The struggle for the rights of Jewish women at the Western wall has put me in newspapers as well as prison. My intention from the beginning was neither. I simply wanted to celebrate and pray with other women at Judaism’s holiest site. That is still my desire.
Last week Judge Moshe Sobel of the Jerusalem District Court issued a groundbreaking ruling that women will be allowed to pray at the Wall without fear of further detentions or harassment. IRAC’s attorneys represented Women of the Wall in this historic case.
That same week Natan Sharansky met with us to discuss his plan for egalitarian prayer at the Kotel that has already been accepted by the Prime Minister. I began to receive congratulations from around the world. Who would have believed this would be possible just three years ago, the first time I was detained for carrying a Torah at the Western Wall?
The Sobel ruling is hugely important, but this still does not make the Wall an inclusive site for all Jews. The only way we are finally going to put the this issue to rest is if all of us who are invested in the Wall’s future participate in Sharansky’s process for changing the status quo. It is for this reason that I am in full support of his efforts and I intend to be a constructive partner in finding a solution.
With our victory in court comes a responsibility to ensure that no voices are silenced and no communities are offended in our struggle for freedom. We are not at the end of the struggle for freedom at the Western Wall, but we are in what I hope is the final chapter of that struggle.