Avi K: I’m not into red strings, Na Nach or “worshipping dead people” (not sure if you mean visiting graves of tzaddikim or meshichists or elohists or whatever), but I don’t know why you single these out as the most important distortions of Judaism. What about the ever-increasing stringencies common in much of Orthodox Judaism today, and the extremist behavior of some of them charedim in Israel? (Beit Shemesh, etc.)

    To give one of many possible examples, isn’t requiring people to wear thick black tights, black coats and shtremiels (not all at the same time, of course) in the heat of summer just as much of, or even more of, a distortion as dancing joyfully in the streets all the time? Where is it written that Judaism should become more stringent with time? Or that clothing minhagim should be followed so rigidly as to dress the opposite of what the weather calls for?

    In any case, as I see it, the problem you mentioned, that intelligent non-Orthodox Jews might be turned off by distortions of Judaism, is best addressed by people (of every variety of Orthodoxy) promoting themselves to the public in a friendly, open, public-relations savvy way. For the dati leumi, this means Tzohar and Beit Hillel. The Chabad mainstream has already got this down, and for that reason are much more positively viewed by chilonim than are the rest of charedim. Groups like Aish present a pleasant face for the Anglophone non-chassidic frum world. What seems to be missing are constructive public relations efforts from the Israeli chassidic and litvish worlds.

    Lesschumras, I don’t agree with most of Akuperma’s post, but I think it’s clear that WoW do want to take over and impose their views on everyone. They purposely sing as loud as they can so that Orthodox Jewish men can’t pray there. They want to either drive the Orthodox out or force them to change their views on kol isha and feminism more generally. They already have a place they can pray according to their heterodox practices; they want to be able to do all those things in the Orthodox area as well.

    #956196
    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    Women of the Wall is an Oynesh midda k’negged middah for the frum oylem’s insisntence on using awful dikduk and havara b’meyzid l’hachis. As proof I cite the worst of their sins — that they call themselve’ n’shot hakotel instead of n’shei. What in heaven’s name is a n’shot?

    #956198
    writersoul
    Member

    ItcheSrulik- Do they really?

    I thought they were Israeli?!?!?

    That’s really strange…

    #956199
    Sam2
    Participant

    Akuperma: Most of the Reform and Conservative Jews I’ve ever known admit that Orthodoxy is what was always done. They just think that that fact doesn’t matter.

    The Women of the Wall are R’shaim because they want to cause problems and want to “liberate” the Kosel from Orthodoxy. They were given an area, also along the Kosel, where they can wear Tallis and Tefillin without problems. They’re ignoring it. They are making a political statement in order to be Meisis Umeidiach people away from Torah. If they cared about having a Davening that they feel is more meaningful to them, they would go to the area allotted them. That’s not what they are interested in. They are interested in destroying Judaism. V’al Eileh Amru Moridin V’lo Ma’alin.

    #956200
    rebdoniel
    Member

    Much of what we call “Orthodox” is, in fact, a reaction against Reform. Halakha is not Orthodox, and Orthodoxy is not always Orthodox.

    R’ Dr. Daniel Sperber once said in a shiur that the problem is that legitimate innovation within halakha is often shunned because there is a paranoia about appearing like the Masortim, and I tend to agree with him.

    Instead of being fixated on senseless ideological issues, such as attacking women who don the tallit, or attacking those who hold that gelatin is a davar hadash, or who use a shorter birkat hamazon, be glad that there are people trying their best to follow halakha, and encourage the non-observant to explore Jewish texts, prayer, and keeping kosher and shabbos.

    #956201
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    rd: To the extent that you are correct, I think you should give more credence to the idea that it is important to distinguish and differentiate from the apikorsim who try to destroy our religion.

    The paranoia makes sense. And perhaps there is some legitimate innovation that would be allowed but needs to be suppressed because of it.

    As it happens, the threat today is not from reform, but from Sperber himself. The only change he will have on judaism is a further retreat to the right in reaction to, and in paranoia of, him. And his movement, like every other movement that has split to the left, will eventually completely assimilate.

    I’d say there is a better chance of my great-granddaughters wearing teffilin than of his.

    #956202
    Sam2
    Participant

    Rebdoniel: Your last paragraph is not so wrong. However, applying those statements to Women of the Wall is dishonest. That’s not their purpose. I’ve gotten in trouble here before for saying that a woman can wear a Tallis (under certain circumstances). That’s fine. Women are allowed to do Mitzvos Asei Shehazman G’rama if they want. Ashkenazim would make a Brachah. Sefardim wouldn’t. Nothing wrong with that. That’s not what the Women of the Wall want. They want to destroy Yiddishkeit and as such are among the worst of the Mesisim Um’dichim out there. Harayah they have a space, also along the Kosel, where they can wear a Tallis without being arrested (in the past) and without being harassed. They are ignoring that because their goal is to make a scene and “liberate” the Kosel from a Mechitzah and from Yiddishkeit Bichlal. They are R’shaim Gemurim and your sympathy is wasted on them. Instead have sympathy for others who actually care about following actual Halachah.

