Ahead of Decisive High Court Debate, Non-Orthodox Movements Demand Share in Running Western Wall | The Jewish Press | David Israel | 6 Elul 5777 – August 28, 2017

Photo Credit: Infliv via Flickr

Western wall, Old City

This Thursday, the High Court of Justice will hold a hearing on the outline of the Western Wall management, in advance of which the Attorney General and the Chief Rabbinate have already submitted their position papers. On Monday, Israel Hayom published the positions of Israel’s non-Orthodox movements, who take 27 pages to say they retract their consent to being relegated to the mixed-sex platform near Robinson’s Gate at the far end of the Kotel, and demand representation in the Western Wall Heritage Foundation that manages access to the supporting wall of King Herod’s Temple compound.

The non-Orthodox movements’ demand for representation in the Western Wall Heritage Foundation is precisely the clause that had been overlooked by the Haredi coalition factions, over which they blew up the outline agreement, announcing that they cannot partner with a government that officially recognizes non-Orthodox movements.


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To which the non-Orthodox movements say: “We cannot accept a situation in which the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which has significant roles and powers regarding the operation of the Western Wall, would give voice and expression only to Orthodox Judaism, and give no representation to the non-Orthodox streams and to the women of the Western Wall.”

The rest of the position paper could have been plucked out of an issue of Real Estate Today.

The members of the Conservative, Reform, Women of the Wall, and other non-Orthodox groups tell the high court that, as is always the case in real estate, they can no longer accept the devaluation of their share in the ancient relic on account of reduced exposure to street traffic, or, you guessed it: location, location, location.

“Petitioners’ waiver of the establishment of an egalitarian pluralistic prayer plaza within the existing Western Wall site (i.e. the northern plazas) was conditioned on defining the southern plaza as part of the Western Wall compound, connected to its upper and public expanses by means of access roads,” reads the non-Orthodox opinion, adding the most important part: “And will not be hidden from the eyes of those who come to the Western Wall.”

In other words, the Kotel is the central flea market of religious ideas and you…

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