Jan 24, 2018

need objective rules for Kotel events

The interesting brouhaha right now is the decision yesterday by Rabbi Rabinovitch when VP Mike Pence went to the Kotel. Rabbi Rabinovitch decided that the male and female journalists and photographers needed to be separated with the women placed behind the men and their site of view cut off, making their work difficult.

I don't know what is the right move in such a situation.
On the one hand, this was not a religious Jewish Orthodox prayer session - the entire Kotel had been cleared out of people for Pence's visit, so no Jews were praying there, so technically no separation was really needed. Also, this was not a situation of mingling, but of professional journalists trying to work and document the event.
On the other hand, it is the Kotel, and I can see Rabbi Rabinovitch not wanting to differentiate between events, especially as he makes the rules of conduct in the Kotel area stricter over time - even though many events (though fewer and fewer as time goes on) there are mixed.
Additionally, and this is a he says she says situation, Rabbi Rabinovitch says they had the same arrangements back when Trump visited the Kotel. The journalists deny that and say they were allowed to work as regular all together when Trump visited and this is new.

At the end of the day, I think the solution is that there needs to be some sort of set of rules decided on by some sort of body created for this purpose and not just by the whims of one person who does not have to answer to anybody.


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