    #956203
    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    Sam2: You are part of the problem! Reshaim is a masculine plural. FOR SHAME!!

    #956204
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Itch, they’re trying to act masculine.

    #956205
    Avi K
    Participant

    ytz, their shuls have great air conditioning.

    Sam, a tallit is a man’s garment. In any case, te rema says that a woman should not wear tzitziot because it looks like gaava. As for WOW, IMHO they are exhibitionists who are bent on making provocations for political purposesas well as to strike a blow against the Orthodox (their leader is a lcoal politician who represented a left-wing part in the city council as well as a local Reform leader). It could very well be that they arose because of other exhibitionists.

    #956206
    Toi
    Participant

    DY- if they were really sincere, they should grow beards to match.

    #956207
    rafbob123
    Member

    n a world without daas torah, any irrational and marginal ideas may flourish. Any susan can decide what she arrogantly choses is the right path for Judaism, and not content with being wrong herself, she/he needs to drag everyone with her/him down their misguided path, simply to justify her own lifestyle, if you read any dale Carnegie, or know any basic psychology, people always want to feel like they are good people, so if they are holding of a certain idea, it must be the right idea for all, irrespective of how many gedolim disagree.

    There’s no place in real Judaism for people who don’t follow a accepted mesorah. obviously, until someone breaks shulchan oruch though, one cant bash the individual, only the ideology, which I believe the holy rabbis do.

    #956208
    rebdoniel
    Member

    Many WOW members are from the Modern Orthodox community, and my understanding is that they see themselves as part of the “Women Prayer Group” circuit. If they’re not given this attention, and are allowed to do as they wish at the Kotel, I don’t see how that will affect any of us.

    As far as the organization goes, once they stop taking funds from the New Israel Fund and start fighting for the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, I’ll have a less bitter view.

    #956209
    yaakov doe
    Participant

    Two of the Women off the Wall mentioned in a recent magazine article come from a Brooklyn womens prayer group that has been around for about 30 years with little if any growth or acceptance by the larger community. They might be good people, but off the wall perhaps.

    #956210
    Toi
    Participant

    what makes them good people? theyre rishantas.

    #956211
    oomis
    Participant

    Women of the Wall are trying to make a statement of their ideology, which has NOTHING to do with frumkeit. They are misled by charismatic and misguided people.

    If they were truly frum, they would understand the damage they are doing. Also, they should be asked if they are properly following the halachos they have a chiyuv to follow, before trying to follow ones that they don’t. Equality has ZIP to do with that. I am not a doctor and I cannot practice medicine because of that. I am no less a person because of that. Putting on a white coat and holding a pressure cuff will not make me a doctor. Wearing a tallis and tefillin to daven in a place that causes an upheaval, will not make a woman a man, much less a better Jew.

    #956212
    truthsharer
    Member

    So when a lady shakes lulav and esrog, we should stop her and quiz her on her doing all her required mitzvos? People keep confusing WOW with the egalitarian group, they are not the same. WOW have been going to the Kotel for more than 20 years. It is ONLY because of the charedi actions that it suddenly becomes an issue. If you would have left them alone, davening in the woman’s section quietly, nothing would have happened. Instead, you make a big deal out of it, and it will go to the courts and press, suddenly more people will show up in solidarity and the courts will ultimately rule in their favor. You cut off your nose to spite your face.

    lastly, I don’t get why it’s OK to question people’s means or methods of connecting to Hashem. I don’t walk around to all the Nusach Sefard shules and scream out “Kofer” to everyone. I certainly don’t scream that out to shuls that daven Kabbalas Shabbos at the amud as if it is part of the davening.

    #956213
    Toi
    Participant

    oomis-very well said

    #956214
    moi aussi
    Member

    Walled In

    Rabbi Moshe Grylak

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    I have this niggling feeling of cognitive dissonance at their insistence, with such heart-rending mesirus nefesh, on conducting their ceremonies at the Wall. Why pick on the Kosel, of all places, to demonstrate their aspiration to be like men in every way? What did the Kosel ever do to them?

    Do the Women of the Wall share this vision? Do they dream of a rebuilt Beis HaMikdash where they will bring offerings as our ancestors did in ancient times? Do they envision Kohanim slaughtering oxen and lambs as the sacrificial blood flows through the stone conduits around the Altar? Is this what they were praying for on Rosh Chodesh Sivan, when they recited the Musaf prayer amid all the hullabaloo, a prayer that pleads for restoration of the sacrifices?

    Women of the Wall, is this what stirs your hearts? If it is this yearning that drives you, then stop the nonsense and join all the other good Jewish women who pray regularly at the Wall with tears and with joy. But Mesdames, with all due respect, does this kind of prayer really jibe with your sensibilities? Does it harmonize with your individualism, with the liberal philosophy you picked up from a crumbling Western civilization? The Kosel ought to be the last place you would choose as a venue for your prayer gatherings.

    But how can I expect logic or consistency in the religious behaviors of people from communities where, in many instances, even the rabbi asserts disbelief in G?d? Who are they praying to, then? Who knows and who cares? The main thing is that they get to conduct a prayer service.

    Is there anything left to say?

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