Sunday, June 18, 2017


Idolatry at the Kotel

   by Reb Gutman Locks  

Idolatry at the Kotel


     Every year or so a group of some 30 x-ians from Fiji come to Jerusalem for a couple of weeks. They come with their pastor whom they call their "prophet". First, understand that they are very nice people, really. Now, having said that, know that it is not pleasant to daven with them sitting in front of the minyan.

     They like to come very early in the morning and stand close to the Kotel. Often, they start mumbling very loudly in Fijian. Some of them are holding a copy of their "new bible" with the story of yushka. And today one of them added a shirt to advertise his distorted belief that that man was god! (picture)

     Often they sit or stand close to the Kotel when we are davening so we have non-Jews praying to yushka right by us when we pray. It does not feel good to have someone worship an idol sitting a few feet away from us when we are praying.

     Hundreds of thousands of x-ians come to the Kotel every year. Often they kneel down next to the Kotel, or will make circles holding hands and pray out loud.

     Obviously it is forbidden for anyone to worship an idol anywhere, and all the more so is it forbidden to do so in this holy place, but no one does anything about it. When they get too loud, and especially if they are making the Torah reading hard to hear I yell at them and they look startled, but they stop.

     Seeing that no one is doing anything about it, I asked the senior Rabbi of the Old City if they are allowed to do this. He said that it is forbidden, but do not stop them. When I asked him why aren't they told that their religious practices are not welcome in this holy place? He replied that it would make a huge disturbance in the Western world.

     Can you imagine what would happen if they would do these things in a mosque at prayer time?

     Surely there is some polite, effective way to let guests know that they should not display their idolatrous beliefs at the Kotel.

     When Hashem said,[i] in the end days, "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people", He did not mean that idolatry will be welcome here. Hashem said, "My House"... Hashem's house… not a house of idolatry.


[i] Isaiah 56:7


  1. I see now hou feel Nd think.

    But the Kotel as i have learned is just part of a wall far away from where the temple was.

    Mosque is a place where Muslins pray.
    Like wise a synagogue is a place where Jews pray.
    And a vhurch where Christians pray.

    As i see it then, anyone could prY at the Kotel, as its nit a Misque or a Synagogue or a. churh. Nu?

  2. Just imaging if the Govt went along with permitting an ‘egalitarian section’ at the Kotel? In all fairness, there should also be a xtian section at the Kotel. [of course, we cannot permit that, but…]

    And the world would be livid.

    So what!

  3. Whenever I go to the Kotel and I see similar things in the women's section, or if they take pictures on Shabbat or Chag, I go to them very firmly and tell them that it is forbidden. I tell them: " no crosses allowed here". or "no writing on Shabbat" (for a petek), etc. They usually listen - but I end up looking like one angry Nudnikit.

    That won't stop me, though.

  4. Few months ago I visited Kever of David Hamelech and it was packed with Christian worshipers, especially in women's section. There was a lady, who started to chase them out, telling them to leave the place and do their avodah zorah elsewhere. Well, they left ,but were back with police and some government official. They tried to arrest the lady, who did an honorable act, but they learned that she wasn't Israeli but a tourist also. So they gave her a warning not to do it anymore, because it's a tourist's attraction and has nothing to do with sanctity. Looks like all Jewish sacred sites are marked a tourist attraction. Well, if you employ this lable then you can't explain the Western world why they cannot come with their avoda Zarah. Maybe there is a blessing in disguise that Har Bait is controlled by Muslims, because if that place would be controlled by Israeli/Erev Rav government they would turn the place into Disney World.

  5. From year to year, the situation gets worse. What do you expect when the leadership allows this chilul H' to go on? They are the Erev Rav!!!

    To the first above commenter, there is a great difference between the mosque being there and a church. The latter is complete idolatry. It is not by coincidence that the mosque has been there for centuries; Hashem runs the world and made sure that it is there until we have our holy Beit Hamikdash,

    The Erev Rav have made a pact with the devil just as our Sages tell us; their goal is to unite Esav and Yishmael to destroy Judaism.
    It will NOT work!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Gee. And I thought that avodah zarah is one of the few issurim we're even supposed to give our lives in order to prevent ourselves from participating. IOW, we shouldn't care about "huge disturbance in the Western world," assuming that means putting ourselves in danger. We should be mosrei nefesh.

