Women of the Wall (WoW)
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- This topic has 165 replies, 34 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 9 months ago by Sam2.
June 12, 2013 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #959075nishtdayngesheftParticipant
I have had the occasion to be at a simcha where one of the WoW founders spoke. She came accross as pompous and unlearned. She had to speak beacuse she fancied herself an important professor.June 12, 2013 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #959076
BTW I happened to have a conversation recently with one of the co-founders of Women of the Wall. She is a very frum and very learned woman whose late husband was a big talmid chacham.
Which of these women (or is it wimmin) had a big talmid chacham husband who condoned Kol Isha singing in front of men?
If not one of these women, then who was the woman? What’s her name and the name of her late husband?
BTW, if this group uses “Nashot” instead of “Nishei” or “Nashim” in their name for the reason posted on their web site,
they ought to call themselves “Wimmin of the Wall” in English, to be consistent.June 12, 2013 5:39 pm at 5:39 pm #959077
Oomis, how is tefillin different than lulav? Women were not commanded to do either. “
A woman can bensch esrog and hold the lulav in privacy in her home and get the mitzvah. If those WOW were doing the same with the Tefillin, I would have nothing to say about them. It is the completely DISRUPTIVE nature of their actions, calculated to SHOW THE WORLD THAT THEY CAN do what they want and pretend it is in the name of spirituality, to which I personally object. I am sorry you cannot see the difference.June 12, 2013 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #959079gavra_at_workParticipant
What compromise would you accept? You already stated that there is a problem with them davening in the woman’s section.
The wimmin could try praying on the mountain. It will make the charaidim look like a picnic in comparison.June 12, 2013 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #959080
The wimmin could try praying on the mountain. It will make the charaidim look like a picnic in comparison.
Good point.June 12, 2013 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #959081
as i stated before, if they were really serious about being as good as men (myin?), they should grow beards to match. stupid nushes.June 12, 2013 6:45 pm at 6:45 pm #959082gavra_at_workParticipant
Even if you would like to claim that the original intention of WoW was acceptable, they are currently well beyond the pale.
For example, their “Halachic article” by Rabbi Monique Susskind Goldberg of the Shechter Institute. Anat Hoffman (chairwoman) is the executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, the legal and advocacy arm of the Reform Movement in Israel. (as per the WoW website). Every member of the board is conservative or reform.June 12, 2013 8:13 pm at 8:13 pm #959083
their home page speaks of liberating the Kosel, for crying out loud. they do not intend to simply ‘daven’ once a month, they want to remove any and all traces of authentic yiddishkeit. how can that not be problematic?June 12, 2013 8:38 pm at 8:38 pm #959084
Shreck, it is not at all obvious what WOW’s motivations are. You seem to be under the impression that “c’mon, anyone can tell!” is an adequately logical argument. It is not. Have you heard of the reflexive property in math? It is the final step of a proof, given as x=x or n=n or some such. What you are giving me is x=x without “showing your work” from the entire proof. This is basic stuff that children learn in grade school.
With regard to those who wish that Women of the Wall would stay home and exercise their understanding of Torah Judaism within their own walls, I will reiterate that if the charedim didn’t make such a fuss, the Rosh Chodesh service on the women’s side would be unremarkable. There is NO issue of kol isha and NO reason why women must pray silently at the Kotel while they are surrounded by noise. Women of the Wall observed Rosh Chodesh at the Kotel for twenty years in peace and quiet, and the group would be happy to return to that paradigm. As long as the mechitza says up– and there is no doubt that it will, no matter what the women want– the men do not have to be concerned with tznius. They should not be paying attention to the women’s side anyway. And, yes, the women may expose their elbows, but they are certainly not trying to attract attention by the way they dress. They are just wearing their normal clothing, which may not meet our standards of modesty, but last I checked there was no tznius police at the entrance to the Kotel. As I said before, I don’t pay attention to what the women wear, but I’m sure they did not show up in bathing suits.
