Jewish women pray at Jerusalem holy site, angering rabbi

Jewish women wear prayer shawls as they pray during the Jewish holiday of Passover in front of the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalem's Old City, Sunday, April 24, 2016 (AP)

A liberal women’s group held a special Passover prayer service on Sunday at a Jerusalem holy site, drawing criticism from the site’s ultra-Orthodox rabbi, who called it a “provocation.”

The group, Women of the Wall, calls for gender equality at the Western Wall, the holiest Jewish prayer site. The site is overseen by a rabbi who enforces conservative customs, including separate prayers for men and women.

The group planned to hold an all-female “priestly blessing,” a prayer typically done by men, but Israel’s attorney general banned it from doing so. The Justice Ministry said a women-led priestly blessing has never been held at the Western Wall.

In a compromise, dozens of women prayed Sunday, but a group leader said they did not perform the priestly blessing. Some Orthodox Jews protested.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48