The Coalition for Jewish Values, representing over 1000 rabbis in public policy, today commended Miri Regev, Minister of Culture and Sport of Israel, for listening to the dictates of her conscience and refusing political pressure from American Jewish groups to create a special section at Israel’s Western Wall for their use.
In a post to Facebook on Wednesday, Minister Regev wrote that for several months “my conscience would not let me rest” as she considered the proposed changes. She said that “the desire of the Reformers to upend the Western Wall to a place where men and women pray mixed is not acceptable to me and not to Jewish tradition… we have not returned to our holiest of sites in order to disgrace it.”
The CJV pointed out that by targeting American Reform agitators, Ms. Regev contradicted the claims of those Reform leaders to be fighting for “women’s rights.”
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“Minister Regev articulated a simple truth,” said Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Managing Director of the CJV. “Since ancient times and during Israel’s 70-year history, Jews in the Holy Land, men and women, traditional and secular, have observed Jewish tradition at the Western Wall. The demand for changes comes only from American liberal movements, which are trying to divert attention from the utter collapse of their authority and continuity here in America by attempting to intervene in Israel’s religious affairs.”
“The Jewish people have survived for millennia because of, and only because of, our adherence to our unique traditions,” added Rabbi Pesach Lerner, President of the CJV. “To continue those traditions, especially at our holiest sites, ensures our survival. We call upon the Prime Minister to join Minister Regev and continue to respect our hallowed traditions at the Western Wall.”