I have been following the ongoing standoff between the haredim [fervently Orthodox] and the Women of the Wall in front of the Kotel each month, and I am truly appalled by the shameful, even hateful behavior of some of the haredim. However, I think it’s time that the Women of the Wall take some responsibility for contributing to this outrage (“Chaos At The Kotel,” July 12).
The women must realize that some haredi Jews find their prayer groups offensive. Why turn the Kotel, the holiest place on earth for the Jewish people, into a battleground? Here is the litmus test: Were a visiting non-Jewish cleric paying a visit to the Kotel, would the Women of the Wall choose that time to conduct a prayer service? If their actions would be considered offensive to this cleric, I suspect that they would refrain from doing so in deference to his beliefs. Why should their fellow Jews not be granted a similar show of sensitivity?
During these days of mourning for the destruction of the Temple, it is important to bear in mind the cause of the destruction: hatred of other Jews. It is bitterly ironic that it is precisely at the site of this destruction that modern-day hatred is erupting. Before pointing a finger at the other side, we should first engage in a sincere examination of ourselves and our own motives