Friday, November 04, 2016

I Hope You Are Not Hypocritical, Rabbi Wernick

The CEO of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Rabbi Steven C. Wernick writes:

What’s the big deal about Israeli and Diaspora Jews, including myself, deciding to join with Women of the Wall on Wednesday to exercise our right to pray and read Torah in a women's prayer service at the Western Wall and in a mixed prayer service in the Western Wall plaza?

The big deal is that, as part of the thousands-year journey of the Jewish people, we turn east when we pray, no matter our geography.  Jerusalem, the Kotel and the Temple Mount mean for us what they mean for all Jews – hope.  Hope that tomorrow will be better than today.  Hope that Jewish wandering and persecution will end.  Hope that we will again lihiyot am hofshi b'artzeinu - be a free people in our ancestral homeland.  Hope that redemption will be at hand and the Jewish People will be given an opportunity, through a Jewish state, to practice the ideals, values, belief and traditions that have not only ensured our survival, but have nurtured our thriving.


But, God forbid, not hoping for the reconstructing of the Temple and revitalizing the Temple service, correct?

And no breaking in to the Temple Mount with Torah scrolls to pray in an egalitarian minyan there, correct?

And no criticism of Islamic fundamentalism in harming Jews who do not pray (due to the status quo restrictions which you do not protest)?

Or do you?

Do you follow this Conservative permission to enter?

Rabbi Wernick, you have learned this in Tractate Sotah, for sure:

אמר לה ינאי מלכא לדביתיה: אל תתיראי מן הפרושין ולא ממי שאינן פרושין אלא מן הצבועין. שדומין לפרושין שמעשיהן כמעשה זמרי ומבקשין שכר כפנחס
King Jannai said to his wife', 'Fear not the Pharisees and those who are not Pharisees but the hypocrites who ape the Pharisees; because their deeds are the deeds of Zimri  but they expect a reward like Pinchas'.

I hope you are not hypocritical.

Jewish identity in an active fashion within the Temple Mount is a civil rights issue, is a lawful one, actually, but is limited by government policy and judicial weakness.

We could use your support: vocal, lobbying.

Or maybe you and your fellow activists would join a break-in with Torah scrolls?


You also wrote:

The Prime Minister asked us to wait.  We've waited 2,000 years for a return to Jerusalem, to the Kotel.  

And?  And to?

And to the Temple Mount.

Even Naomi Shemer wrote that in "Jerusalem of Gold".

And no one frequents the Temple Mount
In the Old City...
We have returned...
A (shofar) calls out on the Temple Mount
In the Old City. 

And you added, too:

The Kotel belongs to all of the Jewish people - in all of our diversity.

You can be in all your diversity.  But a national monument, not to mention a religious one, is not altered to fit each and every diversity. Extra space can always be made but why do you demand to alter what has existed for centuries, by people who come daily, every day, every hour, which is, at least as regards the WOWers, once a month for an hour?  Is that a fair demand?  One to act in a direct action way?  And to ignore other Jews' own diversity?