Yesterday, Israel’s High Court gave the government one month to offer and explanation for why it has not accommodated the Women of the Wall and Reform and Conservative Jews who wish to daven and read from the Torah at the Kosel.
At the Supreme Court hearing, judges ruled that women should no longer be subjected to intense body searches when entering the Kosel Plaza, such as searching them for smuggled Sifrei Torah.
In recent months, there has been heightened security at the entrances of the Kosel because of the provocative “prayer services” organized monthly by Women of the Wall.
The court wrote in their decision that “it is the responsibility of the rov in charge of the Kosel to prevent searches on the women who have petitioned and on others like them beyond the regular security checks conducted on all those who come to the Kosel.”
The decision by the High Court gives the respondents – the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, the Ministry for Religious Services, and the director-general of the Prime Minister’s office – 30 days to explain why the petitioners cannot pray as they wish in the women’s section, or in another section of the Kosel Plaza.
IRAC’s Executive Director, Anat Hoffman, one of the leaders of the controversial movement that wishes to change the status quo at the Kosel, said about the ruling: “Today the Court said loud and clear that the Government of Israel must be courageous and move forward with the struggle for equality at the Western Wall and for pluralism in Israel. The judges were a voice of sanity that will hopefully allow this situation to resolve itself peacefully. They have also given hope to all girls and women who simply want to read Torah without harassment at Judaism’s holiest site.”
May Hashem continue to watch over the sanctity of the Kosel.