Should the women focus on their obligatory mitzvot before taking on others? Perhaps, but let me point out that they do not meet every day. They only meet on Rosh Chodesh, which is a chag special to women. What this tells me is not that they disdain the woman’s tafkid, but that they want to fulfill it to the greatest degree possible. There may be individual women in the group who take on the men’s chiyuv of davening on a regular basis, but this is not characteristic of the group as a whole.
Finally, I want to point out that the kindest characterization of WOW that I’ve seen on this thread is “misguided”. Some other choice epithets include “wackadoodles”, “crazies”, “garbage spewers”, “nutcases”, “avoda zara worshipers”, “stroking their own egos”, “arrogant”, “conceited”, “ignorant”, and “worse than Moslems”, in addition to a comment that indicated the poster was “sick and tired of hearing about v’ahavta l’rayacha kamocha”.
Please. How are we growing from this? Is it really l’sheim shamayim? Is the lashon hara really l’toeles? Can we criticize others for breaches of tznius while we waste our time with slander and hatred for the purpose of making ourselves feel superior? It is not for us to judge Women of the Wall or anyone else. Only Hashem is the True Judge, and I for one trust Him to do His job.June 12, 2013 8:42 pm at 8:42 pm #959085
Finally, I want to point out that the kindest characterization of WOW that I’ve seen on this thread is “misguided”. Some other choice epithets include “wackadoodles”, “crazies”, “garbage spewers”, “nutcases”, “avoda zara worshipers”, “stroking their own egos”, “arrogant”, “conceited”, “ignorant”, and “worse than Moslems”,
Good point. I am making a machooh about whomever called them only misguided.
It is not for us to judge Women of the Wall or anyone else. Only Hashem is the True Judge, and I for one trust Him to do His job.
Is that a standard you only apply for them? You don’t want to judge people? Good, stop judging me, and the other posters here, and while you’re at it stop judging people who throw garbage at them, and everyone else who does stuff you disagree with.
But I disagree with you. It is absolutely our job in this world to decide what is right and wrong.June 12, 2013 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #959087
jewishfeminist- you clearly havent seen their website. they openly state their priorities of blurring any and all lines of halachah to fit with the suffragette feeling of western society.June 12, 2013 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #959088
It is our job to make judgments of actions and things. It is NOT our job to judge PEOPLE and to call them names. I certainly do not mean to make personal attacks on you or anyone else here, and I apologize for giving that impression.
As I said, I would not dress or behave the way Women of the Wall do. I don’t judge that to be appropriate for me and I wouldn’t judge it to be appropriate for my daughter, whenever Hashem sees fit to give me a daughter. But I firmly believe that Women of the Wall are sincerely motivated, beautiful neshamas, and it hurts me to see them disparaged in this way.June 12, 2013 9:26 pm at 9:26 pm #959089
beautiful neshamos who are making a mistake of astronomical proportions when they claim to be liberating the kosel.June 12, 2013 9:29 pm at 9:29 pm #959090🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
jewishfeminist02- I am named after someone whose mother wore teffilin and tzitzis, and I’m proud of it. She didn’t wear the teffilin and tzitzis to make a statement- she wore it in the privacy of her own home, and I don’t know if people outside her family knew about it. Women of the Wall is an entirely different animal- they’re wearing the teffilin and tzitzis in order to make a political statement about the religious practices of women. Perhaps it enhances their own spirituality, I’m not one to judge on that. It cannot be purely so though, or else they wouldn’t make sure to have photographers photographing them for publicity.June 12, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm #959091
Women of the Wall observed Rosh Chodesh at the Kotel for twenty years in peace and quiet.
Peace and quiet? Then why did they keep getting arrested for breaking the law?
From 1967 to 1989 (the inception of WoW), no one else had a problem with the way Tefila was conducted at the Kosel.
There is NO issue of kol isha and NO reason why women must pray silently at the Kotel while they are surrounded by noise.
Their Kol Isha can be heard quite clearly, which is why they’re being objected to.
