Haredim & Women of the Wall Share Common Goal

Calling for an end to segregation at our holy places: Cave of the Patriarchs (מערת המכפלה) in Hebron (left) and the Western Wall (הַכֹּתֶל הַמַּעֲרָבִי) in Jerusalem.

— by Dan Loeb [email protected]

Haredim (ultra-Orthodox groups in Israel) have been opposing efforts by the Women of the Wall to allow women to pray at the Western Wall just as men have been able to do since 1967. However, while progressive women have been arrested for praying at the Wall as part of their call to end segregation there, Haredim (including American Orthodox Jews) have been arrested in Hebron as they protested against the segregation imposed on the settlers there:

Members of All That’s Left, a collective of activists committed to ending the occupation, marked the eve of Shabbat Chayei Sarah by staging a protest against segregation in the city of Hebron. During Shabbat Chayei Sarah, thousands of Jews gather in Hebron to celebrate the reading of the biblical passage in which Abraham purchases the Cave of the Patriarchs, a site located in the center of modern-day Hebron.

The activists intended to erect a tent on the city’s segregated Shuhada Street, adorned with signs reading, “Segregation is not my Judaism,” and to hold an alternative study session examining the Chayei Sarah text. The tent was to resemble Abraham’s Tent, which according to traditional Jewish exegesis was open on all four sides so that any passing stranger would know s/he was welcome.