Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Opposite Women of the Wall

at the Western Wall with Reb Gutman Locks on Mystical Paths


Meir wrote this complaint to me. I abbreviated it since it was so very long.

Hey Gutman,

     On Rosh Chodesh I pray at sunrise at the Kotel. This week, I noticed hundreds, if not thousands of chareidim form angry mobs and protest in the most terrible way I have ever seen.

     First of all, I feel that the Women of the Wall are doing a beautiful thing. They are connecting to Rosh Chodesh in their most beautiful way. They come to pray and praise Hashem. Yes, this may not be according to Jewish Law, but who here is perverting the Torah. I can't believe that this is happening right in front of the holiest place in this world. I'm heartbroken and torn to watch this. Why are they treating these women like this?

    As I made my exit from the Kotel, I had to walk through thousands of chareidim, screaming and kicking and spitting. And it was at anybody wearing a colored shirt. They started to kick me and push. I asked them where is the love, and they laughed in my face and said terrible things about these women. This cannot go on.

     Please tell me how you feel how this situation. I understand that the women of the wall are backwards too, but there's no Law which says a woman can't put on tefillin or a prayer shawl. How can we stop this hatred going on right in front of the Kotel? The chareidim don't deserve control over the Kotel if this is how they act!! They are supposed to be role models, not kicking and cursing and spitting on their fellow Jews. Something needs to be done!!!

Thanks, Meir

Gutman’s response:

Shalom Meir,

     I certainly share your feelings toward the men who acted in such a disgraceful manner. To act that way anywhere would be a terrible cheapening of G-d’s Name, but at the Kotel, it was even more disgraceful.

     However, I totally disagree with your opinion of the women who brought all this about. Surely those men are responsible for their actions, however it was those women who caused all this desecration of G-d’s Name. They did not come to the Kotel to pray. They came there to protest.

     I am not against them having their own area where they can do whatever they want, but I am against them trying to shove their extreme opinions upon all of us who pray at this Holy Place. It is forbidden for religious men to hear women singing, and these women know this, so when they sing out loud as they purposely do they are forcing all the religious Jewish men to either leave, or to fight back. This is aggressive!

     They certainly could have obtained their goals in a civilized way, as the recent Supreme Court decision has shown. The entire disgrace was brought about for their political objectives, not their religious objectives.

     As to the men’s horrible behavior, since the women tried to force their opinions upon the chareidim, the chareidim tried to force their opinions upon you. Had those women chose to be loving and kind as you appreciate so much, those men would not have been there to act as they did.

      There is room for all of us as long as we do not try to force our own ways on others.

Be well.


  1. The problem is when we try to force invented rules claiming they are from God onto people who know different. When we finally discard all this nonsense, claiming from God, and get back to the real intention of the Torah, then the world will change for the better.

  2. I am against "Women at the Wall" because they're protesting Jewish law at Judaism's holiest site, but I'm also strongly against chillul Hashem. If Chareidim in Israel can't learn how to react in a civilized way to others who disturb them, how is Torah being represented with true Derekh Eretz?

    We Chareidim (I too, do not wear a colored shirt, etc.) can go blaming the non-Orthodox protests for how we behave, but how we behave is under *our* control, not the protesters - so I don't blame the protesters, rather I blame the chillul Hashem both Charedi anti-protesters and anti-Orthodox protesters are practicing, which is solely from the yetzer hara. The thing is, that unlike most of "Women at the Wall", the Chareidim are bnei Torah and therefore are more culpable for their actions than one who is tinuk shenishbi.

  3. I agree with all you say, besides the last thing: "those men would not have been there to act as they did." Ok, those men had to be there (i should have been there too, but my shirt is not so white, maybe i better of not to go ...) but the way they acted has nothing to do with the mission, there is no excuse. We need to show the whole world how to do things. They could have acted in a honored and dignified manner. The result would have been much more impressive.

  4. I agree that people should act civilly and peacefully. Both sides should be respectful.

    In regards to halacha, Tallit and Tefillin are considered clothing, and men and women can't wear each other's clothing.

    I feel that people should just daven peacefully there. A women's prayer is so powerful. And even more if done within Jewish law


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