Shas is moving ahead with legislation that would make it illegal to hold mixed-gender prayer services in the Kosel area, including areas that aren’t designated for tefilos. The legislation would also prohibit women from wearing tallis and tefilin, as well as conducting any religious ceremonies that aren’t in line with traditional prayers seen over the years.
For Shas, the legislation is a deal breaker and party leaders expect the legislation to be presented to the Ministerial Law Committee on Sunday, 2 Shevat. Shas feels that coalition discipline will compel partners in the government to support the bill, pointing out it backed taxing a third apartment and banning the muezzin bill in line with coalition wishes and now, it expects to see the loyalty returned.
Only practices approved by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel will be permitted at the Kosel and surrounding plaza, seeking to bury the concept of an egalitarian prayer area.
As the battle continues, the legal advisor of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, Harel Goldberg, will on erev Shabbos tell Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel does not have jurisdiction to rule on the matter, which is on the High Court’s docket for next week. Goldberg basis his expert opinion on British Mandate period law that has never been repealed.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)