Plan to expand Western Wall egalitarian prayer section gets backhanded final approval

A crane works to remove a large chunk of stone dislodged from the Western Wall in Jerusalem at the mixed-gender prayer section, July 25, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

A crane works to remove a large chunk of stone dislodged from the Western Wall in Jerusalem at the mixed-gender prayer section, July 25, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A plan to expand the Western Wall’s egalitarian prayer section received final approval, using a special regulation to authorize the work in order to make it a handicapped-accessible site.

The approval was first reported late Sunday in Haaretz, which did not say when the meeting to approve the work took place. [Read more…]

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Stone that fell from Western Wall removed for examination

A large chunk of stone dislodged from the Western Wall at Robonson's Arch, the mixed-gender prayer section in Jerusalem, Israel, July 23, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A large chunk of stone dislodged from the Western Wall at Robonson’s Arch, the mixed-gender prayer section in Jerusalem, Israel, July 23, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The large stone that fell from the Western Wall to the egalitarian prayer plaza was removed for examination and preservation.

A crane was used by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Wednesday morning to remove the stone, which weighs about 400 pounds. [Read more…]

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Entire Western Wall is ‘danger zone’, archeologist says

A large chunk of stone dislodged from the Western Wall at Robonson's Arch, the mixed-gender prayer section in Jerusalem, Israel, July 23, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
A large chunk of stone dislodged from the Western Wall at Robonson's Arch, the mixed-gender prayer section in Jerusalem, Israel, July 23, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A large chunk of stone dislodged from the Western Wall at Robonson’s Arch, the mixed-gender prayer section in Jerusalem, Israel, July 23, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

(JTA) – After a large stone fell from the Western Wall on Monday, an Israeli archaeologist declared the holy site’s entire plaza a “danger zone.”

Other stones “could immediately fall” and hurt people, Zachi Dvira told The Times of Israel. He is completing a PhD on the archaeology of the Temple Mount. [Read more…]

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Stone dislodges from Western Wall, crashes down on platform for egalitarian prayer

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 large stone dislodged from egalitarian section of the Western Wall and crashed down on one of the platforms designated for mixed prayer.

The incident on Monday morning came less than a day after the prayer platform known as the Ezrat Yisrael near Robinson’s Arch at the southern end of the wall was filled with worshippers for the Fast of Tisha B’Av.  One woman is seen praying at the wall several feet from where the stone fell in video footage of the area. She does not appear to have been hit. [Read more…]

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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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