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Oct. 26, 2017
6 Cheshvan 5778

Dear Friends,

Tens of paratroopers entered hand to hand combat on their way to the Kotel in 1967. These paratroopers are generally viewed as war heroes. Yet, when 50 aging Kotel liberating paratroopers appeared at security to help Women of the Wall bring their Torah scroll to the women’s section to read, our heroes were treated like rif raff. A Haredi man yelled, ““You didn’t liberate the Wall, God did!” Meanwhile, security guards and others wrestled paratrooper Micha Eshet to the ground as he held the Torah steadfast in his arms.

This we call enforcing Israeli government policies? This we call justice in the Jewish homeland?

Did God liberate the Kotel? Of course! No question about it! God also gave us the Torah, but that does not give people the right to tell Moses that he was not part of us receiving the Torah and it certainly does not give people the right to wrestle Moses to the ground when he was engaged in helping and support Israelites during their journey in the wilderness.

Check out these links about what happened on Rosh Hodesh Heshvan:

Six Day War vets, Women of the Wall scuffle with guards at Western Wall, Times of Israel.

Soldiers Who Liberated Jerusalem Pushed Away from the Western Wall

Dozens of Israeli Army Veterans of Six-Day War Roughed Up Trying to Bring Torah Scrolls to Western Wall

We look forward to hearing from you at: organizers@rrfei.org and on our FB group.

Kol tuv,


Rabbi Pam Frydman

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This week's RRFEI articles

Summaries & Links

  1. RRFEI: "Religionization" in Israel secular public schools: The most recent symptomatic example of the Israeli debate over "religionization" in Israeli public secular schools, which reflects much of the drama and the emotions that play a role in it, can be seen in an interview given this week to Channel 10 (Israeli TV) by Naftali Bennett, Minister of Education and leader of the Jewish Home party. We highly recommend that you listen to the interview (follow the link). Under Bennett’s leadership and inspiration, millions of Israeli government shekels are invested in funding activities of Orthodox religious NGOs that provide classes and programs in Jewish identity in secular public schools. These programs are often skewed and aimed at brainwashing, and the funding mechanism used by the government is fraught with questions and possibly with legal issues. [LINK]
  2. High Court rules TA shops can remain open on Shabbat: In a landmark ruling on a deeply contentious issue, the High Court of Justice ruled on Thursday that grocery stores can remain open on Shabbat in Tel Aviv.
    Interior Minister Aryeh Deri slammed the ruling as a change to the religious status quo in Israel and “a serious blow to the holy Shabbat and the character of the Jewish people,”
    In the ruling, outgoing Supreme Court President Miriam Naor was critical of Deri’s position, saying it did not grant sufficient autonomy to the Tel Aviv Municipality, which she said is the basis for local government.
    Justice Naor deliberately presented this ruling as her final ruling before retiring - the symbolism could not be missed. [LINK]
  3. Supreme Court ruling on Tel Aviv Shabbat Ordinance: Follow this link for the full Hebrew text of the Supreme Court ruling handed down this week. [LINK]


Rabbis for Religious Freedom and Equality in Israel represents a broad spectrum of Jewish belief and practice, and champions the values of religious freedom and equality fundamental to World Jewry, in partnership with Hiddush for the realization of these principles in Israel and the Diaspora.

Rabbis for Religious Freedom and Equality in Israel
Website: WWW.RRFEI.ORG | Email: organizers@rrfei.org | Tel. [US] 646-334-5636; [Israel] 054-779-1179

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