This morning, at Judaism’s most holy site, the Western Wall, police locked the wall, in order to prevent women from obtaining Torahs.
“… police took the unprecedented step this morning of locking the partitions that separate the women’s and men’s sections and stationing barriers all along it.
“A male worshipper trying to pass a Torah scroll from the men’s section to the women’s section, over the partition, was detained by police. The barriers were set up at the instructions of Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, an Orthodox-run organization the controls prayer regulations at the site, in order to prevent a replay of last month’s events.”
In an interview, Shira Pruce, spokeswoman for Women of the Wall, talked about what happened back in 1967, after the war, when the Wall was back in Jewish hands and management of the Wall was turned over to the ultra-Orthodox leaders at the time:
“First, men and women were separated, whereas before they have always prayed together as we can see in many pictures. Then, the women’s praying space was reduced (men and women shared equal spaces, but now the men’s section is four times as bigger as women’s) and finally, a moral patrol was introduced to ensure visitors respect ultra-Orthodox modesty rules in clothing.”