Kosel Rav: There Will be No Negotiations Regarding the Kosel

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rab.jpgWhile secularists view the Kosel as a national treasure, an asset that belongs to “all Jews”, frum and non-frum alike, their representatives wish to enter into talks with Israel’s Chief Rabbi of Holy Site HaRav Shmuel Rabinowitz Shlita, hoping to arrive at an agreement that will accommodate their secular lifestyle at the Kosel.

The Rav told the secularists that perhaps he erred in some of his statements, “and if that is the case I am correcting myself. There will not be any negotiations regarding the Kosel”.

Jerusalem Councilwoman (Yerushalayim Party) Rachel Azarya is leading the battle against the ‘chareidiazation’ of the Kosel, and in addition to protests, she is attempting to enter into a dialogue with Rav Rabinowitz.

Azarya explains she is aware of the Kosel’s special status, and the need to maintain its religious character, but she and her supporters object to recent policy decisions made by R’ Rabinowitz, including the cancelation of a Jewish Agency ceremony at the Kosel in October because it was a mixed gender event and the extending of the mechitza to the upper promenade area.

R’ Rabinowitz is quoted as explaining that he may have erroneously indicated in the past that there is room for compromise, but he will not compromise on halacha and he will remain true to the current Jewish character of the Kosel, despite attacks from secularist and chareidim alike.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


19 COMMENTS

  1. The Rav should should tell the Jerusalem councilwoman that after she institutes mixed praying in the mosques on Har HaBayit she should come back to talk to him about the issue at the Kotel.

  2. I respect and even support chareidi interests at the Kotel. Thier ubiquity there earns them enhanced status. But the Chareidim should be careful here. After all, it is the secular government that funds the Kotel’s upkeep.

  3. The chareidim don’t need any government help in the Kotel’s upkeep. G-d takes care of the Kotel. It’s been around longer than the current secular government and G-d willing will last longer too.

  4. BS”D

    The Kosel should be de-Zionized and maintained by a charedi rabbinical council, paid for just as much of the Kosel (sifrei Torah, seats, renovations) is already paid for with donations from abroad.

  5. BS”D

    I wanted to clarify my statement by adding that should the zionist state consider any arrangement where the Kosel would be under Arab or international control (not all that far fetched), independent Torah true management would protect true Jewish interests.

  6. So – “secularists view the Kosel as a national treasure”???
    Really??? Why? What was it, that it should be “treasured”?
    Obviously, it was the Beit HaMikdash, HASH-M’s house, the place that avoda to HaSh-m was done, and will be done again.
    The Kotel is NOT Masada, NOT Givat HaTachmoshet, NOT Latrun! These places and others all have legitimate national importance, and are worthy of being visited and reverenced, BUT the Kotel is by definition the very essence of a Makom Kadosh, a holy site, a religious site, and infinitely more than ONLY a national site.
    The “women of the wall” that are the chief instigators of trouble at the Kotel remind me of an old joke…
    What’s the difference between “reform” Jews and “conservative” Jews?
    Answer: Every morning the “reform” don’t go to a “reform shul” to daven, and the “conservative” don’t go to a “conservative shul” to daven.
    The point is that these women are not interested in praying (they’re not even interested in observing Shabbat k’halacha or observing taharat hamishpacha) they ARE interested in disrespecting da’as Torah and making trouble.

  7. In response to 4 and 5, your propose to take over title to the Kotel eh? Just for discussion sake, how much would the Chareidi community be willing to pay fort he real estate? Right now, the Kotel and its environs belong to the state. The State tries to accomodate Chareidi interests there, even to the exclusion of others, while still trying to insure public access to the site; a tough job. To make the Kotel a chareidi site, administered according to Chareidi standards, the chareidi have to actually own it. So how much would the chareidim be willing to pay? While the site is really priceless, I’d suggest $20 billion as a fair price.

  8. When push comes to shove, we get shoved. The more visible the Hareidim get, the more the Zionists will shove. Their soldiers captured the kosel, and the continuation of a zionist state is based on their army. They feel that they are the fiddler, and they want to call the tune. Unless we are able to defeat the zionists military (something we would be unwilling to even consider, though some of the religious zionists flirt with idea of taking up arms against the hilonim) we are stuck.

