Monday, November 23, 2009

In Which Nofrat Gets Arrested

This is Nofrat Frankel. Nofrat is 25, and she is a medical student. She was arrested, November 18, for the henious crime of wearing a tallis at the Western Wall. Sources say that in addition to this crime, she may also have been praying.

She was arrested, detained by Jerusalem police for two hours, and ordered to stay away from the Kotel for fifteen days.

A Jew. In Jerusalem. Was arrested by Israeli police for wearing a tallis, and ordered to stay away from the Wall. No, this is not science fiction.

Nofrat may face charges of 'performing a religious act that offends others'. That may carry a penalty of six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Reuters states that Nofrat was "wearing a prayer shawl, which Orthodox Jewish tradition dictates is only for men." This is not true. 'Orthodox Jewish tradition' does not forbid women to wear tallitot. In additional, "Frankel was also holding a Torah, a Jewish biblical scroll, in contravention of Orthodox Jewish tradition." Did you realize it was assur for a woman to hold a Torah scroll? Apparently Reuters does. Hmm. I wonder who told THEM?

Apparently, the management at the Wall are digging their heels in, going once again after women following Jewish customs considered to be invalid by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, the man in charge there. He has announced that women praying together at the Wall are a 'desecration' of the site.

Meanwhile, Nofrat asks the question on my mind. "If I cannot wear a religious garment at the Western Wall, where can I?" she asks.

Good question, Nofrat. I think the answer is meant to be pretty clear.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where is this picture from? That's my wife w/Nofrat.

BBJ said...

Cool. It's from Ynetnews.com, I believe.

Sy said...

Dear Nofrat ( is this the name you were given or one you picked for yourself ? )

Read your story in USA Forward paper and was horrified. I this the Israel that I LOVE or one that imposes ultra Orthodox laws like
those in Muslim Islamic states called Sharia LAW ?
Shame on what I thought was a democratic state, turnes out to be a My Way or NO Way State !

Talked to a Rabbi today who was just as miffed as I AM.

Ms. Frankel, What can WE do to HELP?
SY ( Sloimie ) Weiss
syweiss2@gmail.com

BBJ said...

Mr. Weiss, I appreciate your support for Nofrat, but I am not her, I'm simply reporting on the story, and I don't have her contact information.

N said...

Halacha is Halacha. No perversions of it are acceptable.

BBJ said...

What halacha states that a woman may not wear a tallit?