From Rabbi Krauss

Have you heard about the “Women of the Wall?” Since 1988 a number of women in Israel have gathered at the Western Wall on Rosh Chodesh (beginning of the Jewish month) to express their deep attachment to Judaism by wearing Talitot, teffilin and carrying Torah scrolls. Rosh Chodesh for thousands of years has been a holiday for women in recognition of their unwillingness to contribute toward the Golden Calf dancing the Exodus.

Now, the Western Wall is essentially an Orthodox Synagogue. The women of the Wall have experienced all sorts of negative reactions from other attendees at the Wall and are distinctly unwelcome from the Orthodox authorities.

They did finally receive support in 1996. A proposal was made to use the area called Robinson’s Arch, a less than exciting offer. That area was never made useful. Sadly, Prime Minster Netanyahu did not honor a proposal of the Jewish agency to provide a permanent place for the women of the wall. Netanyahu was tied to Orthodox political parties in order to keep his position.

Whereas most affiliated Jews in North America are Conservative or Reform that is not the case in Israel. Today, most of the western wall devotees are Orthodox.

The question remains unsolved to this day. The women of the wall and their supporters will continue to assemble on Rosh Chodesh while opposition to them will continue.