An Israeli civil law does not allow women to pray with the Torah in the proximity of the Wailing Wall. The act has obvious religious origins and some believe it is discrimination among those Jewish religious women who want to pray and read the Bible in front of the holiest Jewish monument, the Western Wall of the ancient Jewish Temple of Jerusalem.
Four years ago a group of women created the no-profit organization called “Women of the Wall” with the “mission to achieve the social and legal recognition of women’s right to wear prayer shawls, pray and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall”, said Anat Hoffman president of the NGO.
In the early morning of last Wednesday the “women of the Wall” arrived to the Kotel for a new prayer. Mrs Hoffman was present. The prayer began at 7 a.m. on the women’s side of the Kotel. The group started to sing religious songs. Interrupted by the protest of a few Jewish Orthodox men from the male side of the Kotel, the group had to leave and continue the Torah service in front of the Robinson’s Arch - still a part of the Western Wall but not available for normal religious services.
Here, protected and escorted by around 15 Israeli policemen, the group had the possibility to continue the Torah service. “The prayer is also a kind of protest. We will continue until the State of Israel will recognize and protect our right”, stated Mrs Hoffman.