Target: Jewish Leader Natan Sharansky
Goal: Allow jewish women’s rights activists to pray at the Western Wall
Jewish women activists in Israel were recently blocked from praying at the Western Wall. The police held the women back from the wall for their protection. Extreme Orthodox protesters were throwing eggs and cursing at the group before the police led them away. Israeli women have every right to pray at the Western Wall, please show them your support by signing this petition.
Several thousand extreme Orthodox protesters stopped the Jewish women activists who campaign for equal rights from holding their monthly prayer session at the Western Wall. In order to protect the activists, Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said that they were escorted to a location near the Western Wall in order to prevent any incidents from occurring.
In April, courts decreed that women could don the prayer shawls which Orthodox ritual states are for men only. The spokeswoman for the Jewish Women Activists suggests that being blocked from the Western Wall for the first time in 25 years is a major setback from that recent triumph for female equality in religion.
At the Western Wall, women pray in a section that is designated specifically for them and separate from the men. What the women want is to be allowed to practice the same rituals the Orthodox men do in their section of the wall. This includes wearing the prayer shawl, reading from the Torah, and reciting scriptures.
Some members of the Israeli government are looking for a compromise between the Women of the Wall and the extreme Orthodox Jews.
While what the Women of the Wall are calling for is undoubtedly a change in traditional practices, they cannot be prevented from approaching the Western Wall for prayer. They have a right to pray and express their views. Therefore, a law should be passed in Israel that grants equal worshipping rights at the wall to every gender, making it illegal to hinder or otherwise prevent them from exercising their religious rights as citizens of Israel.
Dear Natan Sharansky,
You have been appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to think of a peaceful compromise between the Women of the Wall activists and the extreme Orthodox citizens of Israel. This will likely be very difficult since the activists want change, and the extreme Orthodox group wants things to remain stagnant. As Orthodox rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz said, “The Western Wall should be a unifying site. Everyone needs to give in a little.”
A law does not need to be passed stating that Women of the Wall have the right to do what they choose to and no one should protest. That would also be wrong. However, the protesters prevented the activists from exercising their month’s prayer and that was a step too far.
Please grant both genders, men and women alike, the right to pray at the Western Wall without hindrance and the right to campaign for change if they feel it necessary to do so.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: David Shankbone via Wiki Commons