Fed up with conflict over how women can worship at the Western Wall, a group of Jewish feminists has begun reconstruction of the Eastern Wall, where they expect to be able to do as they please, thank you very much.
Former prime minister and ex-Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert paved the way for the unusual arrangement through a deal his lawyers admitted was a breach of trust but not illegal. Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters will also help build the wall.
Israel’s chief rabbis and 613 members of the Shas Party vowed to block the construction and initially went on a hunger strike that lasted until the smell of cholent filled their homes on Erev Shabbos. They then announced that they would refuse to bench, wash negelvasser or recite the second Y’kum Pirkun until the wall construction was blocked by the police. Later this week, however, there was word of a deal in which the haredim would relent in exchange for a modification of the new Tal Law that allowed only Litvaks to be drafted while keeping Galicianers exempt.