  9. No. 8 Need I remind you that it was the Zionists who recently arrested Nofrat Fraenkel for violating a law regarding conduct at the Kotel that the Zionists enacted for the sole purpose of respecting Chareidi sensibilities there? Stop playing the role of hapless victim. The state is on your side on this one. The Chareidim would be wise to think about what they should do to maintain that support, and not squander it.

  10. The possuk says, “KI LO DOVOR REK HU MIKKEM, KI HU CHAYAICHEM”. The Chofetz Chaim says, that a cup is a cup weather full or empty. Not so a Jew. When he is full of Torah then he is a Jew, but when he is empty he is a nobody. Ki lo davar rek hu mikkem, the Torah is not something that you can be empty of, Why?, KI HU CHAYEICHEM! it is your life source. If these people are without Torah, then they are nobodies. We don’t listen to nobodies!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Rav Rabinowitz has been trying to extend what the status of the area set aside for davening at the Kotel to the more general plaza that is beyond the Mechitza. While this may be viewed by some as an admirable goal, the vast majority of Israelis see this as a change to the “status quo” of the plaza area, and do not want this to happen. One point that Chareidim should take into account is that “status quo” arguements cut both ways – the same way the Chareidi community does not want changes that decrease the religious aspects of life in Israel, non-Chareidim do not want changes that increase the religious character of life at their expense.

    an Israeli Yid

  12. BS”D

    The Kosel and its environs belong to the Jewish people and the state is not a kosher or worthwhile guardian. The Kosel was given to the state by Divine miracle and the state does not recognize that. In addition, its action in 1967 in allowing the Waqf rights on HarHaBayis endangers worshippers at the Kosel to this day.

    No sale price, but rather a transfer of rights to a “Kosel Development and Maintenance Company,” which is what Kollek OLBM wanted to do with parts of the Old City for very different reasons, is all that is due.

    That company would then pay the IDF or any security contractor of its choice for security (might be a good way to employ some really rough shababnikim to the benefit of all), and would be responsible for all maintenance while enforcing proper rules.

    Desecration of its territory would result only in forced removal from said territory and possible blacklisting, not any sort of arrest.

  13. The Kosel DOES belong to all Jews, frum and non-frum alike. It’s just that some of the non-frum Jews are ignorant as to how to view the Kosel, but want to push their preferences, causing a desecration, unbeknownst to them.

  14. Please before you change the kosel please go up to the dome of the rock and try to mix and pray there see who comes out alive. Get a life and leave the kosel to people who it means something

  15. This is #3 posting again; I don’t know why my username doesn’t show.

    #8-I’m sure you didn’t mean to sound like this, just want to point out something you said: “Their soldiers…their army”. They’re Jewish. It’s our soldiers.

    #10- Nebech, they don’t have Torah, but they aren’t nobodies. They’re Jewish. I’m not from a family of nobodies.

    We have a chiyuv to protest against a chillul Hashem, but it’s a chillul Hashem to protest against our brothers.

  16. According to A600KiloBear, the Kotel should be turned over to a sort of “Hareidi Trust”, which could then manage it. And anyone who violated Hareidi standards of behavior “would result only in forced removal from said territory and possible blacklisting”.

    I understand why that might seem appealing to the Hareidi population; the difficulty lies in convincing the rest of us (90%) why we would ever wish to do that.

    I wonder which Hareidi authority would be a better guardian than the State. So far, I have not seen any…….

  17. with all due respect to some of the commentators here…the kotel may very well belong to the jewish people, but it is because of the very same secular state which you constantly rant against that you are not subject to sniper fire when you want to pray there. it goes without saying that the site, as a very holy place, deserves proper behavior in accordance with halachah, but we should not neglect to show our appreciation to those who allow us to pray there without fear. many here seem to think it fashionable to hate on the zionists, seeming to forget that they are the ones who repopulated this country, rebuilt it from the ashes, regrew acres upon acres of grain, fruits and vegetables. does it really matter that they were not acting for the sake of Heaven? Mi’Toch Shelo Lishma, Ba Lishma. think of it this way…frum jews understood the true value of Eretz Yisroel and yet they chose to stay in Europe, in the ghetto. if anything, the very existence of a secular Jewish state is an indictment of the religious Jewish people.