Women holding Torahs to send photos to Israeli leaders


(JTA) — Women of the Wall has launched a global campaign to support their right to pray with Torah scrolls at the Western Wall.

The Jerusalem-based group wants 10,000 Jewish women around the world to send photos of themselves holding Torah scrolls to key Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky. The campaign is to show that Jewish women are free to hold Torah scrolls everywhere except at the Wall, Judaism’s most holy site.

The campaign was inspired by the July 12 arrest of the group’s leader, Anat Hoffman, who was taken into custody for holding a Torah scroll at the Wall. An Israeli Supreme Court ruling forbids women reading from a Torah scroll at the site. 

The photos are being sent with a message that reads, in part:

“Women of the Wall are not alone.  Our daughters and our rabbis, our mothers and our grandmothers, our cantors and our teachers hold the Torah, read from the Torah, and study the Torah every day … Only in Jerusalem do women pray with fear and only in Jerusalem are women treated as criminals for practicing Judaism.”

The campaign began after Tisha b’Av on July 19 and extends through Simchat Torah, which ends Oct 1.

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