Big Win for Women’s Equality at Jerusalem’s Western Wall

by Darcy Sturges

Women at the Western Wall wearing prayer shawls on April 12.

Good news! A court in Jerusalem just ruled that women who wear prayer shawls at the Western Wall aren’t doing anything illegal. Before now, women would be arrested for wearing the shawls at the Wall, because that item of religious garb was considered exclusively menswear. Talk about gender policing.

According to Time Magazine this is a really big win, as it sets the stage for more equality at this major holy site.

Women still aren’t allowed to read the Torah out loud at the Wall, but there are efforts being made to create dialogue between Reform and Orthodox Jews about achieving more equality in the space. There have also been talks about expanding Robinson’s Arch, a place where women and men can pray together.

Religious groups take note: women want to be equal in their spiritual communities. Tomorrow, more activists plan on challenging the 2003 Supreme Court ruling that disallows women the right to read the Torah aloud. I doubt these will be the last ladies to stand up for their right to worship how they wish. Thank God, ‘cause it’s about time.


Photo via The Washington Post.

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