Western Wall Arrangement Includes Three-Tiered Mix-Gender Plaza For Non-Orthodox Prayer

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JERUSALEM (VINnews)— Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana (Yemina) appeared to be reneging on his support for the 2016 Western Wall compromise deal which would allow the construction of a mixed-gender plaza for non-Orthodox prayer at the holy site.

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“The vast majority of the Jews in Israel are Orthodox Jews and therefore I don’t think it’s right to give over control of parts of the Western Wall to streams that don’t represent the vast majority of Jews in Israel,” Kahana said in an interview with the Kan public broadcaster.

“I don’t necessarily support this framework,” he said of the 2016 proposal. “It must be studied, to see how we resolve the [religious] wars” surrounding the Western Wall.

“In the end, I think we must end the disagreements surrounding the Western Wall, without giving over control of any kind to denominations that represent a very small minority of Jews,” he added.

Previously Kahane had expressed support for reviving the agreement, which was frozen by former prime minister Netanyahu after sharp protests from the chareidi members of the coalition. Other members of the current government have touted restoring the agreement which would see the Reform and Conservative movements gaining control of the part of the wall situated in the southern archaeological park below the Mughrabi bridge- which is to the right of the current plaza.

simulation of new Reform site at Western Wall

B’Chadrei Chareidim published details of the proposed arrangement which included a new three-tiered platform to be erected by the government at the site, as well as providing Sifrei Torah, siddurim and tables just as these exist at the regular plaza. The arrangement would prohibit orthodox ceremonies from taking place at the site which would be managed by Reform and Conservative representatives and would not be under the jurisdiction of the Rabbinate. At the same time, the Women of the Wall have rejected the compromise and said they would continue their provocations at the regular plaza.

 

 

 

 


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