Western Wall opens temporary egalitarian section for the public
On its first day, the new section called “Ezrat Yisrael,” hosted 6 bar mitzvahs & weddings.
Bennett says he doesn’t want any controversy surrounding the temporary area, ahead of the Jewish High Holy Days.
By Yori Yalon & Israel Hayom Staff
On Thursday, Jerusalem’s new temporary egalitarian section at the Western Wall was opened to the public.
Women of the Wall praying at the Western Wall [Archive] – Photo: AP
The provisional space, temporary until the government builds a permanent structure designed for non-Orthodox Jewish streams at the Western Wall, is at the Robinson’s Arch area adjacent to the Western Wall Plaza. The purpose of this area is to allow prayer groups to gather at the Western Wall without enforced gender separation.
On its first day, the Ezrat Yisrael egalitarian space hosted six bar mitzvahs and weddings, where men and women prayed together without a barrier separating the genders.
Religious Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett earlier said he did not want controversy surrounding the temporary structure, a raised platform that does not reach all the way to the wall, before the High Holy Days.
Women of the Wall, a feminist group that has long fought for egalitarian and pluralistic access at the Western Wall Plaza, has come out against the temporary space, saying it fails to provide a viable alternative, especially because it does not extend to the ancient limestone blocks of the Western Wall, Jerusalem’s iconic Jewish holy site.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=11705