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Response of the Rabbi of the Western Wall

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Itongadol.- Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, said that he received the decision of the government secretary regarding prayer arrangements at the Western Wall “with a heavy heart and a sigh of relief”.

“Ever since the fringe and vociferous group of ‘Women of the Wall’ started its mass-media activity, the Western Wall went from being a unifying site to one of incessant quarrels.  The chilul Hashem (defamation of G-d’s name) that this group and its supporters have caused is terrible, and it will take years to repair it.
“My personal and halachic (Jewish legal) stands on the subject are well known.  Prayer in general and at the Western Wall in particular must be based on halacha and Jewish tradition as passed down from generation to generation.  The situation in which we have found ourselves stems from legal constraints and the fear of additional deterioration in the battles breaching the sacred walls and defaming the name of Heaven.  We must do everything to put this terrible chapter behind us.
“I congratulate the setting aside of the Sharansky plan.  It is a pity that the Women of the Wall did not act in accordance to what the committee recommended already over a decade ago – when the plaza was established at Robinson’s Arch.
“The Western Wall will continue to remain open to any worshipper – man or woman – at all hours of every day, with respect and loyalty to Jewish tradition and Jewish heritage, as the Western Wall is the clear symbol of these.” 

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