Anat Hoffman: “Yes, we want to be seen and heard.”
Is the lashon hara really l’toeles? Can we criticize others for breaches of tznius while we waste our time with slander and hatred for the purpose of making ourselves feel superior?
Protesting a public violation of the Torah, by people who want to make it look Kosher, is not Lashon Hara. The postings here by people who object to what they’re doing are not to make themselves feel superior. They are protesting the public violation of the Torah.June 12, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm #959092
The only photographers I know of are those who show up voluntarily from media outlets to get a good story. There is no evidence that Women of the Wall hires its own photographers, and the suggestion that the group is only doing what they do for attention contradicts 20 years of activity with no publicity whatsoever. If you wanted attention, would you keep doing the same thing for 20 years thinking “maybe this time people will look at me”?June 12, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm #959093
The fact that they do it publically shouldn’t make it worse- when women sit in the sukkah or count sefirah publically, is that a terrible misjudgement and chillul hashem, even if they make a “show” of it?
My shailah is, what is the nafka minah of wearing tzitzis and tefillin versus sitting in a sukkah? After all, they are both mitzvos asei shehazman gerama. If women wish to do these kinds of mitzvos, the Rambam says we are not docheh them and let them do it….June 12, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm #959094Oh Shreck!Participant
OK, it is not at all obvious. Right. And me too, I wasn’t slandering them. Why did you feel the need to defend yourself or them? I’m really not against them. Sure. Show your work…
Kindly read their mission.. their sites.. THEIR FACES!! Sure, not so obvious. Truly high motivations by saying they’re another “perush” to Judaism. Ripping down the mesorah, tznius etc. And the chutzpah of it all to “claim” they’re doing it to come closer to HaShem.
And I was just waiting for that line “It is not for us to judge..”, “Only Hashem..” We are not judging them, we’re not sending them where they belong. We’re just doing what we have to do to keep our place clean. ????? ??? ?????. HaShem tells us to remove evil.
I was waiting for the other line (constantly reiterated by a certain group) “making ourselves feel superior”. NO, NO, and NO. Never. Maybe it’s how you assume our thoughts and feelings to be. For once I’ll call YOU out on that “SHOW YOUR WORK!!” We do what we have to, we go about our avodas HaShem the way handed down generation to generation, heeding our Gedolim. We have no need to “feel superior” to others (any “others”; the earliest xions, misyavnim, tzdukim,…reform,…and the latest “others” of the present modern day). If others see in us a “making ourselves feel superior”, perhaps the mechanism known as guilt / jealousy has been duly activated…
And besides, if they have a “new perush”, why do they choose the kosel built by an orthodox Jew?June 12, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm #959095
rationalfrummie: There is nothing inherently wrong with putting on Tallis and Tefillin in public either. They did it for 20 years and no one bothered them. When they turned it from a religious pursuit to a political one (wanting to “liberate” the Kosel) then lots of people got very upset over it.June 12, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm #959096
If the sole intention of WoW was to come closer to Hashem through davening and being medakdek in doing mitzvos, everyone who attacked this group would owe them a huge apology. HOWEVER, this is not the case.
The leaders of this group constantly make videos, talk to the press, announce things on their website, and talk about themselves to gain publicity. These actions honestly overshadow their performance of mitzvos and stain theim. WoW also causes fighting and controversy. Because of that, while in theory what they do is okay, the WAY in which they do it causes so much problems it would be better if they didnt do the mitzvos at all!June 12, 2013 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm #959097
How are they “evil”? Perhaps you can say they are not flawless in their observance of mitzvot. Okay, but no person, no matter how chashuv, is innocent of that. They are not harming anyone. They want to observe Rosh Chodesh at the Kotel, the site beloved to all Jews, which by the way was built well before such distinctions as “Orthodox” existed in the world.
