Reverse Discrimination at the Kotel?

The Women of the Wall have claimed to be “Freedom Fighters”, fighting for the rights of the “Poor Oppressed Women”. According to them, none need liberating more than “ignorant, subjugated women in Chareidi Society.

When I first read that article by one of the founders of the Women of the Wall, I was deeply offended.

How dare she!

How dare she decide that she knows better than myself and my fellow Chareidi women, how we should live our life? How dare she decide that just because it doesn’t sit well with her worldview, that our way of life isn’t a respectable way of life? How dare she make insinuations that Chareidi women are ignorant and uneducated? That Chareidi women are subjugated by “the evil men”? Tell me, Shulamit Magnus- have you ever met any Chareidi women?

I grew up in Chareidi society in the US, and then I lived in an Israeli Chareidi community for quite a few years. I did not meet even one ignorant Chareidi woman. The Chareidi women I know are well educated, knowledge seekers, truth seekers. They typically spend 14 or 15 years in school, after which they continue to learn on their own. No, they don’t generally have a PhD, nor are they all college professors as Ms Magnus is, but that doesn’t make them uneducated.

Unless Ms Magnus feels that only the same education that she has is an education worth having, and any other education is worthless.

Chareidi women are partners with their husbands, usually in happy marriages, where the husband and wife work as a team, not with the men subjugating their wives.

Ms Magnus claims to want “religious freedom”, yet wants to liberate Chareidi women from their current lifestyle. For what reason? Because Ms Magnus doesn’t consider it worthy of respect.

How about giving some of that same “religious freedom” to those Chareidi women? Or does religious freedom only apply one way, and not across the spectrum?

You know what my father would call that?

Reverse discrimination.

You claim you’re being discriminated against, so then you turn around and discriminate against the people you claim are discriminating against you.

But what sparked my ire enough to make me stay up past my bedtime, because I was too outraged to go to sleep, was this article, lauding Anat Hoffman for her wonderful cause, and then dropping a bombshell.

Anat’s proposal, in place of the Sharansky proposal:

“For six hours a day the Wall will be a national monument, open to others but not to Orthodox men, she said.”

She claims that women are discriminated at the Kotel. But other than when certain members got restraining orders on them from the courts, barring them from the Kotel for a limited period of time, no member of the Women of the Wall or any other group has ever been barred from the Kotel.

But Anat Hoffman proposes that instead of making a big egalitarian section at the Kotel in addition to the current area run by Orthodox standards, they should take away the mechitzos and make the Kotel a national monument from 9 am to 3 pm- in the middle of the day. And if that’s not bad enough- she wants to make it open to others, but not to Orthodox men.

Note she didn’t say Chareidi men, which would be bad enough.

No, she wants to banish all kippa clad men from the Kotel for 6 hours in the middle of the day.


I can’t imagine why.

Or maybe I can.

Perhaps it is because she views Orthodox Judaism as evil. Men as evil. And she wants to punish all Orthodox males for having the nerve to be born a man, and for following halacha. It seems to me that in Anat’s opinion, the Orthodox male is the root of all evil in the world, or at least in the Jewish world, and therefore must be punished.

By banning him from the most holy spot in the Jewish world for a good chunk of the day.

How would that be “liberating women”? Is punishing men the way to help women, if they even need liberating at all?

Is Anat Hoffman really the modern day Rosa Parks that she claims to be?

Because Rosa Parks was seeking to allow blacks to the front of the bus, not to push whites to the back.

What Anat Hoffman and other Women of the Wall are trying to do is not “stand up for the rights of women”, it is to do reverse discrimination and try to hurt the people she hates most- Orthodox men.

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