Text by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi
I didn’t know that for almost two decades a group of Israeli women who called their movement Women of The Wall have been fighting for their right to pray at the the Western Wall in Jerusalem, which is one of Judaism’s holiest sites, carrying a Torah (a prayer shawl).
The Western Wall which is also known as the Wailing Wall is a holy site for both Muslims and Jews. It is believed to have been erected around 19 B.C. at the time of Herod the Great, and has been the site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for many centuries. Its structure stands at the western side of the iconic Temple Mount.
Their goal is to abolish the 2003 Israeli Supreme Court ruling that prohibited women from carrying a Torah at the site, a right which is traditionally reserved only for men. They believe that the holy site belongs to all Jewish people regardless of gender. In the past few months a number of women carrying the Torah were arrested by police officers. These arrests have sparked an international outcry.