The Women of the Wall - A Metaphor for National and Religious Identity

Israel Studies Review, Volume 30, Issue 2, Winter 2015: 50-70

Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 16-05

22 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2016

See all articles by Pnina Lahav

Pnina Lahav

Boston University - School of Law

Date Written: January 20, 2016

Abstract

The Women of the Wall wish to participate in communal prayer in the women’s section of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Their practice is to pray as a group, wrap themselves in a tallit, and read from the Torah scroll. They represent Jewish pluralism in that their group includes Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and secular women. They represent openness to change in that they base their claims on Halakhic interpretation, thereby embracing the capacity of Jewish law to evolve. This article reviews the resistance of the religious and political establishment in Israel to their claim and their struggle, unsuccessful so far, to get recognition.

Keywords: feminism, freedom of worship, High Court of Justice, Jerusalem, law and religion, religious pluralism, “women of the wall”

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K39, K33

Suggested Citation

Lahav, Pnina, The Women of the Wall - A Metaphor for National and Religious Identity (January 20, 2016). Israel Studies Review, Volume 30, Issue 2, Winter 2015: 50-70; Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 16-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2719030

Pnina Lahav (Contact Author)

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-2820 (Phone)
617-353-3077 (Fax)

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