Feb 17, 2020

Women of the Wall open tefillin booth in Tel Aviv train station

Well, it actually happened. After an organization meant to help improve the efficiency of the trains commented critically, and then retracted, on the installation of a booth for putting on tefillin in a train station, Minister of Transportation Betzalel Smotritch criticized them and said anybody can set up such a booth in train stations and if there is any trouble he will help get it approved.

I must say, he kept his word.

Today the Women of the Wall decided to set up a tefillin booth in the central Tel Aviv train station, as they had said they would. They had requested a permit in advance, but Smotritch never responded. They decided to go ahead with it anyway, but moments later the station manager told them to shut it down and leave. They turn to the administration of Israel Railways and to Minister Smotritch and the decision was quickly reversed and they were allowed to stay with their booth and offer passerby to lay tefillin.



I think Minister Smotritch was right to allow it. He could not really stop it, especially after what he said last week. Not allowing them to man the booth, or woman the booth is perhaps more appropriate, would have turned this into a fight that would have ended up all over the media and probably in the Supreme Court. This is not the Kotel and is not a Haredi or religious stronghold that would be considered a provocation. I think he was right to just let it be and succeed or fail on its own merits and public interest.

Though, according to Srugim, Smotritch denies he gave them the permit to stay. He says he is too busy with solving the public transportation crises of Israel and dealing with the traffic jams to get involved in this. Despite his denial, UTJ (among others) criticized Smotritch for allowing the WOW women to install the booth.


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6 comments:

  1. No matter how one chooses to spin this story, Smotrich walked right into this one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Women get a mitzvah for putting on tallit and tefillin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember learning many years ago that if a woman wants to accept upon herself the obligation of Tfilin, it is within her rights, but once she has accepted the obligation by putting on Tfilin even once, she has obligated herself to keep this mitzva every day for the rest of her life.

      When I was in Yeshiva, this was "Common Knowledge" in the circles I moved in, although recently I tried to find a source for this and couldn't find anything.

      Has anyone else heard that putting on Tfilin once obligates a woman to commit to this mitzva for the rest of her life - or is either my memory failing me, or what I once thought of as "Common Knowledge" was in fact neither common nor knowledge.

      Delete
    2. Michael - I am not even sure what the source is that men need to put on tefillin every day, let alone women! Yes, we generally do (at least most/all religious people do), but I am unclear as to the requirement of this daily observance.

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  3. These wicked, whacky women have an agenda. People are still asleep and don't want to learn. They chose the unG-Dly city of Tel Aviv where they know they can easily find their perfect prey for their ignorant, stupid and purposeful agenda of telling these uninformed women complete lies. BTW, Nachum, it is not a mitzvah for women to take on men's roles and go against thousands of years of mesorah! This is all part of the agenda of deJudaizing Israel. This is part of their war against H'. Wake up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not saying it's *traditional* for women to wear tallit and tefillin. I'm just pointing out that it's not an averah for them to do so, and they get s'char. Like, say, waving a lulav or sitting in a sukkah.

      Delete

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