Women of the Wall (WoW) plan to hold morning Passover prayers at the women’s section of the Kotel (Western Wall) on Sunday.
Women of the Wall chairperson Anat Hoffman on Thursday responded to the General Attorney’s decision to nix the planned female “Priestess Blessing” at the Kotel.
"This is an unhappy decision that submits to political pressure of an extremist minority group whose sole aim is to sabotage gender equality at the Western Wall and prevent women from having the right of prayer and worship," said Hoffman, whose small organization has long caused provocations at the Kotel by publicly flaunting Jewish tradition.
“It is surprising that at this time, when there is such a need of prayer and blessing for people of Israel, the General Attorney supports delegitimization of women’s prayer, whose only wish is to bless and be blessed,” said Hoffman.
She then noted that police will work to stop WoW's planned event at the Kotel so as to avoid tensions and potential clashes.
“Regretfully, following his decision, the Jerusalem police traffic department has decided to follow suit and informed us that the police will prevent the buses, bringing women from all over the country, from approaching the Old City gates. This will make it even harder for women to come and pray at the Kotel.”
Attorney Riki Shapira, a Women of the Wall board member, said the group “disagree with the Attorney General’s jurisdiction since the holidays prayers of Shacharit (morning prayers) and Mussaf (additional holiday prayers) include in them the Priestly Blessings, and these prayers are part of the ‘local custom’ as stated by the ruling of Judge Sobel.”
“It is infuriating that the decision was given to us at the last moment, without the benefit of hearing our side before making it, as required by Israel's Administrative Law. Also, the decision was made at such a time that we cannot appeal it to the Supreme Court.”