Agudas Yisroel of America has denounced the recent High Court
decision to allow a group of women to conduct a formal
women's service at the Kosel Hama'aravi, complete with
chanting, Torah reading and talitot.
Rav Shmuel Bloom, the organization's executive vice
president, explained that the court's decision would create a
situation in which religious Jews--who constitute the
overwhelming majority of those who frequent the Kosel--
would be unable to pray there.
He openly questioned why matters of religion are being
decided by a secular court, rather than religious experts.
"With a law on the books in Israel barring ceremonies at the
Kosel that are `not according to local custom,' the
Agudas Yisroel leader asserted that the High Court ruling
defines the concept of a legitimate Jewish custom as anything
a group of Jews decide they wish to do.
"That is arrogant, disdainful of 3000 years of Jewish
tradition and a travesty of justice," Rav Bloom said. "Such
an approach, needless to say, bodes ill for the Jewish
future. As we approach Shevuos, we should be particularly
aware that true Jewish unity is only achieved neged
hohor, facing Har Sinai, the source of Jewish
"We in America know well where the path of ish kol
hayashar b'eynov, each person doing what he thinks is
proper, leads. We are reaping the bitter harvest of
intermarriage and assimilation that was planted by self-
declared `versions of Judaism.' We fear that Israel's High
Court is leading Israeli society down the same treacherous