As Elul approaches, the Women of the Wall (WoW) organization is capitalizing on their newly-found momentum, the increased chareidi concern with their presence at the Kosel on rosh chodesh. This month the women vow to defy another law as they plan to blow a shofar at the Kosel to as a “Call to Stand Up Against Bullying and Injustice at the Western Wall” as the organization’s media release puts it.
This coming Wednesday, 1 Elul 5773 at 7AM WoW will gather for their monthly service at the Kosel. This month they plan to add shofar blowing to the agenda.
WoW officials point out that “Last month, police held Women of the Wall enclosed in an area far from the Kosel, next to the bathrooms, for the duration of the service. During this time, police allowed men and women to protest with signs, whistles (both illegal at the Kotel) and verbally assault the women who prayed. One year ago, on Rosh Chodesh Elul 2012, as Women of the Wall chair Anat Hoffman went to blow shofar, a police officer took the Jewish traditional ram’s horn from her lips, denying the women of the right to hear the call of the shofar. In April 2013 a Jerusalem District Court judgment guaranteed all women the right to free prayer at the Western Wall. This decision was supported by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni. Despite this important court decision, women are refused access to a Torah scroll in the women’ section of the Kotel, still today.”
This month, the organization will be running buses from cities around Israel in the hope of significantly increasing the turnout.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)