Oct 17, 2012

Rosh Chodesh "Mar Cheshvan": A Response by an IDF soldier to Anat Hoffman's arrest

Dear Chevreh,

I share below an email from a dear friend, Debby Tamir, who with her mother and her younger daughter was at the Kotel for Rosh Hodesh.  Anat Hoffman, leader of Women of the Wall, was arrested Tuesday night when Hadassah Women came to celebrate Rosh Hodesh with Women of the Wall.  Debby and her daughter went back Wednesday morning for the Rosh Hodesh tefillot and 2 more WOW board members were arrested. Below, please find - and please read - an excerpt from the Jerusalem Post about Anat's experience while in police custody AND something that Debby's older daughter, currently serving in the IDF, wrote in response to the experience.

May this month find us angry at and willing to do something about an unjust Judaism that must not be allowed to continue in our heart's home,
Menachem

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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
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from the Jerusalem Post article:

"It was awful," Hoffman told The Forward. "In the past when I was detained I had to have a policewoman come with me to the bathroom, but this was something different. This time they checked me naked, completely, without my underwear. They dragged me on the floor 15 meters; my arms are bruised. They put me in a cell without a bed, with three other prisoners, including a prostitute and a car thief. They threw the food through a little window in the door. I laid on the floor covered with my tallit. I'm a tough cookie, but I was just so miserable. And for what? I was with the Hadassah women saying Sh'ma Yisrael."

In a press statement, the group said that it remains "committed to their struggle to gain the right of all women to pray at the Kotel, each according to her own custom, with Torah, tallit and voices raised in song."

Israeli law, upheld by the Supreme Court, stipulates that it is forbidden to conduct a religious ceremony "contrary to accepted practice" at a holy site, or one that may "hurt the feelings of other worshipers."

Rosh Chodesh "Mar Cheshvan": A Response to Anat Hoffman's arrest
from Orly Tamir

I am a 20 year old female soldier serving in the IDF for a year now. After making Aliya with my family in August 2006, I could not wait to be a part of the army - organization - that protects my beloved country of Israel, day in and day out.

My mother, sister and Savta were at the Kotel last night along with Hadassah however due to my army duties I was not able to join. While hearing my Ima and sister tell me the stories from last night, I started to cry and cry. While this is an issue I have spoken about and thought about many times before, it simply never gets easier.

Now that I am part of the armed forces protecting this country that I call home, I feel that my love for israel, my zionism, is being taken for granted. THIS is not the country I wish to fight for- a country that arrests women for expressing feminism and zionism in the holiest place for the Jewish people.

I know that there is more to this wonderful country than that and yet I find myself finding more and more things that I would like to change than things I would like to keep.

I thank everyone from WOW for reminding me day after day that I am NOT crazy to belive in religious freedom - for reminding me what it means to be a fighter, a believer and a TRUE Zionist.