Aug 16, 2009

Walking the Tightrope

On Thursday I saw an article somewhere about people complaining about Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch. the official Rav of the Holy Places of Israel and Chief Rabbi of the Kotel, that he is "haredi-izing" the kotel and other holy sites, making it less accessible to non-haredi and non-religious people, by making their stay their less comfortable by his agreeing to demands made by haredi groups.

The specific examples by the kotel we extending mechitzas out to the general plaza, along with making the womens section smaller.

On Shabbos, I was in Jerusalem in Ezras Torah down the block from where Rabbi Rabinovitch lives, and pretty much every week his opponents from Satmar protest at some point in front of his house and/or throw pashkevilim around his street right before shabbos.

The pashkevilim of this shabbos decried Rabbi Rabinovitch's attempt to "secularize" the holy sites around Israel, specifically Meron. He is forming some sort of council to decide on renovations and has applied to the Safra fund for funding as a tourist attraction. The pashkevil complains that he is secularizing it and instead of guarding it as a holy site is trying to bring non-religious people to be "tourists" there.

So, the secular don't like him because he makes things too haredi, and the haredi don't like him because he makes everything too secular.

Talk about not being able to please anybody! He has got some tough job there....


  1. "The specific examples by the kotel we extending mechitzas out to the general plaza, along with making the womens section smaller."

    berlin wall-style mehitzot are not my thing, but i don't really care. i don't think it's right to make the women's section smaller. this reminds me of my mother's shul where we daven on the yamim nora'im. the women are squeezed into a much smaller section, while the men get plenty of stretching space

  2. It is just not right that ALL of the citizens in Eretz HaKodesh be segregated into "kosher" and "non-kosher". I believe that Hashem is the One to pass judgment on Am Yisrael, and that happpens on Rosh HaShanah!

    Decorum is necessary, adequate spacing, and necessary facilities are important at all the religious sites, but to say that "you" are not allowed, while "You" are allowed to visit is unJewish. They are our ancestors; the ancestors of ALL AM YISRAEL.

    How does one get to do teshuva (which means 'returning to Hashem') if they are pushed away, demeaned, and attacked?

    decorum = dignified propriety of behavior, speech, dress, etc


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