The Israeli Supreme Court has given the government one month to explain why women are prohibited from reading from a Torah scroll at the Kotel.
This has become an extremely heated argument involving the "Women of the Wall," liberal girls from Israel, and now the American Reform "rabbis" have joined them. They are even trying to sneak Torah scrolls into the Kotel area to give to the women so they can force the removal of this restriction. What is wrong with women reading from a Torah scroll at the Kotel? Is there such a Torah law forbidding them from doing this?
The problem is huge, and women reading from a scroll at the Kotel is but a tiny part of it. The problem has to do with… then what? If the Supreme Court forces the Kotel rabbi to allow women to read from a scroll what will these women want to do next? And then next? And next? Would there be an end to their demands?
Since the founding of the State of Israel the Kotel has been maintained as a Torah Observant prayer area. The Reform and other alternative movements call Torah Observant Jews "Orthodox," and the tag has caught on. What they mean is; they are modern and relaxed while we, the Torah Observant community, are strict, Orthodox.
Besides the Reform movement there have been other movements away from Torah Observance, such as the Conservative, Alternative, Open Orthodox, Jewish Renewal, and many more attempts to make the Torah fit the modern Jew's desires. Jewish Renewal even ended up mixing in Buddhism and still calls itself Jewish. But you know what? None of these movements have worked. Every movement away from actual Torah Observance has moved further and further away until now the intermarriage rate in America for non-Observant Jews is over 85%! They are gone, or going very quickly, while the Observant Jews are increasing in number.
What are some of the things that the Torah forbids that these movements gladly accept? For instance, the Conservative movement recently removed the strict restriction of inter-dating. They accept homosexuals to become rabbis and to live together as couples. They call it an alternative life style while the Torah calls it an abomination. The Reform never had a problem with these things.
You have to understand that these movements did not start out this way but as time went on and their congregations diminished they became more and more estranged from the Torah's dictates. The Conservative were once considered to be "almost" orthodox. But they tell their congregations that it is alright to drive on Shabbos… if you live too far from the shul to walk. What did this do? At first it increased the attendance, but then it broke up the communities. If you can drive there is no need to live close together. And the congregation quickly came to think, "You can also buy the bagels for breakfast on your way back from Shabbos morning services, if you need them."
On and on, they started with just a small change…woman can wear tefillin if they want…and then after a while…tefillin became a historical act…"We don't do that anymore."
According to the Reform teachings, "If the father is Jewish the children are Jewish." Now it seems that the majority of Birthright participants are not Jewish. Only their fathers are Jewish. On and on, as far as you like. Once you open the door it does not get closed again.
And this is what is so horrible about woman forcing their liberal opinions and practices on us by sneaking a Torah scroll into the Kotel. They do not care about the holiness of the place. They care that they can do whatever they want and not be restricted by the Orthodox establishment.
The Torah tells us that when Hashem saved the Jewish people from the Egyptians that Miriam and the women went out with song and dance praising Hashem. Why did the women go out without the men? Why weren't the men and women together when they sang and danced? Every alternative Jewish movement insists that the men and women can sing and dance and sit together when they pray.
So where would the end be if these woman would be allowed to read from Torah scrolls at the Kotel which is something that is traditionally not done? The end would be, G-d forbid, the holy Kotel would become a tourist site for non-Observant Jews and for non-Jews who like history. And what if some Buddhist Jews wanted to do their religious services at the Kotel? Who is to say that these Jews are forbidden to chant and bring a statue with them?
When the Torah tells us, "My house will become a house of prayer for all people," it says, "My house." In Hashem's house the service is just as the Torah commands, with no alternative services allowed.
What is a solution? Arrangements were agreed upon for a mixed prayer area to the South of the present Women's' Area of the Kotel but the agreement fell apart when the authorities saw that the women accepted the area but did not cease with their demonstrations for changing the actual Women's' side too. Let that area be used for their mixed prayer services, but only on the condition that they will cease all demonstrations and other attempts to also change the present prayer area. If the Supreme Court would agree then perhaps the issue will be over.