Letters

The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Re­gard­ing the weekly Ju­daism col­umn writ­ten by Shmuel Rabi­nowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites: It up­sets me greatly to see his name ap­pear each week, teach­ing To­rah to the read­ers. For a while, I stopped buy­ing The Jerusalem Post, and when I do, I can’t bear to read his col­umn. On Oc­to­ber 12, the quote, in large letters, caught my eye: “Any per­son of any race, re­li­gion or gen­der is holy, and harm to him or her is de­fil­ing the sa­cred.”

Rabi­nowitz, chair­man of the Western Wall Her­itage Foun­da­tion, dele­git­imizes Women of the Wall, their way of pray­ing and, in­deed, their sin­cere in­ten­tion for prayer. So a state­ment like that is cyn­i­cal and hyp­o­crit­i­cal. Each Rosh Hodesh, he does not stop the provo­ca­tions against Women of the Wall; his staff of ush­ers stands around, some­times tak­ing pic­tures and videos.

Young girls, women of all ages, and men from their side of the di­vider shout, curse and blow whis­tles through­out the ser­vice. Af­ter the ser­vice, we are es­corted out by the po­lice, as many peo­ple seek to harm us. A few months ago, I alerted the po­lice to a boy who took out a Swiss Army knife. The harm to Women of the Wall isn’t the only dam­age; en­cour­ag­ing young girls (and boys) to skip school for the “value” of in­still­ing ha­tred is even more harm­ful to those im­pres­sion­able minds.

When men in power are con­fronted by strong women who chal­lenge their view­point, cred­i­bil­ity or abuse of power, those men use var­i­ous means to try to dele­git­imize those women; ac­cu­sa­tion of cre­at­ing con­fronta­tion is but one of many. Those men’s judg­ment is ac­cord­ing to their ego­cen­tric world­view. (“Women want­ing to pray in a women’s quo­rum couldn’t pos­si­bly be sin­cere; they just want at­ten­tion.”)

Women of the Wall has been pray­ing at the Ko­tel on Rosh Hodesh at 7 a.m. for the last 30 years. To say that its mem­bers arise early in the morn­ing each month for 30 years just to cause provo­ca­tion is ab­surd.

Dele­git­imiza­tion is a pa­thetic sub­sti­tu­tion for le­git­i­mate dis­course. I hope our so­ci­ety does bet­ter, for all of our sakes. LINDA AVITAN Re­hovot The writer is co-chair­woman of Con­gre­ga­tion Adat Shalom-Emanuel.

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