    But, what do I know? I'm not a rabbi.

  8. The erev rav are those who kept the Torah to themselves. Well, that's pretty clear now.

    The Kotel is nothing more than a retaining wall build by the most evil Herod. So Jews pray at a wall build by a Herodian Arab, so talk about being humiliated. Praying at a wall built while they pray on our site. Time to act like Hebrews again..

  9. Shiloh, i like uour comment and agree.

    Annonymous at 2.26 p.m.

    I did not say that there is a church or a mosque there, neither is there a shnagogue there. It is just a retaining wall left, of what was once.

    Let whoever wants to pray.
    Each hunan gas to face Hadhem oneday, so why not Jews just directly appeal to Gd?

    And DS, if you just do mot get angry and be cslm, who knows, these whom you dislike, perhaps their inner eye might open, and their minds begin to think of who reall Gd is... Who knows that you just praying for that is what you go for ni? And let them see how the Chosen are, they may seek to kniw mire of Hashemem... And pkease Gd, they might chsnge and be ome Noahides.
    By you getting angry, they may just see you as what you are wrongly portraying of the Chosen peopke.
    Remember Avraham... He taught with giving of himself by example, and not getting 'mad', at the complete strangers whom he ran to bring ibto his tent, to wash their feet snd feed them..

    Ah, may all humans choose to be kind, instead of being angry.. The world is mad enough, lets try not yo add by trying to prove, 'we are I am better than these christians'.
    Kindness and love will a hie e more than anger.
    Gd bless you and all those Jews being hurt.
    Remember, Hashem is in charge.

  10. Oh...
    Read Emunaroma blog.

    In her latest write-up ' Judging favourably... ', go to where she 'sums it all up.'

    That will explain what i have been trying to say.

    Hadhem bless all.

  11. Why can't they put up a sign that certain foreign religious symbols are not aloud at the Kotel? Just like when the Pope visited Israel, he hid his avodah zarah that he wore on his chest, why can't that request be placed at the Kotel to ask idolaters to be respectful?

  12. Of course, the Kotel is not the main point. Why don't we control the Temple Mount is only one of them.

    Allowing pray tow false deities is also a point. But, we're not allowed to talk about that in a "deMOCKratic" state, are we?

    Plus let us not forget these people roaming around the Shomron, causing Jews to vacate, and those "right-wing, religious" Jews who are aiding them.

  13. To A-non: What are you doing at this Jewish site? There are enough sites for you to go on and not preach to us about Judaism and the kotel.
    There is all kind of idolatry going on at the kotel, the remaining remnant of part of our Beit Hamikdash in our Jewish Homeland! Seems everyone wants a piece of what G-D Almighty gave to His children, Israel. The rest of the world doesn't seem to be big enough for any of you.

  14. If Conservative/Reform services are not allowed at the Wall, why should Xtian services be?

    BTW, that shirt (going by the back) does not really have a religious symbol, but the Fijian flag--which like many other former British possessions incorporates the Union Jack.

    Jeffrey Smith

  15. To Annoynous at. 9.16..
    I sm here at a Jewish blog.

    The owner of the blog csn tell me to stay off.. Not you.

    And you do not know who i am... So quit your anger.

    'Be, still and know that Hadhem is Gd'


  16. I think that the Rabbi of the Wall, and senior "regulars" such as yourself Reb Gutman, should have no qualms in approaching the leader of such groups, and explaining to them that there is a customary way to pray at such a holy place. There should be no qualms whatsoever explaining that loud group prayer is selfish and disturbs others, and that they should observe the custom of Jewish prayer at the wall.
    As for the question of idolatry, I think Reb Gutman that you are the expert in taking people aside quietly, and reasoning with them about the difference between x-tians and Noahides.
    I commend you for shooshing them.

  17. Also, another thing which is usually not mentioned is that it is the cutomary way of most societies to respect the holy places where they visit anywhere in the world; i.e., respecting the customs of that nation, religion, etc. and not go against their wishes and disrupt their laws and customs. But, it seems when coming to the Kotel, many people, both individuals and groups seem to think they can go against the laws and customs of the Jewish people. Believe, it is so because many Jews themselves seem to disrespect themselves and our laws, so the visitor feels he/she can do so too. If we want respect, we must respect ourselves, meaning our Torah.


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