A Call for True Unity at the Kotel this Rosh Chodesh

The Women of the Wall put out a statement today,  that this Rosh Chodesh, they invite “Haredi, Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Renewal, Reconstructionist and unaffiliated Jews – to join our women’s prayer” and ” pray with Women of the Wall for unity amongst Jews.”

Praying for unity is something very laudable. And that is precisely what WE, Women FOR the Wall have intended to do by calling for a massive tfilla rally at the Kotel this Friday.

We sent out an email to our supporters a week and a half ago stating:

“Sivan is the month when we got the Torah and were mekabel ol malchus shamayim (Accepted the Torah and the yoke Heaven) of as a nation- K’ish Echad Bilev Echad- like one person, with one heart- all in unity.

“This Rosh Chodesh, Rosh Chodesh Sivan, we are assembling a large group of religious women to go to the Kotel and daven together, limaan am Yisrael, (for the sake of the Jewish nation) limaan Kdushas am Yisrael (for the sake of the holiness of the Jewish nation), Limaan the Torah (for the sake of the Torah), and Limaan Achdus Am Yisrael (for the sake of Unity of the Jewish People). We will simply be at the Kotel, being mispallel (praying) and reciting Tehillim”.

That is our goal and has always been our goal. To make the Kotel be a place of unity, where all Jews can feel comfortable praying, where there are no divisions of US vs THEM, as it has been ever since the destruction of the holy temple, where Jewish women have prayed for millenia, to rebuild the Holy temple, and to pour out our hearts to God.

That WoW is claiming in their most recent proclamation that it is only thanks to them that women can pray freely at the Kotel… Seriously. A bit much, no? Women have been praying freely at the Kotel since before WoW existed.
And the Kotel has always been a place of unity, until the Women of the Wall started using the Kotel as a political wedge, and used it to tell people in the diaspora that Israel is no “Club Med of the Jewish soul“, telling non Orthodox Jews that they’re hated in Israel and aren’t allowed to worship freely here.

Women of the Wall claim in this most recent press release that their goal is to pray for unity of the Jewish people, yet their shenanigans and media appearances have caused such divisions and hatred between various sects of Jews and towards Jews from the outside world. Their mission statement on their website mentions nothing about unity, only about educating women in their ways (so that they can decide to leave Chareidi way of life, as WoW founders claim in their article published just yesterday.)

On the other hand, from day one, our mission statement has included unity as our goal- see here– “The Wall represents the unity of the Jewish people”,  and as mentioned in my interview with Forward magazine– “We represent the vast majority of Jewish women who believe the Kotel should be a symbol of Jewish unity, not a place for political theater and divisiveness.”
And that’s why we sent out a call precisely for people to come to pray for unity, already a week and a half ago.

The Women of the Wall are scared that we’ll have such large numbers, that they’re trying to spin it that these numbers actually came out to support the Women of the Wall in their call for unity.

Nice try, Women of the Wall, but no one is falling for it.

These women are coming to pray for unity, because they’re upset at the disunity that your group is causing.

We ask you, Women of the Wall, please join US in a prayer for unity, praying in a way that our ancestors have for thousands of years.
Let us pray, together, on Rosh Chodesh Sivan, in honor of Shavuout, the holiday on which we received the Torah, that just like we did on that momentous day, that once again, all the Jewish nation accepts the Torah, Ke’ish Echad, Bilev Echad, like one person, with one heart.

Put down your swords and talleisim, and really, truly, truly, come join us and pray for true unity.

About the Author
Ronit Peskin is a chareidi single mother of 4 living in Kochav Yaakov, activist for mental health awareness, blogger at PennilessParenting.com about living a life with mindful spending, and foraging instructor, attempting to make a kiddush Hashem every day via her interactions with others.