Do you remember your first trip to Israel? I went on an eight-week high school program and fell in love with the country. In particular I remember going to the Western Wall, the Kotel, on the 9th of Av and the maze of people gathered there. The 9th of Av commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem. Looking into our past as a people there is much to mourn, however it is our present that is of imminent concern.
On Monday, Anat Hoffman, the director of the Israel Religious Action Center was arrested for carrying a Torah scroll at the Kotel plaza. Hoffman, one of the founders of Women of the Wall was supposedly in violation of a high court ruling that forbids women from reading Torah at the Western Wall. As the video from You Tube shows, Hoffman never intended to violate this court order. She simply removed the Torah scroll and was leading a procession to Robinson’s Arch where Torah reading by women is permitted.
Anat Hoffman was released from police custody the same day and is forbidden from approaching the Western Wall plaza for 30 days.
Fortunately for us, Temple Sinai is hosting Anat Hoffman as our pulpit guest this Shabbat morning, July 17 at 10 am where she will report on recent events.
I hope that you will join me in welcoming Anat to our community and learning what we can do to make a difference.