NY Times joins provocateurs at Western Wall

The Western Wall in the heart of Jerusalem is one of Judaism's holiest sites.  But it also has been the focus of protests in recent years. A group known as Women of the Wall is demanding gender equality for prayers at the site.  They want to be allowed to wear prayer shawls and to pray with men on an equal footing.  Once a month, Women of the Wall have staged protest demonstrations, picking up support from liberal Jews but meeting with resistance from Orthodox Jews. To defuse the issue, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency, to develop an acceptable compromise -- no small task.  In the meantime, Naftali Bennett, the minister for Jerusalem and diaspora affairs, provided an interim equal-gender prayer plaza near the Wall -- while further steps await to develop a permanent mixed-prayer section. The interim step struck a positive chord with leaders of the U.S. Conservative and Reform movements, which had supported...(Read Full Post)