The Budowsphere #9

# 9 Budowsphere- Praying at the Western Wall


Praying at the Western Wall
Over the years there have been disputes over the issue of women praying at the Western Wall.  Protests have sometimes become almost violent when women have tried to pray at the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh.  During previous visits to Israel I often looked over and watched the women with a great feeling of disappointment. The men were praying, dancing, and celebrating, as the women just sat and watched. I felt very saddened by the fact that there was no organized prayer service to enable the women to share in this deeply spiritual experience except on Rosh Chodesh, and even then not without controversy. “This is just not right,” I said to myself.
However, on this trip I was heartened to see that there is hope after all. On Friday night, again praying at the Kotel, I saw a woman leading a group of hundreds of women in prayer. There was so much ruach and excitement that it felt as though Miriam was once again leading the Jewish women across the Red Sea, singing, dancing, and playing tambourines and drums.
This major breakthrough, giving women the opportunity and encouragement to also pray, sing, dance, and feel closer to Hashem, gave me great Nachas and hope for the future.
Shalom from Israel,
Rabbi Ira Budow