I remember reading a frum children’s book when I was young with a mashal. I am sorry that I cannot remember the title or author, but I think it was published by ArtScroll or Feldheim. The mashal described a young boy who went to shul with his father on Yom Kippur. As the chazzan davened, he sensed that the prayers of the kehilla were not being accepted by Hashem. He continued to daven with kavanah, tears streaming down his face as the day wore on and nothing changed. Meanwhile, the little boy did not know how to daven and could not even read the Alef Bais. He stared down at the machzor, unable to daven with the kehillah although he desperately wanted to, and eventually when he couldn’t stand it anymore he took a small wooden whistle out of his pocket and blew it. Everyone turned around to stare at him and his father turned bright red and began to chastise him. The chazzan, however, silenced the boy’s father and explained to the kehillah that all day, he had sensed an obstacle and that only the boy’s simple whistle had been able to open the gates of shamayim to the pleas of the kehillah. Yes, the boy in his ignorance had violated a Torah prohibition, but only he had sufficient kavanah and desire for closeness to Hashem to elevate the entire kehillah.June 12, 2013 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm #959098yaakov doeParticipant
Do these WOW wear tallis and tefillin daily in the privacy of their homes, or only at the Kosel for all to see?June 12, 2013 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm #959099
Quote from Article in Yated Ne’eman, 6/12/13:
That’s Hoffman’s true agenda, laid out in a BBC interview.
No publicity, correct?
Orthodox Jews follow the Mesora from Sinai. Others do not.
Great. Let’s have Conservative and Reform “Marriage,” so Jews can marry out of the faith and even someone of the same gender, C”V, if they want to.
Let’s have Conservative and Reform “Divorce,” so we can create a new generation of Aishes Ish who marry a 2nd man while still being married to the 1st man, and a new generation of Mamzerim.
If the Kosel is just a wall, why do WoW need to pray there?
They want to observe Rosh Chodesh at the Kotel, the site beloved to all Jews, which by the way was built well before such distinctions as “Orthodox” existed in the world.
That’s because before the 19th century CE, ALL Jews were Orthodox and followed the Mesora from Sinai. There was no Reform or Conservative “religion,” until Jews who went off the Derech invented them.June 13, 2013 12:12 am at 12:12 am #959100
Quotes from “A Call to Action” by Anat Hoffman:
“Yes, we want to be seen and heard.”
“If you join us, you will see that despite the difficult circumstances, we pray as best as we can at the Western Wall, where our mothers and grandmothers prayed, and we will not be segregated or intimidated.”
Our mothers and grandmothers stood separately from the men and did NOT pray at the Kosel with Talis, Tefilin, and Kol Isha.
Quote from Reform Judaism Magazine, Winter 2008,
Article: “Rebel with a Cause”
“We say that the law should recognize as a Jew anyone born of a Jewish mother OR father (so long as she or he has not converted to another religion), any person who has converted to Judaism by any ordained rabbi, or anyone who has been persecuted because of anti-Semitism.”
Wonderful. Now let’s change the Torah’s definition of who is a born Jew, and who is a Kosher convert.
So all Anat Hoffman wants to do is to pray at the Kosel.
Yeah, right.June 13, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am #959101cinderellaParticipant
Jewish feminist: Your mashal is lovely. It doesn’t exactly make any valid point. What you’re saying is that we should do what we have to do to enhance our connection with Hashem. That’s very nice as long as what you are doing is kosher.
They do not have pure motives. What they are doing is very controversial and their long term goals are not in accordance with halacha.
I think eating pork would greatly enhance my connection with Hashem. But I don’t do that. Because it is assur.June 13, 2013 12:46 am at 12:46 am #959102
feminist: First of all, that story is brought down as an actual Ma’aseh with R’ Nachman of Breslov, not a Mashal. Second of all, there is no D’oraisa involved, only a D’rabannan. Third of all, he was a child.
Look, if these were honestly women who honestly thought that the proper way of Davening was with Tallis and Tefillin and that was what they did, they would be wrong but righteous in their endeavor. I’m not disagreeing with you on that theoretical plane. These Women of the Wall, however, are not doing that. What they are doing is something very bad. And it’s honestly sad for those well-meaning women who put on Taleisos that you conflate the two.
