Non-Orthodox Jews (especially the Reform and Women of the Wall) are all up and arms about the Kotel. Let’s examine their claims:
- There is no place for them. WRONG – for years already there is a lovely platform lying over the rocks that give witness to the destruction of the Holy Temple by the Romans in 70AD on Tish B’av.
- The plaza is only second class rated. Well, that is a personal opinion, but I have no idea where they get that statement. It is the scene of our heritage; it is right next to the plaza for women and the southern wall, which was at the time of the Temple the entrance of the separated stairs leading up to the Temple. It is actually near the ramps that the people used to enter the Holy Temple. What exactly is second rate?
- They don’t have an entrance near the other plazas. True, they have their own entrance which is much more assessable and without the need to go through the long lines, nor pay – as one needs to do if they want to go into the southern quarter).
- The Orthodox take the whole plaza and don’t let anyone else in. WRONG. It is true it is forbidden for women to bring in a sefer Torah to read at an all-women-minyan. It is prohibited for women to put on tefillin and a tallit even on the women side. (For mixed and women minyan there is the section as mentioned above.) However, anyone can come in otherwise. Any Jew; religious or secular, or even non-Jews – anyone – but it is a holy place and needs to be respected.
- Only when the Orthodox came was the plaza split, for years the wall was open to everyone. NOT EXACTLY, TRUE. From 1948-1967 the entrance was impossible to get to because of the Arab’s houses and garbage they threw onto the ground so the Temple would be desecrated. (That is why the gate is still called dung or garbage gate). Before people would come to pray, but the wall was not split, there wasn’t room and the Jews were not in charge. Yet any picture you look at from those days – those who came were all Orthodox. There was barely any tourism. The Kotel is the closest place we have to the holy of holies in the Temple – and the Temple was always separated between men and women, that is why the Rabbis enacted the same law for the only connection we have to the Temple today. (Moreover, cohanim and Israelim, and taraha and tamei, and Jew and non-Jew – there were many separations.)
Now it is my turn: If the Reform cares so much about the Kotel and its access- answer these questions:
- Why don’t you believe or pray for the Holy Temple? Where is it in your prayer books? Why is the Kotel meaningful to you at all anyway?
- Why didn’t you support Israel when it comes to BDS? Why aren’t you on campus helping Jewish Students from being shouted down?
- Why were you supporting Obama when he was systematically trying to harm Israel? Why didn’t you protest the Iranian proposal? Why did you not protest all the building freezes? Did you think that the terrorists’ killing is acceptable because we build houses?
- Where were your cries when UN voted against the Kotel‘s Jewish history?
- Why didn’t you cry out when Obama slipped the Palestinians millions of dollars in the last few hours of his presidency?
- Why don’t you care about the future of the Jewish people and stop intermarriage? When your statistics stand over 60% of non-orthodox Jews intermarry y how can, you come and tell us how to conduct our holy spots?
- The Reform is so angry because of an entrance? The reform delegation in Israel acted the same as the misguided seniors of college who walk out of audiences when a right wing person might speak like the vice president of United States. Alternatively, they yell down when someone says something they don’t like. If you are so sensitive to your needs, and you couldn’t come to the table to talk to the Prime Minister of Israel, does that prove you could care less about the Jewish people and Israel? You didn’t even protest for all the things above!
- And on top of it all, the Reform think they can dictate who a Jew is? Why bother bringing in goyim into the Jewish people if they are not interested in keeping anything that is part of the Jewish people.
- Reform Jews believe in hesed, Tikun olam – which are beautiful concepts (of course we may not agree what needs fixing….) but why do they think that makes them Jewish? There aren’t righteous gentiles? What makes a Jew different that a non-Jew? If the Reform movement can not answer that question (and I don’t believe they can) – there is no right for the reform to ask their kids to be Jews – which is what is happening. And that is why we can’t leave you in charge of our holy sites or the laws of conversion.