Am I allowed to daven (pray) here? I took this picture a couple of days ago at the Kotel. I went to daven mincha (afternoon prayers) as usual, but it was cold so I went inside to daven. The minyan (quorum) started as I walked in so I quickly stepped forward to daven, but then I saw a man who was obviously not Jewish standing right in front of where I stood to pray. He had a copy of his "new testy" open on the stender (stand) in front of him and he had his hands spread out onto the Kotel.
"Oh man! Am I allowed to daven here? Okay, so it's the Kotel, the holiest place a Jew can go today to daven, and okay that I am standing in a minyan of religious Jewish men, but how can I daven right behind a x-ian with his book of idolatry open right in front of me?"
I backed up and moved to the other side of the minyan. That's where I took the picture from.
Do you know of any other religion in the world that would allow someone from a totally contradictory religious belief, stand in the middle of them with their book open in front of them when they pray? Is there any mosque, church or temple in the world that would allow Jews to stand between their worshipers wearing tefillin and daven? I don't think so. Not that any normal Jew would want to do such a thing. Yet at the Kotel it happens almost every day!
I must admit that I do not like it. Yes, Hashem told us through the Prophet Isaiah that after the redemption, "My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples,"[i] but that means His house. His house means His way. It does not mean that there will be idolatry in the Temple.
I asked a senior rabbi if we are allowed to daven at the Kotel in such a situation. He answered, "It's not nice, but you're allowed. It's permitted."
What can we do about it? Pray for the Temple to come quickly so we will be able to stand with only those who are worshiping Hashem and not an idol.
[i] Isaiah 56:7