JERUSALEM (JTA) – Security guards prevented an American woman from entering the Western Wall plaza because she was wearing a kippah, the Women of the Wall group said.
On Monday, guards and officials from the Western Wall Heritage Foundation asked the woman, identified only as Linda, who “authorized” her to wear a kippah, Women of the Wall said in a Facebook post under the heading “Breaking News.”
The woman, who recently arrived in Israel to study at a Conservative yeshiva, refused to accompany a guard to the nearby police station and instead was escorted to the taxi stand outside the Kotel.
“We at Women of the Wall are OUTRAGED by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation for treating anyone who is not ultra-Orthodox as a suspect and a criminal, and getting to determine that despite a court ruling, women cannot enter the Kotel to pray if they have a kippah, tallit, tefillin or Torah scroll,” the group said on Facebook.
An April 2013 Supreme Court ruling acknowledged women’s right to pray at the Western Wall according to their beliefs, claiming it does not violate what has come to be known as “local custom.”
Women of the Wall gather at the Western Wall at the start of each Jewish month for the morning prayer service. The group’s members have clashed frequently with staff from the office of the Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites of Israel, headed by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, and with police for holding services that violate the rules enforced by the office.