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The Kotel controversy

The Kotel controversy

Many are following the twists and turns of the Kotel controversy with great interest and often anxiety. While grateful to the Jewish Week for featuring his take on the current state of the controversy, Rabbi Uri Regev feels that further contextualization and explanation is needed beyond the quotes that were reported.


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71% Israeli Jews attach importance to marriage & divorce freedom

71% Israeli Jews attach importance to marriage & divorce freedom

60% of the Jewish Israeli public supports the involvement of American Jewish organizations in advancing marriage freedom in Israel. There is no doubt that for Israelis – breaking the yoke of the fundamentalist Orthodox Rabbinate in marriage and divorce is a top priority among the religion/state battles. Israelis welcome American Jewish partnership in advancing this cause, both for the sake of Israel and for the sake of world Jewry!

Updates: the Kotel agreement & Supreme Court mikva'ot ruling

Updates: the Kotel agreement & Supreme Court mikva'ot ruling

In the last week, there have been a number of developments in the ultra-Orthodox political and rabbinical leadership's battle against the implementation of the Kotel agreement, as well as their battle against the Supreme Court's ruling to make Israel's public mikva'ot available for non-Orthodox conversion ceremonies.

Israel pushed towards theocracy

Israel pushed towards theocracy

Minister Rabbi Litzman: "Netanyahu either loves the Reform Jews of the Diaspora, or the Haredim of Israel; it's either-or. There are no two ways about it... The Supreme Court is destroying everything good related to religion & state, and... the only way to stand against it is by passing legislation."

The Kotel Agreement – Multiple Perspectives

The Kotel Agreement – Multiple Perspectives

The picture that emerges now is fuller and more complex. On the side of those involved in reaching the agreement, additional perspectives have been emerging. Below, we will attempt to organize the primary views and arguments that were heard following the agreement, both pro, con, and those in-between.

After Kotel compromise, dramatic changes still needed

After Kotel compromise, dramatic changes still needed

The progress made over the Kotel should convince communal leaders that we need to further engage in the religion-state clash, and that Israelis need support in advancing the Jewish state’s own core founding principles of religious freedom and equality for all.

Is the Kotel Deal Merely a Fig Leaf For Rabbinic Tyranny?

Is the Kotel Deal Merely a Fig Leaf For Rabbinic Tyranny?

The historic Kotel Agreement represents laudable progress in Israel’s stormy sea of religion, state and politics, but it is important to remember that the issue of prayer at the Kotel is only one of many in the arena of ​​religious freedom. We do not have the luxury of sitting back and relishing this.

Women of the Wall's historic decision will reshape the future of the Western Wall

Women of the Wall's historic decision will reshape the future of the Western Wall

The decision to move Women of the Wall's prayer space from the women's area of the Western Wall to an egalitarian area will end this conflict and allow the Israeli government to approach the religion and state crisis in a more thorough manner.

Guide dogs at the Kotel: The latest battle for freedom of religion at the Western Wall

Guide dogs at the Kotel: The latest battle for freedom of religion at the Western Wall

Despite the ban on guide dogs at the Western Wall, Rabbi Uri Regev's call for support and tolerance for the handicapped is joined by Knesset Member Karin Elharar and Orthodox Rabbi Benny Lau

The Mendelblit-Bennett plan for Western Wall perpetuates gender and religious discrimination

The Mendelblit-Bennett plan for Western Wall perpetuates gender and religious discrimination

Hiddush CEO Rabbi Uri Regev swiftly responded to the Ministry of Religious Services' newly-installed prayer platform under the Western Wall plaza as a danger to Israel's own interests.

Latest arrests of Women of the Wall Continue Despicable Tradition

Latest arrests of Women of the Wall Continue Despicable Tradition

10 women from Women of the Wall were detained for interrogation after finishing their prayers at the Kotel in honor of the new Jewish month.

Arresting WOW Leaders isn't the Answer

Arresting WOW Leaders isn't the Answer

On October 16th, Anat Hoffman of "Women of the Wall" was arrested as she led a monthly Rosh Hodesh prayer service at the Western Wall. On November 15th, six WOW leaders were detained. It's time to face the bigger picture.

U.S. State Department reports limitations on religious freedom despite opposition from most citizens

U.S. State Department reports limitations on religious freedom despite opposition from most citizens

The U.S. State Department 2010 Report on International Religious Freedom sites increasing tension in Israeli society between secular and ultra-Orthodox citizens on issues such as housing allocations, military service exemptions and allocations for religious institutions of study. The report also lists a series of cases of violence against women in terms of extreme demands for modest dress and gender separation.

Signs in Mea She’arim: “No Entry for Men in Uniform.”

Signs in Mea She’arim: “No Entry for Men in Uniform.”

Ultra-Orthodox wall ads blatantly express their distaste for soldiers. On Haredi site “Kikar Shabbat,” new ads are dubbed “new low for Mea She’arim.”

The Lesson Ram Emmanuel Learned in the Holy Land

The Lesson Ram Emmanuel Learned in the Holy Land

Haredim control the area around the Kotel (Western Wall), and anyone whose Judaism is a little different cannot celebrate his Bar Mitzvah there except in the way that they dictate. The White House Chief of Staff got an illustration of the violation of the freedom of religion in Israel.

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