By R’ Moshe Averick
Jewish Press, 4/25/13: Jews for Ba’al Worship Win in District Court
The Jerusalem District Court handed down its decision on Thursday in The State of Israel vs. The Jerusalem Chapter of Jews for Ba’al Worship, who were arrested on April 11, 2013 while praying at the Western Wall. Judge Moshe Sobel decided against the police appeal, confirming there was no cause for arrest and that the Ba’al Worshippers did not disturb the public order.
The judge also declared that the Ba’al Worshippers are not violating the restriction in the law governing sacred sites, which says that visitors at the Western Wall are to pray and hold religious celebrations according to “local custom.” In the judge’s view, the “local custom” could be interpreted with national and pluralistic implications, and not necessarily the Orthodox Jewish customs of the city of Jerusalem.
Anat Hoffman, Chairperson of Jews for Ba’al Worship said, “Today Jews for Ba’al Worship liberated the Western Wall for all Jewish People. We did it for the great diversity of Jews in the world, all of whom deserve to pray according to their belief and custom at the Western Wall.”
Of course there was no such article in the Jewish Press. The actual headline that did appear: Women of the Wall Win in District Court and the text above is a verbatim reproduction except that “Jews for Ba’al Worship” is substituted for “Women of the Wall.” The judge’s decision is a sterling example of judicial arrogance where the judge does not enforce the law but uses his power as a judge to arbitrarily impose his views on the public and in effect legislate law. If “local custom” at the Western Wall does not mean “Orthodox custom,” then of course it can only mean “any custom” that the judge happens to find suitable to his taste, effectively rendering the law meaningless. This would mean “local custom” includes:
- Atheists of the Wall – Men and women holding hands with their eyes closed while fervently declaring, “God wasn’t, God isn’t, God won’t be” (repeat ad nauseam)
- Cultural Jews of the Wall – Don’t pray but stand respectfully while eating very thick hot pastrami-on-rye sandwiches covered with mustard. They are strictly forbidden to use mayonnaise.
- Witches of the Wall (not to be confused with Women of the Wall) – A charming group who prance around in a circle with broomsticks while chanting, “Geben mir dem roobee slipperz” (Yiddish for “Give me the ruby slippers”)
- Spartacusians of the Wall – Requires a quorum of at least a hundred men who keep repeating: “I am Spartacus!” “No, I am Spartacus!”
- Flower Children of the Wall – Aging Jewish hippies and young hippie wannabes who hold candles and sing “The Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell. Optional: Readings from “The Little Prince”
- Koufax’s of the Wall – They gather only on Yom Kippur wearing L.A. Dodger jerseys and holding baseballs but don’t pitch.
How wonderful that cultural diversity has finally reached Jerusalem. Now, if only moshiach would come.
Rabbi Moshe Averick is an Orthodox rabbi, a regular columnist for the Algemeiner Journal, and author of Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist. It is available on Amazon.com and Kindle. Rabbi Averick can be reached via his website.