Oh, and Orthodocy existed back then. The distinctions of Reform and Conservative didn’t.June 13, 2013 3:58 am at 3:58 am #959103Oh Shreck!Participant
Thank you all for answering for me. I actually intended to write along those lines too, Sam2, Cinderella, JaneDoe18. How I hate all this fighting…June 13, 2013 4:02 am at 4:02 am #959104
I am making a machooh about whomever called them only misguided. “
Uh, Popa…HELLO…June 13, 2013 8:08 am at 8:08 am #959105
oomis: It was you? I am making a machooh. You are worse than the moslems, lol.June 13, 2013 2:13 pm at 2:13 pm #959106🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipantJune 13, 2013 2:34 pm at 2:34 pm #959108
oomis: It was you? I am making a machooh. You are worse than the moslems, lol. “
I call ’em as I sees ’em… (and boo hoo…)June 13, 2013 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #959109
feminist- you conveniently didnt answer anything i posed to you from their website. shall we call you anat?June 13, 2013 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #959110
I conveniently have a life of my own, including a husband (as of two weeks ago) and an important meeting at work today. I will answer later if I have time.
And at least “Anat” is better than “darling”, though of course it is not my name, and it should be clear from my posts that I am not Reform.June 13, 2013 5:35 pm at 5:35 pm #959111SoftyMember
fem, do you still wear a yarmulka?June 13, 2013 5:48 pm at 5:48 pm #959112
Since I can’t post a link,
check out on YouTube, the Video of the BBC Interview:
“Anat Hoffman, Rabbis Jeremy Gordon & Moshe Freedman debate Women of the Wall and who owns Judaism”
Feb 12, 2013 – 8 minutes long.
At 1:30, Anat – “We shouldn’t mix Normalcy and Orthodoxy. They both end with a “Y,” but they’re not the same concept.”
At 2:25, Anat, wearing a WoW Talit – “This is Normalcy.”
News flash! Orthodoxy, as defined by the Torah, and which has existed for the last 3,325 years since the Torah was given, and whose Mesora has been passed down through the Jewish generations and has been practiced by the Jews until today, is not normal.
Great. She’s going to define for the Orthodox, what is normal.
At 3:18, Interviewer – “So your aims are broader than simply what happens at the Western Wall.”
At 6:40, Anat – “We’re going to be there on the 25th of February for Purim. We’ll be reading Megila, the book of Esther, a book where a woman is the leader, a woman who wasn’t hesitant to speak out.”
The leader was a Femail? What happened to Mordechai?
Did he disappear?
Oh, I forgot. He was a man. Or was he a “myn” ?
Anyway, he wasn’t important.June 13, 2013 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #959113
No, I do not. I cover my hair with shaitels, hats, and tichels now.June 13, 2013 6:14 pm at 6:14 pm #959114SoftyMember
You wore them until two weeks ago?June 13, 2013 6:17 pm at 6:17 pm #959116
No, I stopped wearing yarmulkes around Pesach of 2010.June 13, 2013 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #959117
From Megilas Esther, Chapter 4:
Mordechai told him (Hasach) of all that had happened to him, and all about the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay to the royal treasuries for the annihilation of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the text of the decree which was distributed in Shushan for their destruction – so that he might show it to Esther and inform her, bidding her to go to the King, to appeal to him, and to plead with him for her people.
Hasach came and told Esther what Mordchai had said.
Then Esther told Hasach to return to Mordechai with this message:
“All the King’s servants and the people of the King’s provinces are well aware that if anyone, man or woman, approaches the King in the inner court without being summoned, there is but one law for him – that he be put to death – except for the person to whom the King shall extend the gold scepter, so that he may live. Now I have not been summoned to come to the King for the past 30 days.”
They related Esther’s words to Mordechai.
