Women denied equal access to Western Wal
Find a Conversation
|Mon, 04-07-2003 - 7:04pm|
COX NEWS SERVICE
JERUSALEM -- The Israeli Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling yesterday, rejected an attempt by a Jewish women's group to gain equal access to the Western Wall, a site visited by millions of Jews from around the world.
The decision comes after a 14-year campaign by Women of The Wall, a group founded in 1989 by U.S. and Israeli women who were harassed after trying to pray at the Western Wall. The wall is the only remaining section of the temple destroyed by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago.
Currently, women are restricted to a women's section of the Western Wall, where they cannot pray aloud, read from the Torah or wear a prayer shawl. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders say only men are allowed to perform such rituals.
The judges said that allowing the women to pray there would be a danger to public safety.
Instead, the nine-member panel said that within 12 months the government should provide an alternative place for the women to pray at a place called Robinson's Arch, near the wall. If the site isn't ready in 12 months, then the government will have to permit women to pray at the Western Wall.
Â© 1998-2003 Seattle Post-Intelligencer