The photos are breathtaking, the vision is slowly being realized, the message has been heard, and the response has been awe-inspiring. As the plaza of the Kosel filled beyond capacity and the kol tefillah echoed in a way rarely seen, the impact of primarily American-born, English-speaking seminary girls was carried throughout the globe. In a cordoned off corner designated for their services and secured by the IDF, an energetic bunch of Reform women clad in tallis garments chanted, but their chatter was drowned out by the sheer attendance of the Orthodox.
This past Friday, March 4, tens of thousands of men, women, and girls in seminary peacefully gathered at the Kosel to daven on Rosh Chodesh. The massive gathering at the Western Wall, an attempt to prevent the desecration of the kedushah of the Kosel by the Reform movement Women of the Wall, was spearheaded by the Libah Yehudit Organization, headed by Oren Honig. The group has been at the forefront of this struggle for years, organizing countless gatherings to prevent a discernable Reform presence.
Honig consulted with Rav Chaim Kanievsky and Rav Gershon Edelstein, who both sanctioned the Rosh Chodesh Adar Beis project and urged Honig to publicize the dire need for protecting the sanctity of Kosel as we have become accustomed. The gedolim stressed the importance of enlisting everyone who values its holiness to come to the 7:00 a.m. davening at the site this past Friday, and the response was overwhelming.
Action is urgently needed now to thwart Reform leaders, who are pressuring the Bennett government to expedite the building of a massive new raised section of the Kosel plaza for Reform worship. They are demanding control of “their” half of the area known as the plaza. With this influence, they can implement the use of microphones, female choirs, and video screens that are routinely used in Reform synagogues including on Shabbos. These devices will lead to distractions throughout the Kosel plaza. Reform services are known to include men and women holding hands and dancing together, as well as sermons condemning Orthodox Jews, Israeli soldiers, and the State Israel.
However, the Reform goal does not end at the Kosel. Their leadership seeks to take control of conversions, marriages, kashrut, and they aim to destroy the role of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. The chareidi, dati leumi, and mesorati populations in Israel vehemently oppose Reform dominance at the Western Wall and in any religious sphere within Eretz Yisrael.
Rabbi Mati Dan, chairman of Ateret Cohanim, works hand in hand with the Libah Yehudit Organization, chiefly in coordinating litigation to prevent the Reform from taking any control of the Kosel. Rabbi Dan’s tireless efforts have checked the Reform’s advances in Israel’s Supreme Court. But each new attempt by the Reform to block Israel’s religious status quo demands new countermoves in the courts by Rabbi Dan.
Last week, American leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements met with Prime Minister Bennett and were assured of his government’s support for their equal participation in prayers at the Kosel plaza. In conjunction with Reform MK Gilad Kariv, Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, they brought Sifrei Torah into the Kosel area in defiance of the regulations and in desecration of the Kosel’s kedushah. These blatant violations require challenges in the courts and on the ground.
As Rav Kanievsky proclaimed, the Reform and Conservative movements cause the destruction of Am Hayehudi. The Israeli public, spanning the religious and traditional, must unite to fight against this destruction and protect the last vestige of the holy Beit Hamikdash. Jews the world over must band together to support the religious purity of the Jewish people and warriors like the Libah Yehudit Organization and Rabbi Dan, who are leading that charge.
By QJL Staff