Shame on Us

No one is coming out smelling like a rose.

I have been quietly standing on the sidelines, a rare exercise for me, and listening to each side for the past several months, weighing the scales and watching them tip this way and that way.

I have observed with disgust both the Women OF the Wall and the Women FOR the Wall behave like unruly pre-schoolers who deserve at the very least a “time-out,” if not a well- deserved spanking and certainly a full suspension from the public eye.

And there lies the gravest sin of all. The public posturing, the display of antagonism, provocations, despicable slurs against the other, the refusal to engage in dialogue, the disdain, the hatred – appalling and disgraceful behavior from both sides, all transpiring at the Kotel. The chilul Hashem that both sides are guilty of, at My Kotel. Our Kotel.

How dare you? Each of you! How dare you both usurp holy ground for your unholy war?

How dare you turn my religion into a mockery? How dare you appropriate a site precious to the entire Jewish nation in order to push forward your agenda based on your interpretation of the Torah? I ask this of both of you.

Neither of you, neither side can conclusively claim that the halachic right is on either side, and yet both of you, WOW and WFW arrogantly thrust your take to the fore.

Where is your humility?

One may very well wonder why any woman would want to emulate men in any form or fashion being that we are naturally spiritually on a higher level.  Yes, that IS how God wired us. And I direct that statement to both groups as you both are emulating men, be it in the donning of Tefillin and a Tallit or in the aggressive, belligerent and hostile behavior.

You are each emulating men.  So, both of you opposing groups are actually on equal ground. Neither of you have the right to carry the Holier than Thou scepter.

HOWEVER, the only sin that anyone can determine conclusively that is being perpetrated at the Kotel is the sin of chilul Hashem. And, you are both guilty of that.

Dialogue, respect, approachability and sensitivity between the two groups are the only answers.

But rather than engage each other in an appropriate manner, rather than beseech the authorities to enforce, yes, that’s right – enforce a dialogue, you are both guilty of dragging the rest of us unwillingly into the circus and into the fray as you both fancy yourselves to “represent” the “real” Jew.

Well, I’ve got news for you.  Neither of you represent me. But, both of you do indeed disgust me.

Go to your rooms, and don’t come out until you’re ready to behave.

About the Author
Author of THE GILBOA IRIS (Gefen Publishing House) and SETTLING FOR MORE: FROM JERSEY TO JUDEA (Urim Publications).
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