Members of the Original Women of the Wall organization (OWOW), an offshoot of Women of the Wall (WOW), were subjected to physical and verbal harassment by other worshippers after smuggling a Torah scroll into the women’s section of the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Monday for a daily prayer service. The women’s section of the Western Wall has been the subject of an ongoing battle between WOW and Orthodox Jews who object to WOW’s claim that women can wear prayer shawls and read from the Torah and still be considered Orthodox Jewish. A compromise was made last month, when WOW and other non-Orthodox Jewish denominations negotiated with the government to radically upgrade the current space for non-Orthodox prayer at the Robinson’s Arch area on the Western Wall. WOW says that once the new prayer space is ready they will abrogate their right to pray at the women’s section of the main Western Wall plaza.
OWOW has rejected the agreement however, saying they intend to keep praying at the women’s section regardless. Following a reading from the Torah on Monday morning by OWOW worshippers, the group was accosted physically by two women while men shouted at members of the group through the partition, calling them, “non-Jews.” Police eventually arrived and removed the women who accosted the worshippers, but whether such protection continues to be afforded once the pluralist section is completed remains to be seen.
Read the full story at The Jerusalem Post.