Government to acknowledge Reform movement for first time

The Israeli government is expected to discuss how to handle prayer at the Kotel tomorrow, after Reform groups demand space of their own.

One of the suggestions provided by a team of experts was to divide the Kotel into two sections; the northern part would be under the responsibility of the Kotel rabbi, while the southern section – where Reform groups would prayer – would answer to the director of the Prime Minister's Office.

An inside source has strongly criticized the haredi parties and Jewish Home for not doing enough, in his words, to counter the recommendations. The official noted that this would be the first time that Reform Judaism is recognized at the Kotel.

"Israel is dividing the Kotel," he told Arutz Sheva. "We are talking about implementing changes to the Kotel without even asking the Chief Rabbi about the issue. There was no input at all from the Ministry of Religious Services, and so special interest groups are effectively causing the recognition of the Reform movement and making the government's decision."

The source further explained that, as long as the same women prayed without getting the government involved, it was bearable despite the seriousness. However, now that the government will recognize them and effectively give them official standing, "We else will try to attack the Chief Rabbinate? Who will ignore it? Why hasn't Jewish Home not do anything? I expect the head of Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett, to remove this proposal from the agenda."

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/207260

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