Las Mujeres del Muro (en inglés)

Actualizado: 6 de dic de 2020




El grupo de Women of the Wall es una agrupación que, desde años, ha luchado por los derechos religiosos de mujeres en Israel y, en particular, en la zona del Muro de los Lamentos. Ese lugar que durante siglos fue símbolo del anhelo por el retorno a una patria y que más que ninguno, fue el ícono de la recuperación de Jerusalem tras la Guerra de los seis Días, es hoy, tristemente, foco de tensión entre un ortodoxos, liberales y mujeres.


Para mi gusto, Women of the Wall a menudo cae en comportamientos extremos. A veces no comparto su posición con relación a tantos temas de la cotidianidad israelí, pero comparto el principio de igualdad de géneros y libertad religiosa, especialmente en lugares que son de suprema importancia pero que no debieran ser sagrados. Precisamente, se trata de ser amplio y democrático en este blog. Por ello, me contacté con la organización y les pedí que me enviaran un documento para lectura de todos, donde explicaran su misión y visión.




Women of the Wall (WOW)

Women of the Wall is a group of women from Israel and abroad which spans all Jewish denominations- Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, modern Orthodox, Reconstructionist, and others. We hold a prayer service every Rosh Hodesh, at the start of the Hebrew month, in the women’s section of the Western Wall (the Kotel). WOW’s presence and prayer is a demand for gender equality and religious pluralism at the Western Wall.

In 1967, a group of IDF soldiers liberated the Western Wall from the Jordanians. For 31 years now, the Women of the Wall have been working to liberate the Western Wall from the ultra-Orthodox denomination which unfortunately controls every religious aspect in Israel, including the Western Wall - the holy site for all of the Jewish nation.

WOW’s mission is for women’s right to pray freely at the Western Wall, including singing, putting on tefillin (phylacteries) and tallit (prayer shawl) and reading out loud from the Torah scroll- access to which remains our greatest struggle till today.


Each month, we are faced with tremendous opposition at the Western Wall. Men, women, and especially youngsters aged 15 and under, are consistently there to show their opposition and to demonstrate against our services. Their battle cry is that according to the ultra-Orthodox tradition, our prayer services are not legitimate: meaning, there is only one right way to behave at the Western Wall - the ultra- Orthodox way.


The organization was founded 31 years ago by a group of women mainly from the US. In December 1988, an international congress of Jewish feminists was held in Jerusalem. On the last day of the conference, about 70 of the group’s women asked to hold a prayer service for the welfare of the State of Israel at the Western Wall, including reading from the Torah scroll. There, they were faced with intense opposition because they were the first women to pray out loud, with a Torah scroll, as a group, at this public site. They faced verbal and physical violence and left feeling that their Judaism was simply not recognized by the State of Israel. This event cemented the formation of the Women of the Wall group with Anat Hoffman as the Chair of Board to this day.


In 1967, a group of IDF soldiers liberated the Western Wall from the Jordanians. For 31 years now, the Women of the Wall have been working to liberate the Western Wall from the ultra-Orthodox denomination which unfortunately controls every religious aspect in Israel, including the Western Wall - the holy site for all of the Jewish nation.


Our presence is often referred to as a provocation. From our perspective, when something is different from what you know or believe, it is easy to label it as provocative. We believe these perspectives come from a place of misunderstanding of who we are and what we are trying to achieve. We find parallels between ourselves and the suffrage movement. Where would women be today without the so-called “provocation” of the Suffragettes? Without their determination, women today would still not be given the opportunity to vote. To see change, an individual or group must push back on the “norm; ” this action is often perceived as provocation.


Our biggest struggle currently is that we cannot bring a Torah scroll into the Western Wall plaza. The Western Wall’s managing Rabbi’s regulations state no one may bring a Torah scroll into the plaza. The Western Wall does, in fact, have over 200 Torah scrolls that may be used, however, they are kept in the men’s section of the Wall which unfortunately, women cannot access

After 25 years of struggle, in 2013, the District Court ruled that Women of the Wall are in fact, part of local custom at the Western Wall. This means that going forward we, or any woman for that matter, can pray out loud, wearing tallit and tefillin, should she choose. Our biggest struggle currently is that we cannot bring a Torah scroll into the Western Wall plaza. The Western Wall’s managing Rabbi’s regulations state no one may bring a Torah scroll into the plaza. The Western Wall does, in fact, have over 200 Torah scrolls that may be used, however, they are kept in the men’s section of the Wall which unfortunately, women cannot access. This has left us with only one choice - to smuggle a Torah scroll into the plaza. This is not only embarrassing but is very difficult to do successfully. Each month we devote our Rosh Hodesh mornings to pray at the Western Wall. Some months we are joined by up to 200 other women and 25-50 men who support us. To this day, we are met with extreme animosity and quite often violence, usually from young ultra-Orthodox girls. Pushing, yelling and spitting, are what we endure from these groups. Although we are made to feel that we are unwanted, we continue to go and to pray without fail.


Every time we meet to pray, we empower and encourage Jewish women to embrace religion freely, in their own way. We stand proudly and strongly in the forefront of the movement for religious pluralism in Israel, with the hope to inspire and empower women from all over the world and across the spectrum of Jewish movements to find their spiritual voices and create meaningful Jewish identities.


With this powerful mission before us, our vision is to strengthen and expand our organization, to reach out and influence policy-makers and leaders, and to demand full access for women to pray at the Western Wall. In addition, Women of the Wall works to expand our network of supporters and partners around the world who will advocate and take action with us.



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