Forceful breakup of a religious service (especially in Jerusalem) is a hot media item, so you have probably read enough about that!

Yet, there are other “Women of the Wall” you may not have heard about.  Their gathering place is in a small grotto inside the Kotel Tunnels, opposite the place of kodesh hakedoshim – the Holy of Holies. Without PR and cameras, they build their own significant Judaism – the Judaism of sincere prayer and heartfelt emotion. Theirs is an authentic connection best described by Rav Shimshon Pinkus as sharing a secret with God.

Undeterred by the heat and humidity of the tunnels, disregarding the not-so-stage whisper of the tour guides, they flock to the moth-covered walls. I’ll spare you the descriptions of hot tears and intense prayer. You get the picture. If you don’t, getting you to roll your eyes was not my purpose.

It’s not for naught that the Sages used marriage as an allegory for the relationship with God. Marriage cannot thrive in a glass house. Service of God in front of TV cameras belies true intentions, which have less to do with service and more with demigods of political agendas.

The other “women of the wall” haven’t set out to liberate religion. They come to liberate themselves. At the wall, they polish the lenses and attain clarity of purpose. Here they smooth the path of challenges their families face. Here they reconnect to God on God’s turf and on God’s terms.

Women praying in the Western Wall tunnels (photo: David Shankbone / Creative Commons)

Women praying in the Western Wall tunnels (photo: David Shankbone / Creative Commons)

Their strength is not in numbers. Their visits don’t make it into newspapers. Yet the impact of their prayers runs deeper and broader than that of starry-eyed delegations from overseas. Simply because it is a connection based on truth!

To my sisters, the Women of the Wall, I extend an invitation. Return the Torah Scroll back to aron hakodesh. Tuck the tallitot into their bags. Come down to the other wall. You may find that here your small Tehillim is all that is necessary. And no, there isn’t even a mechitza.