Then Mordechai said to reply to Esther:
“Do not imagine that you will be able to escape in the King’s palace any more than the rest of the Jews. For if you persist in keeping silent at a time like this, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from some other place, while you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether it was just for such a time as this that you attained the royal position!”
Mordechai who?June 13, 2013 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #959119
The Torah was given in the year 2448 after Hashem created the world.
The Reform “religion” was invented approximately in the 19th Century CE, which would correspond approximately to the year 5560 after Hashem created the world.
So, my fellow Orthodox Jews –
Until the year 5560, for about 3112 years:
All of our Jewish ancestors were living an abnormal life (as defined by Anat Hoffman in her interview with the BBC), by following the Orthodox lifestyle as defined by the Torah, which Hashem gave to us. They had no other lifestyles to choose from.
How they must have suffered, living such an abnormal life.
How did they survive it?June 13, 2013 7:07 pm at 7:07 pm #959120truthsharerMember
Major logical fallacy.
BTW, when was Orthodoxy invented?
Are you really, 100%, positvely sure that the religion we practice today has been the same way for thousands of years?June 13, 2013 7:21 pm at 7:21 pm #959121zahavasdadParticipant
How they must have suffered, living such an abnormal life.
How did they survive it?
Unfortunatly many did not
Many jews either were killed in events such as the Crusades or Chemneski
Many jews were expelled from their homes Like the Spanish Iqusition
And many jews just converted to other relgions (In Portugal there was no choice to emigrate in 1497, you just had to convert)
I think I heard somewhere that approximately 25% of Spanish people (People in Spanin) are decended from JewsJune 13, 2013 7:28 pm at 7:28 pm #959122
zdad- and if theyd simply worn talleisim, the drunk peasants wouldve laid down their pitchforks…June 13, 2013 7:49 pm at 7:49 pm #959123
So the Orthodox lifestyle that Hashem gave us at Sinai was abnormal?
What was done to the Jews by the non-Jews was abnormal,
NOT the Jews’ lifestyle.
B”H the Jews have survived by the Torah and are going strong –
even without wearing a WoW Talit.June 13, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm #959124rebdonielMember
It is clear that a woman can don tallet and tefillin. However, for a woman to make a braha on things she isn’t obligated in is dangerous and halakhically faulty because it implies equal obligation.
Women are not obligated equally, and WOW is primarily made of non-Orthodox women who are seeking to impose an ideology which isn’t even welcome by many Israelis.
They are also funded by the New Israel Fund, the same crowd that finances all sorts of Arab initiatives, anti-Israel programs, pro-Rabin commemorations, etc. This in and of itself indicates that this is a political stunt which can very well be undertaken in order to weaken Diasporan-Israeli ties.
When will WOW fight for the right of all Jews and other faithful non-Muslims to daven on Har haBayit?June 14, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am #959125
RD: I wouldn’t say it’s clear that they can. I would say it’s clear that those who want to have what to rely upon. Your Brachah thing is only true of Sefardim, and even then not for that reason.June 14, 2013 4:21 am at 4:21 am #959126☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
because it implies equal obligation.
It’s got nothing to do with equality, but saying “v’tzivanu” when not obligated is a matter of debate among the Rishonim.June 14, 2013 2:42 pm at 2:42 pm #959127rebdonielMember
It does when being done by WOW feminists, DY.June 14, 2013 8:11 pm at 8:11 pm #959128
Sam2: To the best of my knowledge, there is no machloket whether women are ALLOWED to do mitzvos asei shehazman gerama. Rambam is clear in Hilchos Tzitzis that they can perform these mitzvos and we shouldn’t discourage them. The Mechaber in Orach Chaim by hilchos tzitzis says the same thing, but adds that women shouldn’t make berachos. The Rema over there says they do.June 14, 2013 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #959129
frummie: The Mechaber says that women shouldn’t wear Tefillin. Also see Tosfos Eruvin 96a.
There are Poskim who hold that a Tallis Gadol as we wear today could be a Begged Ish issue.
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