The Temple Mount Jerusalem is often the site of religious tensions and Jewish-Muslim clashes, yet interfaith religious tensions are also apparent. The news media often focuses exclusively on the overt aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, rather than religious activism—and sometimes violence—within Jewish and Muslim groups.
The Women of the Wall, a Jewish feminist group, organized a covert Bat Mitzvah at the Western Wall at the Temple Mount on Friday 24 October 2014.
According to The New York Times, “Women of the Wall has fought to be allowed to pray in the women’s section of the wall wearing fringed prayer shawls, singing aloud and reading from the Torah — practices that strictly Orthodox Jews have traditionally reserved for men.”
The Women of the Wall defied the rabbinical authorities at the Western Wall, who had not approved the Bat Mitzvah on Friday. The Women of the Wall have previously been targeted by conservative activists, who have allegedly torn their posters and slashed the tires of buses carrying their messages. This controversial act of religious activism is already generating debate across Israel and the Jewish world.
Students investigating religious violence or gender and violence will be interested in this story.
The New York Times reports on the Bat Mitzvah at the Western Wall.