After hearing Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg speak at the Sisterhood Annual Dinner, I wanted to learn more about the current status of Women of the Wall.
I contacted her and received a generous and interesting response. But as I was reading that email, I stopped short when she described a photograph she had included as “on the day Anat was arrested.” Reading further, she described the next photograph as “with Nofrat Frenkel, who was arrested for wearing a tallit.”
Arrested. For praying.
Those words are so far outside of the experience of most of us, yet they have been the everyday reality for those women in Jerusalem for the past 14 years. I know these women are just like us in so many ways. Yet, I wonder if I could ever find the courage and resolve they have shown on our behalf.
The link to Women of the Wall is http://womenofthewall.org.il/. I found amazing stories on every page.
Here is Rabbi Ruttenberg’s response to my question about the current status of WOW and how we can help.
“Currently WOW, as of the recent (http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Historic-victory-in-court-for-Women-of-the-Wall-311127) court victory, are permitted to pray at the Wall with tallitot and tefillin. They have not yet read from the sefer Torah at the wall–that’s the next hurdle.
Challenges in the future include a) a challenge to that court victory either through the judicial or legislative branches, which is entirely possible, b) getting to read from the Torah at the Wall, and c) Real possibilities of violence from angry and now defensive ultra-Orthodox Jews.
Financial support is crucial–the battles are definitely not over in the court system, and they will
continue to need help with legal fees and the like.
Also, [get] involved in solidarity movements–such as joining Chicago-area solidarity services, sending in photos for their media campaigns and such.”
For more information (and inspiration!), please access Rabbi Ruttenberg’s links below.
Lisa Millman is a Board Member of the Temple Sholom Sisterhood.