Tisha b’Av is just another day for over half of Israelis

Jews pray on Tisha b’Av at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, August 2015. (Shlomi Kakon/Wikimedia Commons)
Jews pray on Tisha b’Av at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, August 2015. (Shlomi Kakon/Wikimedia Commons)

Jews pray on Tisha b’Av at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, August 2015. (Shlomi Kakon/Wikimedia Commons)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Tisha b’Av fast marking the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem is just another day for over half of Israeli Jews, according to a new study.

Meanwhile, the 200,000 Jews who report visiting the Western Wall during the day of mourning are almost exclusively religious ones from the national-religious and haredi Orthodox camps, according to the survey by the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Institute. That’s 4 per cent of Israeli Jews. [Read more…]

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Haredi Orthodox burn Jewish prayer book to protest women’s service at Western Wall

Haredi Jews try to prevent a group of American Conservative and Reform rabbis and Women of the Wall members from bringing Torah scrolls into the Western Wall compound during a protest march in the Old City of Jerusalem, Nov. 2, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Haredi Jews try to prevent a group of American Conservative and Reform rabbis and Women of the Wall members from bringing Torah scrolls into the Western Wall compound during a protest march in the Old City of Jerusalem, Nov. 2, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

(JTA) – Haredi Orthodox protesters burned a Jewish prayer book near the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Friday to protest the monthly prayer service there by female worshippers.

The incident occurred as nearly 200 Women of the Wall activists arrived for the service in celebration of the beginning of the Hebrew month of Av. Several thousand haredi protesters greeted them with booing and shouting. [Read more…]

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Another resignation keeps Knesset committee on Western Wall egalitarian section from meeting

Women of the Wall leader Anat Hoffman gestures toward a new platform built for egalitarian prayer at Robinson’s Arch. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Women of the Wall leader Anat Hoffman gestures toward a new platform built for egalitarian prayer at Robinson’s Arch. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The third member of the Knesset ministerial committee charged with deciding whether to approve the plan to upgrade the Western Wall’s egalitarian section resigned.

Religious Services Minister David Azoulay quit the committee on Sunday. His resignation follows the resignations last week of the committee chair, Miri Regev, and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. [Read more…]

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Efforts to promote egalitarian prayer at Western Wall caused northern Israel earthquakes, Knesset member says

Women of the Wall leader Anat Hoffman gestures toward a new platform built for egalitarian prayer at Robinson’s Arch. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Women of the Wall leader Anat Hoffman gestures toward a new platform built for egalitarian prayer at Robinson’s Arch. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Women of the Wall leader Anat Hoffman gestures toward a new platform built for egalitarian prayer at Robinson’s Arch. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A Knesset member from the Sephardic Orthodox Shas Party blamed a series of earthquakes in northern Israel on efforts by the liberal streams of Judaism to improve an egalitarian section at the Western Wall.

Yinon Azoulay also said that Reform Jews “are not Jews” during a Knesset debate Wednesday on the plans to renovate the egalitarian prayer section, located near Robinson’s Arch at the southern end of the Western Wall. [Read more…]

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Why the Western Wall egalitarian prayer plan is nearly certain to pass

Worshippers praying at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Jan. 17, 2017. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Worshippers praying at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Jan. 17, 2017. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Worshippers praying at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Jan. 17, 2017. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The plan to upgrade the Western Wall’s egalitarian section is nearly certain to pass a Knesset committee after a proponent of the plan replaced an opponent who resigned in protest.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday to allow her to resign from the Knesset Committee for Holy Places. Shaked appeared to be heeding the 300 rabbis who signed a letter asking her to vote against the plan. Shaked is a secular Israeli but serves in the right-wing, pro-settler Jewish Home party. [Read more…]

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Key government minister drops support for egalitarian prayer section at Western Wall

Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky and Israeli government minister Tzachi Hanegbi speak to members of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors at the egalitarian section of the Western Wall, Oct. 30, 2017. (David Shechter/Courtesy of the Jewish Agency for Israel).
Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky and Israeli government minister Tzachi Hanegbi speak to members of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors at the egalitarian section of the Western Wall, Oct. 30, 2017. (David Shechter/Courtesy of the Jewish Agency for Israel).

Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky and Israeli government minister Tzachi Hanegbi speak to members of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors at the egalitarian section of the Western Wall, Oct. 30, 2017. (David Shechter/Courtesy of the Jewish Agency for Israel)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Israeli government minister whose approval is needed to advance the plan for the Western Wall’s egalitarian section has dropped her support for the proposal.

Miri Regev, the culture and sport minister, announced in a Facebook post late Wednesday that she would not approve the plan in her position as chair of the Knesset Committee for Holy Places. The chair’s permission is necessary to advance the plan. [Read more…]

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Prince William places note in and prays at Western Wall during Jerusalem visit

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, June 28, 2018. (Flash90)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, June 28, 2018. (Flash90)

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, June 28, 2018. (Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Britain’s Prince William placed a note between the stones of the Western Wall and spent several moments there in prayer as part of a visit to the Old City of Jerusalem.

The prince wore a blue kippah to the site on Thursday morning, the last day of his three-day visit to Israel. [Read more…]

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Western Wall rabbi apologizes to female reporter for discriminatory treatment during Pence visit

Tal Schneider during Mike Pence’s visit to the Western Wall. (Tal Schneider/Twitter)
Tal Schneider during Mike Pence’s visit to the Western Wall. (Tal Schneider/Twitter)

Tal Schneider during Mike Pence’s visit to the Western Wall. (Tal Schneider/Twitter)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The rabbi of the Western Wall sent a letter of apology to the editor of the Israeli business daily Globes for the discriminatory treatment of one of its reporters during U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence’s visit to the site last week.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, writing to Globes editor-in-chief Naama Sikuler, said, “I want to express my regret for the anguish suffered by your newspaper’s diplomatic correspondent,” Tal Schneider. [Read more…]

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Israeli journalist threatens to sue Western Wall rabbi over segregation of reporters at Pence visit

Female reporters covering Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Western Wall. (Michael Lipin/Twitter)
Female reporters covering Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Western Wall. (Michael Lipin/Twitter)

Female reporters covering U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence’s visit to the Western Wall. (Michael Lipin/Twitter)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – An Israeli journalist threatened to file a lawsuit against the rabbi of the Western Wall over the segregation of female reporters and photographers from their male counterparts during U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence’s visit to the site.

Tal Schneider of the Israeli business daily Globes told an Israeli radio station, 103 FM, that she is being backed by Globes in suing Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, The Times of Israel reported. [Read more…]

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