The Women of the Wall

A Metaphor for National and Religious Identity

in Israel Studies Review
Author: Pnina Lahav
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The Women of the Wall wish to participate in communal prayer in the women's section of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Their practice is to pray as a group, wrap themselves in a tallit, and read from the Torah scroll. They represent Jewish pluralism in that their group includes Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and secular women. They represent openness to change in that they base their claims on Halakhic interpretation, thereby embracing the capacity of Jewish law to evolve. This article reviews the resistance of the religious and political establishment in Israel to their claim and their struggle, unsuccessful so far, to get recognition.

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