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Dec 12, 2016

Proposed Law: Kotel and the Rabbanut

The Haredi MKs are still looking for the right solution that will stick and be acceptable that will protect their control over what happens in the Kotel area.

Previously Minister Aryeh Deri tried to push through a law that would mandate the Kotel area operating according to halacha as defined by a set of regulations for proper decorum in the area. At the time, Minister Kachlon explicitly opposed the proposal and shot it down.

Now the religious parties are proposing a law that would give a fine and up to 6 months imprisonment to anybody acting in opposition to the rules laid out by the Rabbanut in the Kotel area.

The law will ban mixed-gender prayer, ceremonies with sifrei torah and reading of the torah in the women's section, shofar blowing and wearing tallis and/or tefillin in the women's section. The law would also ban photography in the entire area without the permission of the Kotel Rav.

The law will also ban speeches and signs, immodest dress, religious ceremonies not in accordance with the Rabbanut rules, offering religious services without the approval of the Kotel Rav..

The law would apply only to the Kotel Plaza area and not to the area of Robinson's Arch where the disputed "Reform Kotel" is slated to be..but the law does leave themselves flexibility to redefine the boundaries of the Kotel Plaza area controlled by the Rabbanut  whenever they want.
source: Galei Tzahal and Kipa

I have no idea why banning photography is important or what it does for anybody. I can see this being used to knock the entire thing done from a legal perspective. Are they going to enforce this against every tourist who goes to the Kotel and takes a picture? Obviously not, but that will mean selective enforcement would be employed and that would then allow it to be challenged.

Will it this get through or get knocked down as well? Time will tell, but I don't see why this attempt to circumvent and retract the Kotel deal with the Reform will end any differently..

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  1. Yasher koach to those proposing this 'great' proposal. Just sad that this even has to be proposed. The kotel is the last remaining part of our Batei Mikdash and MUST be treated with the respect and laws of Torah! That's it; should be NO debate about it!

  2. 6 Months in jail for blowing a shofar? That is the same penalty for blowing shofar at the Kotel under the British Mandate. I thought Haredi MKs were against copying the goyim.


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