Secular Group Decries Chareidization of the Kosel


kosel”The Jerusalemites,’ a secular group, is complaining the women’s area in front of the Kosel being reduced in size, and that men and women being separated in the external courtyard, are signs of the ‘charedization’ of the Kosel, reports Gil Ronen of Arutz Shevah.

The group, which is represented by one member (out of 31) on the City Council, said it was forming an action group for “returning the Kosel to the general public as part of the struggle for the character of Yerushalayim.'”

The group presented its initiative as a response to what they see as a provocative article written by Tzvika Yakobson, the manager of the Shas party,several weeks ago, according to Arutz Shevah. In the article, which was published in Bakehilah, Yakobson denounced the practice of holding IDF swearing-in ceremonies at the Kosel.

“We cry for Har Tzion which became barren, for the Kosel plaza which is sometimes desecrated, and about soldiers who walk through it,” Yakobson wrote.

The secular activists claimed that signs of the chareidi Kosel takeover include the fact that the ezras noshim section was cut down to half of its previous size. Chareidim have responded that this was due to the removal of the Mughrabim walkway leading up to the Har Habayis and the supports for a new one placed in the women’s section.

“The Kosel is turning from a national site to a chareidi one,” activist Mark Stern said, “and we want to change this situation so that everyone feels comfortable going to the Kosel.”

The Kosel has turned “from a public, patriotic space to the private backyard of chareidi groups,” another activist said. “Evidence of this is the dramatic reduction of the Women’s Court after the collapse of the Mughrabim bridge; physical separation of men and women in the external courtyard and opposition of chareidi leaders to patriotic activities such as the swearing in of IDF soldiers.”

The rov of the Kosel, Rav Shmuel Rabinovich, said in response that “the demand by a small group to turn the Kosel into a non-holy place is unacceptable. It hurts the sanctity of the place, as well as the sensitivities of those who frequent the Kosel.”

{Arutz Shevah, Gil Ronen/Yair Israel}


  1. Lets see them first turn the temple mount into a national site and then we can discuss the kotel if they still have the stomach left for a fight.

  2. ‘charedization’? I guess separating women and men while davening, rather than be an open and basic halacha in shulchan aruch that the most lefty mdoern mizrachi will accept, is now considered charedi – this shows the profound ignorance of the secular groups of anything jewish, except of course for ‘jewish’ culture – which they consider the kosel to just be another part of, r”l.

  3. Now explane this to me. Someone goes to the Kosel seeking Hashem, either a request, a thanks, or just looking for answers. And *HE* has a problem that the Kosel is too religious? I really don’t think so. Sounds to me that it’s one of our self-hating Jews.
    Anything *private* there at the Kosel, or is it a symbal of achdus where a shtriemel, srugi, & cardboard yarmulka get together to make a minyan?
    Maybe have this self-hater go to the knesset instead to seek, and let out his frustrations there.

  4. I don’t see the big deal here- the complaint seems to be that the women’s section is smaller than the men’s. Last I checked, there’s no halacha that the women have to daven all smushed and cramped…