Friday, August 20, 2010


A House of Prayer For All People?


by Reb Gutman Locks @ path of the mystical the

Once again, a group of Jewish women came to the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) wanting to put on their tefillin and read from their sefer Torah (Torah scroll), and once again, a group of religious men went nuts and started screaming, and once again, the police made the women go to an area away from the more northerly part of the Kotel where we daven (pray) to a more southerly part of the same wall that has been set aside for such gatherings.

     But is this fair? Isn’t G-d’s Temple supposed to be a “House of Prayer for all people?” Shouldn’t people be allowed to pray the way they want? After all, these women ask, “Why have the Orthodox been given exclusive rights to that part of the Kotel, while the other styles of Judaism (Reform and Conservative) have been pushed away to a less prominent area of the wall?”

     Of course, these people are not pushed away from the area where we daven, but are merely asked to behave in a manner that is compatible with traditional standards when they come to this area of the Kotel. Basically, this means that men wear head coverings, and women go to the women’s side of the dividing screen. Although it has never been a problem before, today, it also means that women do not put on tefillin, nor read from Torah scrolls, both of which are religious acts that have traditionally been performed by men only.

    What do you think?

    Oh, I can hear you screaming now. Some of you are screaming, “YES, OF COURSE, LET THEM DO WHAT THEY WANT!” And some of you are screaming even louder, “WHAT, ARE YOU CRAZY? THROW THEM OUT!”

     What’s wrong with letting everyone pray as they please?

    Obviously, there is (to my knowledge) no sane, organized synagogue, temple, church, or other house of worship that allows everyone to do as they please. The Kotel administration is amazingly tolerant (or ignorant) when it comes to allowing non-Jews to do what they want. It is terribly annoying (an understatement) to be putting all of your concentration on prayer, surrounded by hundreds of Jews doing the same, only to have a group of some 20 Russian, non-Jewish tourists walk in and start taking your picture.

    Then there are the x-ians who fall to their knees in front of the Kotel right in the middle of us, or the ones who start mumbling loudly, “ungabonga slickatome atstalak!!” with great feeling. Shabbos morning, right after sunrise, one these guys was just a few yards from the reading of the Torah, drowning it out!  It is called “talking in tongues,” and it resembles someone on acid yelling at aliens that only he can see. I walked over and yelled at him to be quiet. He got insulted and stormed away.




So, should we allow everyone to do as they please at the Kotel? My opinion, let’s keep it the way our Torah-observant fathers and mothers prayed. At least until the Moshiach comes, which won’t be long. Then, he will decide which way is best.

A House of Prayer for All People - Isaiah 56:7


YC said...

Maybe messiah wont come until that place truly is open to all

Anonymous said...

I noticed that the Tefillin are not Al Pi H'Ari. Is there something to that?

Anonymous said...

i dont know what you mean by open to all. i agree fully with RGutman. people who wish to pray, should follow the laws set by the holy Torah. it is a house of prayer for all nations, when all the nations give up their false beliefs and pray to the One G-d of Israel and may it happen now.
as an ex xtn i can understand how the false the speaking of the tongues is. i experienced myself how the pastor pretends to be speaking in tongues and he calls it hebrew. saw it happen in my own family and elsewhere. thanks to the internet the 7 laws and the first born have reached to all parts of the world which otherwise would have been impossible.

Moriah said...

There were xtians who came into our shul outfitted in what looked like what observant Jews would wear to shul. But there was something off about them and I couldn't stop staring. They were asking odd questions for Orthodox Jews.. After havdalah the president of the shul introduced them to us saying they would be attending our shul. Currently they said they attended "beit yeshua." I fire went off in my head. I may have been wrong to ask but I asked them who would they worship in our shul and why would they want to be worshiping idols in our shul? I asked them if they knew what they were doing and what was the point of attending or shul?
Franky they were speechless and we never saw them again... I think they need to be confronted head on. The Temple Mount is a place for all those who worship the G-d of Israel -- not to come to the Kotel and fall on their knees for JC. No. Not for a Chillul Hashem. It is a sin for us to permit something out of political correctness. This is not the meaning of " A house of prayer for all people..."

Melkha said...

You say to pray as our fathers and mothers prayed. Well, if that means women not don tefillin, then it is time to disown Rashi as a Sage of Israel as he made tefillin for his daughters. Renounce Rashi as a heretic and then disown Devorah and Huldah. Devorah a Judge of Israel and a military leader ! Huldah teaching classes in the Temple study hall ! Having her own apartment within the Temple wall. Renounce the Yemenite Jews as being Jewish as some Yemenite women don tefillin. It seems that these women are davening as our fathers and mothers have. And maybe the men should be davening with such kavannah they not see what happens on the women's side,

Anonymous said...

Hmm, this is a tough one indeed! Rebbe Locks, even though you were correct, maybe it was not good to yell at them. They want to get close to Hashem as well too - maybe speak to them gently saying that I cant hear my rabbi pray, so could you do it a bit quieter. If they react, then maybe being firmer would be best.

It is not fun when these people cause problems at the Kotel, and yet we need to try to be gentle with them.

Basically, even if we are against the philosophy, we must never be against the person, unless he is putting other Jews physically/spiritually in danger of course!

Shabbat Shalom!

Crazy Smade said...

It boils down to respect for HaShem and respect for one's fellow creatures, because HaShem is the ALL within the ALL of the Creation.

Why wear a mini-skirt or a bikini whilst walking down the streets of the Mea Sharim neighborhood of Jerusalem? To show everyone the beauty of HaShem's Creation? Give me a break....

People tend to do things just to tick other people off and not because they're standing up for some professed principle or some just cause. If HaShem wants to ruffle feathers, then let HIM do the ruffling!

Want to truly worship HaShem? Then turn to HaKodesh Baruch Hu and respect His Guardians! Do a mitzvah and repair your soul and the world! Perform a genuine act of loving-kindness! Joyfully and secretly donate to a charity that doesn't spend 90% on overhead costs. How hard is that?

No, I'm not a Jew, so just let me comment on the non-Jewish followers of JC.

Save for a relative few, the vast majority believe that the man is HaShem Himself or that he's part of some incomprehensible 3-in-1 Deity combo-pack.

If such people are going to the Kotel to worship JC, then they might just as well be praying to any number of pagan deities. In short, their avodah zarah should be eschewed and done in their own "sacred space."

As for Jews who believe in either of the aforementioned versions of JC, I don't understand them and never will - may their fellow Jews educate them away from such avodah zarah.

Bottom line? Jew or Gentile, man or woman, if you're going to the Kotel or any other place that's been sanctified for the service of OUR Heavenly Father, HaKodesh Baruch Hu, then follow the customs and instructions and even the strict measures of the Guardians of that place. How hard is that?

Anonymous said...

those women are JEWS they go there once a month and they are less tolerated than muslims and cristians who are there every single day amazing

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