JERUSALEM, June 3, 2013 – Women for the Women, a grassroots organization committed to preserving the sanctity of the Kotel strongly condemns the threat of violence against the Chief Rabbis of Israel and the charedi community at large. Today a letter addressed to the Chief Rabbis threatened them if they continued to oppose the efforts of the Women of the Wall, led by Reform activist Anat Hoffman to pray at the Kotel in a fashion not following classical Jewish tradition.
The rabbis received identical letters threatening that, “If you don’t allow the Women of the Wall to pray in our way as is our custom, we will fight with you with every means and you will return home with the bodies of 100 dead chareidim. Your end is near. Dosim (derogatory name for religious people) stink, are disgusting, parasites.” Both letters were accompanied by pictures of guns. “We will no longer hold back, said the letters. “We will liberate the Kotel anew.”
Ronit Peskin, Women for the Wall founder stated “we are deeply troubled that threats of violence are being used. We call on the leadership of Women of the Wall and the liberal Jewish organizations backing them to repudiate this dangerous escalation of conflict over the Western Wall.
“We are extremely pained by the atmosphere of divisiveness and hate that has developed as a result of Women of the Wall ‘s insistence to introduce unilateral changes to the prayer tradition practiced at the Western Wall,” said Ronit Peskin. “We call on Women of the Wall to join us in dialogue that can hopefully defuse the situation and lead to sufficient trust for reaching a mutually acceptable solution.
Three weeks ago when a small group of religions teens attempted to interfere with the liberal women, who were leading nontraditional prayer, Ronit Peskin stated: “whatever our views are, Judaism is a religion that is based on ways of peace. We are against violence of any sort.”
“The Western Wall is the spiritual home of the entire Jewish People so emotions are running high,” said Leah Aharoni co-founder of Women for the Wall. “The government has to assume responsibility and implement a solution immediately, before it’s too late.”
Women for the Wall is dedicated to ensuring that the Kotel can be a place for all Jews to come and pray with respect and dignity. It believes that only by preserving classical Jewish practice at the Wall can it be a place where all Jews can be welcome.