A new twist was added to the monthly provocation of the Women of the Wall group on Tuesday as the newly elected Reform Rabbi MK took advantage of his parliamentary immunity to bring a Sefer Torah into the Kosel plaza, which is against Israeli law.
MK Gilad Kariv (Labor) caused an uproar by the Kosel on Tuesday morning on Rosh Chodesh Iyar by hiding a Sefer Torah in his bag for the Women of the Wall group and refusing to allow the guard at the entrance to search his belongings.
Kariv then proceeded to read from the Torah for the members of the Women of the Wall in a gathering at the upper plaza of the Kosel.
ח"כ גלעד קריב מניף את ספר התורה במהלך תפילת נשות הכותל, הנשים שרות איתו, הפעילים נגדו שרים "עמלק תסתלק" והמאבטחים כורזים לו לחדול pic.twitter.com/hq2XKFOmfe
— שחר גליק (@glick_sh) April 13, 2021
UTJ chairman Moshe Gafni slammed Kariv, saying: “Gilad Kariv is a well-known troublemaker from long ago and is now bringing down the Knesset to the lowest of the low, while taking advantage of his immunity in order to harm the Jewish nation around the world for generations.”
Israeli journalist Aryeh Erlich wrote: “Reform ‘Jewry,’ the ones that erased all the tefillos regarding Tzion and Yerushalayim, uprooted the yearning for the Beis Hamikdash, and with that the avodas ha’karbanos (the essence of Tefillas Rosh Chodesh) – insist on a Sefer Torah at the remnant of the Beis Hamikdash in order to recite “ובראשי חודשיכם תקריבו עולה להשם’? Stam provocateurs violating the law and mocking tradition.”
The Shas party also condemned Kariv, stating: “MK Gilad Kariv violated the instructions of the Attorney General solely to instigate a provocation at the Kosel, a despicable act that should be thoroughly condemned. Kariv and his group have absolutely no connection to the Kosel. They don’t believe in the Beis Hamikdash and only want to spur incitement and division.”
אני גאה להשתמש בחסינות שלי על מנת לשאת בכותל את ספר התורה של נשות הכותל, ומתבייש בכך שרשויות שלטון עסוקות בניסיון להחרים ספרי תורה ולמנוע מנשים להתפלל ולקרוא בתורה כמנהגן.
גם הבוקר חשוב להזכיר, ישנו צד אחד שהסכים לפשרת הכותל ההיסטורית וצד שני שסיכל אותה בדורסנות. נחשו מי באיזה צד pic.twitter.com/Cgo6CkweVB
— גלעד קריב (@KarivGilad) April 13, 2021
“MK Kariv arrived at the Kosel plaza together with 20 women of Women of the Wall,” the Western Wall Heritage Foundation stated. “Despite the fact that he was fully aware that the incident would violate public order in a highly sensitive place and the matter is in violation of the rules of the Kosel – and he was even given a letter from the Justice Ministry noting his prohibited actions – he, unfortunately, ignored these issues and continued his provocative behavior.”
MK Rabbi Gilad Kariv used his parliamentary immunity to bring the @Womenofthewall #Torah scroll into the #WesternWall Plaza this morning Rosh Hodesh Iyar [photo: WOW FB] @KarivGilad #Israel #Kotel pic.twitter.com/nHqdNrfMNF
— Religion and State (@religion_state) April 13, 2021
“Through this step, Kariv renewed the disturbances that occurred at the Kosel in the past but has quieted down in the past year thanks to the Foundation’s efforts to create unity at the Kosel plaza in general and during Rosh Chodesh tefillos in particular.”
“The Women of the Wall also engaged in provocative behavior and desecrated the kedushas hamakom by joining Kariv at the upper plaza while provoking the mispallelim.”
“It’s a great pity that MK Kariv of the Reform movement is taking advantage of his immunity in order to transgress the law and harm the thousands of mispallelim who visit the Kosel, only in order to create a provocation for a group of extremists who have failed to gain public sympathy after 30 years,” said Oren Honig of Mercaz Liba, an organization dedicated to preserving the Jewish identity of the state of Israel.
“We hope that our elected representatives wake up and put an end to this farce and preserve the kedusha and sheleimus of the Kosel.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)