One-Way Mirror to Replace Kosel Mechitzah

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koselThe Western Wall Heritage Foundation management has decided to replace the existing mechitah in the Kosel plaza, which separates between the women and men’s sections, because it does not allow the women to easily look over to the men’s section.

 The foundation received many requests by women who frequent the Kosel, claiming that during special celebrations held at the Kosel, such as bar mitzvahs, they are finding it difficult to watch the events through the mechitzah, which is made of iron with small openings, each only a few centimeters wide.

The decision to change the mechitzah was received a long time ago by the foundation management, but was not implemented because they were unable to find a suitable replacement.

One of the solutions suggested by the Kosel administration was to place one-way mirrors that will enable women to look into the men’s section, similar to the partitions currently in place at the Kosel tunnels.

 After inspecting the area, the administration realized the one-way mirrors lose their effectiveness when they are exposed to the sun, and become visible from both sides.

 As a result, the administration decided to examine several other options, including shading the partitions in a manner that will not harm their esthetic look.

Addressing the subject this week, the Kosel rov, Rav Shmuel Rabinovich, said he was making every effort to replace the mechitzah in a way that will accommodate the women on the one hand, and not offend the men on the other hand. Rav  Rabinovich noted that he supported the idea of replacing the mechitzah with one-way mirrors.

 “I am advancing the matter due to the obvious need to resolve the existing partition problem. We, the Kotel  administration, will do whatever is needed to enable women who come to the Kotel to watch the daily celebrations, out of a genuine will to improve the visiting experience,” he said.

{Yair Israel/Ynet}


  1. I don’t understand what the big deal is. Putting in a one way see-through mechitzah has been done before without mirrors.

  2. ” After inspecting the area, the administration realized the one-way mirrors lose their effectiveness when they are exposed to the sun, and become visible from both sides.”
    Baloney. The problem is simple: It is impossible to use a one way mirror outdoors, as they rely on one side having more light than the other, resulting in a mirror. This is impossible outside in areas which are equally exposed to the sun.
    This report has already been DENIED by the Kosel rav, unlike your misleading title seems to indicate

  3. “Don’t look” is not necessarily the best answer for 2010. Sheldon, with all due respect, Torah Judaism is entitled to its stringent viewpoints and the efforts to maximize holiness ought not be derided. Good enough is not good enough in our Holy Land.

  4. Dear American Grandma,

    You have the right to stringent viewpoints for yourselves but you have no right to impose it on others. Secondly, Loez Al HaRishonim is a Halachik concept called upon by many poskim when there is a tendency to impose chumrot that have no basis in reality. BTW, do you really think that this one way mirror will make you closer to G-D?

  5. Dear American Grandma,

    As an American Grandma you are entitled to your stringent viewpoints. You are in the land of the free and the home of the brave. What you are not entitled to is to force your stringent opinion on the rest of society, on other people’s dime in another country. BTW there are better ways to maximize holiness than one way mechitzot. Try Kiruv, Tzedaka,and Chessed.

  6. To American Grandma,

    Loez al Harishonim is a perspective that poskim have used to combant tendencies to enforce useless chumrot.


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