Hadassah Women get Stoned

The day after the Israeli Supreme Court, rejected the petition by women to pray aloud at the Wall, a group of American Hadassah board members praying at the Western Wall were stoned by some Orthodox worshipers and later were escorted away by police. The Hadassah women, unknowing of the court decision, had gone to the Wall with a Torah which stayed wrapped In a prayer shawl and on a table. One of the women wore a yarmulke and a prayer shawl. According to Barbara Goldstein, a vice president of Hadassah, some of the ardently Orthodox women at the Wall began throwing stones and dirt and spitting at the Hadassah women, while both men and women cursed them. Ultimately, the women were led away by police and guards from the Religious Affairs Ministry.

Ze’ev Rosenberg, director general of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, first charged the women were in “contempt of court.” But when told they had not heard of the court’s decision, he was surprised and referred to their action as a mistake.

It’s a “crazy thing”, Goldstein said, to come to Israel and be barred “from fulfilling the very thing you come to fulfill, the highest expression of Judaism.” She said the issue will be taken up by the board of Hadassah, which includes women from all streams of Judaism and is based on religious pluralism. She said it is likely the organization would move to forge closer ties with Israeli women’s groups.