02 July 2017

A Guide to The Western Wall Controversy

A Guide to the Western Wall Controversy 

The  Controversy's Complete List of 'fake news’ Items

OPINION: Columnist Yedidya Meir: "The State of Israel is pushing Reform and Conservative Jews away from the Kotel and hasn't allocated any space for them to pray." Fake News. For the past four years, Israel has given them a large plaza called "Ezrat Yisrael" where they can pray as they want. Even after the arrangement was cancelled this week, the plaza will still continue to be used by them. Or rather, it will in fact not be used by them. Whenever I go to the Kotel, their plaza is empty.

"The Haredim have taken control of the Kotel." Fake News. The Kotel does not belong to the Haredim. It belongs to God and to all of the Jewish people, and precisely for this reason it's not only Haredim who oppose the arrangement, but also millions of Jews – Haredim, Orthodox, traditional and also secular Jews. Yes, the past four years since the Ezrat Yisrael plaza was established is living proof that secular Jews prefer to come to the regular, Orthodox plaza.

"As expected, they vote with their feet and with their siddur. Just like the vast majority of secular Jews celebrate their Barmitzva in an Orthodox synagogue, get married under the auspices of the Rabbinate and after 120 years are buried in a religious funeral. Why? Because even people who do not observe all the mitzvot, what they do keep, they want to do exactly as their forefathers did, according to accepted tradition.”

*What this Argument Boils Down to:

The Reform and Conservatives may turn again to the Supreme Court =

MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, Rafi Neuhauser:  “The State speaks with one voice, and that’s the voice of the attorney general, who has the professional and legal experience.”

Rabbi Uri Maklev:  “Under the terms of employment at the Justice Ministry, there is no requirement that the attorney general be versed in halacha”

Rachel Azaria (Kulanu):  "This reminds me of the Second Temple Era … and accused Bayit Hayehudi, which supported Netanyahu’s move, of “creating a state within a state”.

Michael Malchieli (Shas):  What you are describing is the biryonim who used force to intimidate the rabbanim of that era … Today the role of biryonim is being filled by the Justice Ministry and attorney general. The whole argument boils down to whether the Rabbinate or the attorney general is the final voice on religious affairs.


* The Law is on the Rabbis’ Side: So why can’t they argue their case in Court? by Yisrael Feller in Mishpacha Magazine, 4 Tammuz 5777.

SEE ALSO: The Kosel Backlash, Hamodia Editorial

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