WoMEN of/FOR the Wall

You may or may not be aware of an ongoing struggle between the Orthodox women community and the Reform/Conservative community surrounding the issue of davening at the Kotel. A few hundred Reform/Conservative women who believe that women should be allowed to daven the way that men daven ( by reading from the Torah, putting on tefillin, wearing tallisim and kippot) at the Kotel have joined to create a political movement called “Women OF the Wall”. This group, led by high-paid Reform movement leaders, has been getting a lot of media attention for the past two years. Every Rosh Chodesh, these women come to the Kotel donning tallisim and tefillin in order to make a stand that “women can do whatever men can”. But let’s be real, if the issue you care about is being able to feel close to H-shem in the way that you feel is best, then this group of women would be happy to daven in their designated area called Robinson’s Arch, which is right next to the women’s section at the Kotel.
My issue with Women of the Wall is the fact that they are pegging Judaism to be oppressive and sexist towards women. This group and those who share their beliefs are trying to feel self-empowered, when really all they are saying is that they can only feel “worth-it” if they are doing what men do. In my opinion it sounds pretty disempowering. According to the Torah, everyone has their own personal mission and talents that they are given by H-shem, and we don’t need to be like anyone else in order to fulfill our purpose in this world.
Although I do not share the feminist beliefs, if a woman wants to exercise her right to pray in a certain way, by all means go ahead. But please, do not bring your balagan and your media crews to the holiest sight in the world. The Kotel is meant to be a place of sanctity, and the official law is that prayers at the Kotel must be done in accordance with local custom. While the Women of the Wall have been given the option to pray in their way in their own section, they have denied these offers in order to circulate and keep alive the media attention they are receiving from this. The issue is being used to delegitimize the Torah, and this is not the place or the issue in which to do so.
Let me say that I live in a Charedi community in Jerusalem, and I have NEVER met an oppressed woman. In addition, we never have to do anything. We choose to do the avodah that H-shem tells us He wants in the Torah. Therefore, every Rosh Chodesh in opposition to Women of the Wall, thousands of Charedi women who call ourselves Women FOR the Wall come to the Kotel to simply daven, say tehillim, and leave peacefully in the way that we believe H-shem wants us to. If you feel oppressed as a woman in the non-religious world, by all means do something about it. But please don’t twist your political issues to be a “religious issue”. Orthodox, Jewish women ARE NOT oppressed; there is no need to “liberate” us!
Davening at the Kotel this Friday for Rosh Chodesh Adar will be approximately at 7 am. I hope to be there to stand up for the Torah and the values that have been instilled in our ancestors for over 2000 years.

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