Attacking Women of the Wall (WOW) has nothing to do with Judaism.
Similarly, rioting on the Temple Mount has nothing to do with Islam.
Spitting, screaming and blowing loud whistles at the Kotel are the ultimate disrespect towards our holy site. This behavior is very unJewish indeed. Jews do this to WOW regularly…
The Women of the Wall come together to pray in the women’s section of the Kotel. They are there for Rosh Chodesh and all religious holidays. There is nothing in the Torah to prohibit women from praying. These women also have a Torah scroll. There is nothing in the Torah to prohibit women from reading Torah or possessing one. Despite this, both the non-religious Jews and the ultra religious Jews show hate and venom towards these women who by all accounts are simply observant Jews.
In Reform, we believe that all of us were given the Torah. We were a “mixed multitude” at Sinai. The Torah wasn’t just given to men, but to women, children, elderly, disabled, gay straight, skinny, fat, dark skinned, light skinned, etc. We always have been and shall remain a mixed multitude. There is nothing homogenized about Judaism. Non-Reform Jews hate WOW and accuse them of an agenda that does not exist. Non-Reform Jews are threatened by a very simple difference: Reform Jews include women in ritual practice.
It would be wise to remind all Jewry that all of our ancestors stood together at Sinai. Israel is the Jewish State for world Jewry, not just Orthodox. Israel exists not as a “right” for Jews, but because she has a responsibility to provide a place for all of us.
When Orthodox Jews tell Reform Jews they are not Jewish I want to do the following: I want to take them to Yad Vashem and access the database. I would ask the Orthodox person to put in his family name and location during the Shoah. They would see their family listed and where they were deported, along with the date of their extermination. Next, I would type in my family name, our location and show them where we were deported and our date of extermination. Perhaps sitting there in front of the computer, next to me, they would absorb the severity of their ways and just maybe they would catch a glimpse of why there is no upside to despising us, telling us we are not Jewish and acting hateful.
Members of WOW have been threatened with physical harm and even death. Graffiti, hate mail, throwing rocks and accusations of hating Israel are just a few of the abominations committed by fellow Jews against them.
The police nor security does their job to protect WOW nor maintain order at the Kotel when these hateful outbursts erupt. The duty to serve the public and protect human beings from bodily harm is ignored. The slander and libel against members of WOW is promulgated on social media, news outlets and gossip circles.
This is not only being tolerated, but encouraged and Jews of all types are participating in this despicable behavior.
When will Jews realize that the in-fighting and making enemies of our own brothers and sisters has never once in all of our history served us well?
This is not an opinion piece. This is not my attempt to tell other Jews that they cannot have their own opinions about WOW. This is about me calling out and shaming every Jew who ACTS on their opinions with hate, aggression, physical harm and tormenting these women publicly at our holy site, the Kotel.
This Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I call upon every Jew who has participated in the spreading of gossip, slander, hate, demeaning the lives and harming these women to search their souls. That is all I am asking. Humble yourselves, drop your egos and ask yourself if your comportment is acceptable behavior as a Jew. Sure, you can still despise them for wanting the option for families to pray together- because apparently that threatens you. You can bitch about them on your Facebook page and you can continue to assert all sorts of extrapolations and read all kinds of complex agendas into their efforts. You can continue to make shit up about them and declare publicly how you feel about them. Yet, at the end of the day we are all Jews.
There are people in the world that would kill all of us tomorrow and they don’t give a damn about egalitarianism. I hope your opinions; feelings and dogma keep you warm at night, safe in your houses and at peace within.
Chag Sameach. Shana tova.