Chief Wall Rabbi: My Wall or the Highway

First let us listen to the rabbi. Then we comment. From Israel Today:
The Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinowitz, said on Monday that those who conduct services not in line with Orthodox customs should not pray anywhere along the length of the Jewish holy site.

Rabinowitz was referring particularly to Conservative and Reform customs where men and women have equal roles and pray together.

The movement has free access to the southern tip of the southern wall, which is known as Robinson’s Arch, for morning, Sabbath and holiday prayers. Non-Orthodox prayer sessions have been held for the past seven years at Robinson's Arch, inside an archeological park at the southern tip of the wall.

“Whoever wants to celebrate a Bar Mitzvah, but does not want to do it according to Jewish custom, should go elsewhere,” said Rabinowitz. “It makes me sad that there are people who do not want to respect the Kotel (Western Wall) as a place of unity and togetherness for the entire Jewish people.”

The Conservative movement has slight liturgical changes in their prayers, but the main area of concern is its lack of gender separation.

“The Fund for the Traditions of the Kotel provides guides who can help families celebrate a Bar Mitzvah in accordance with tradition or put on tefillin (phylacteries) or read a Torah scroll,” said Rabinowitz. “Many Reform and Conservative families use our services.”

So he says, "Pray our way or do not come." Then he says, "Have a bar mitzvah our way or go elsewhere."

But wait, there is more. Then he says, “It makes me sad that there are people who do not want to respect the Kotel (Western Wall) as a place of unity and togetherness for the entire Jewish people.”

Well Rabbi! Listen to yourself. Unity and togetherness, my foot. You keep shooing away the non-Orthodox - 90% of the Jewish people.


Anonymous said...

This is news? This has been the situation at the wall for decades, and you're kvetching now?

Would you be open to messianic Jews bringing huge crosses to the Wall during shacharis? If not, why not?

Tzvee Zahavy said...

I'm not at the wall. I'm in New Jersey.

Why not? Is that what you think of Conservative and Reform Judaism? They are the same as Jews for Jesus? Nothing more to discuss then.

Anonymous said...

Please don't put words into my mouth. I said, nor thought, nothing of the sort. You however, avoided my question.

Tzvee Zahavy said...

you put the words in your mouth yourself - i talk about Conservative Jews and you invoke Jews for Jesus and I speak of reality - you invent imaginary issues.

The chief wall rabbi has disrespected 90% of the world's JEWS. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

I apologize to all 4 of your readers who thought I intended to connect messianics with Reform and Conservative Jews.

But the issue of which I speak is not an imaginary issue.


So, if you would answer my original question, that would be nice.