We “marched” in Jerusalem today, just as women – and men – marched all over the world on Saturday in the name of justice. No, we weren’t one hundred, one thousand or one-hundred thousand. It was 40 women, a few men and a Torah.
We didn’t chant slogans. We didn’t make speeches. The women prayed. We didn’t make signs. The women held up a Torah, the word of God to Israel, for all to see.
In fact, it was not a protest at all. It was the simple assertion of the rights of women to pray at the Kotel according to their own customs and consciences.
There was no television coverage, no barrage of Facebook or Twitter posts from around the world.
Today the Original Women of the Wall brought a Torah to our ancient meeting place, our historic place of prayer. No matter who says ‘no’ to the voice of women’s tefillah at the Kotel, we say that this gift – this Book of Books, this Testament, this Sacred Word, Torat Hashem – belongs to us all.
We “march” by example. Today, we reaffirm our pledge to continue:
- The resistance of prayer
- The insistence on civil rights
- The persistence of disobedience
- For coexistence at the Kotel, no distance is too far
Today, you prayed my prayers. You are a blessing.
Build a house of glory to G-d,
Build a house of praise to our Maker:
A house of prayer,
A house of song,
A house of Torah,
A house of truth.
Sisters of Israel,
How wondrous that your voices resound in our tents,
That your insights echo in our streets,
That your prayers have become our song.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
The heart the builders rejected has become the fountainhead.
The service the builders rejected has become the foundation.
The wisdom the builders rejected has become the teaching.
G-d of our ancestors,
Bless the women who lead our people,
Rabbis and cantors, educators and activists,
Philanthropists and organizers, scholars and researchers,
Expanding our understanding and love of Torah.
Bless the work of their hands and the work of their hearts.
Rejoice and be glad.
Let the struggle continue
Until no one questions your birthright,
Until no one denies your place,
When the Kotel is redeemed
And the agunah is freed,
For your light will free us all.
All Your works praise You,
Adonai our G-d,
And the righteous bless Your Name.