Skip to comments.Women of The Wall, Silverman's Sister Arrested at Kotel
Posted on 02/12/2013 4:02:58 PM PST by Former Fetus
Ten women participating in a women's prayer service at the Western Wall were arrested for wearing prayer shawls.
Among those arrested Monday morning as they prayed with hundreds of worshipers and supporters were Israeli-American Rabbi Susan Silverman, sister of the comedian Sarah Silverman, and her 17-year-old daughter, Hallel Abramovitz; Anat Hoffman, chairwoman of the Women of the Wall, who has been arrested several times in recent months; and two U.S. rabbis, Debra Cantor of B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom in Bloomfield, Conn., and Robin Fryer Bodzin of the Israel Center of Conservative Judaism in New York City.
The women had gathered at the back of the women's section, as they have at the beginning of every new Jewish month since 1988, for rosh chodesh services for the new Jewish month of Adar. It was the largest number of participants for the monthly event since its inception, organizers told Israeli media.
The women were joined on the other side of the mechitzah, the barrier that separates the sexes at the Wall, by a number of male supporters, including six former Israel Defense Forces paratroopers who had been among those that liberated the Western Wall during the Six-Day War in 1967.
One of the paratroopers was Dr. Yitzhak Yifat of Jerusalem, who was part of the iconic photograph of three soldiers standing at the Western Wall shortly after its liberation. Yifat is the middle paratrooper in the photo by David Rubinger.
The arrests reportedly were made at the end of service, after most of the participants and media had left the Western Wall Plaza. Police had stood on the sidelines as the women prayed and danced in a circle holding their prayer shawls, according to Haaretz.
The women's prayer group moved its Torah reading from the Wall to outside the Old City of Jerusalem Police Department, where the arrested women were taken.
Following the arrest, Sarah Silverman tweeted: "SO proud of my amazing sister @rabbisusan & niece@purplelettuce95 for their ballsout civil disobedience. Ur the tits!#womenofthewall" Silverman's niece responded:"@SarahKSilverman hey auntie, want a copy of my mugshot?"
In 2003, Israel's Supreme Court upheld a government ban on women wearing tefillin or tallit prayer shawls, or reading from a Torah scroll at the Western Wall.
Women participating in the rosh chodesh service have been arrested nearly every month since June for wearing prayer shawls or for "disturbing public order."
In another article in the Times of Israel the paratroopers are quoted as saying that they "liberated the Old City of Jerusalem so that all people would be free to pray there, not only the ultra-Orthodox". It makes sense to me.
I don’t understand. I thought women were suppose to wear a scarf over their head when praying at the wall.
If Sarah Silverman supports it, its probably blasphemous and wrong
I thought they’d invaded the men’s side or something - but they wore prayer shawls?
Is it because prayer shawls are “a garment pertaining to a man” or because they are usurping a male prayer function?
And why is ultra-Orthodox custom writing the law at the Wall, as you ask.
Sarah Silverman = More famous, less funny version of Sandra Fluke.
The Shawlshank Redemption
.. and “Saving Sarah Silverman’s Sister”
Tallit to the judge.
... or is she like the tefillin Don, and will get off scot-free?
You’d think there would be a sunrise/sunset clause covering this sort of thing.
Why does anyone think she is funny?
You’re the funniest man on this thread!
Okay, on a more serious note, a question:
“The women had gathered at the back of the women’s section, as they have at the beginning of every new Jewish month since 1988, for rosh chodesh services...”
“In 2003, Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a government ban on women wearing tefillin or tallit prayer shawls, or reading from a Torah scroll at the Western Wall.”
“Women participating in the rosh chodesh service have been arrested nearly every month since June for wearing prayer shawls or for “disturbing public order.”
From 1988 to 2003, the women have gathered and there was no law they broke.
From 2003 to 2013, there was a law, but they didn’t break it. Or else it wasn’t enforced.
From June, 2012, to February, 2013, there was a law and it was at least minimally enforced, perhaps with a fine.
In February, 2013, Obama announced his intention to visit Israel, and the issue suddenly became a human-rights story with at least two media figures (sister of c-list celebrity and soldier in presumably iconic photo).
Hmmm. Democratic spinmeisters feeling bored?
Obama need some political prisoners to facilitate the release of?
I’m totally serious.
Remember those Current TV “reporters” “detained” by Norht Korea and released after Bill Clinton’s personal, “heroic” intervention?
And the theory that Benghazi was a botched kidnapping attempt to give O a boost during the election?
Jeez. If at first, you don’t succeed, eh, Dems?
Isn’t she a D-lister at best?
One last question:
What are they trying to accomplish?
Are they trying to change the Orthodox religion? They must know that is not going to happen. Five thousand years of tradition. That can’t be it.
So, are they trying to affect Israel’s government in some way? How?
By painting them as enemies of human rights?
Who would this benefit?
The Palestinians, perhaps? [Isreali women are already ruled out, as noted above.] The Democrats? Obama?
Nice rack, though. I’m glad they distributed that in order to sway our sympathies her way.
Maybe they just want Reformed or other liberal Jewish women to be able to pray as they see fit.
The Orthodox men can pray as they see fit - and they don’t even have to look at women in prayer shawls. The Orthodox women can pray as they see fit but they do have to see women in prayer shawls.
Fair enough. That’s a reasonable answer to my question, that hadn’t occurred to me.
But then it raises another question:
If Catholic women wanted to attend Mass before the Pope in bikinis or hot pants, would it be a matter of just giving them the right to be able as they see fit to allow them to do so?
I admit this doesn’t seem to me to be on the same level as the case of the women wearing prayer shawls -— but, if it offends the orthodox just as much as this scenario would offend the Pope, is it not a valid comparison?
I agree. She is a pig.
Rabbi Susan Silverman...
Throughout the years Laura, Jodyne and I loved to make Sarah perform. Even when she was a preteen she was the size of a 9-year-old, so the juxtaposition of cute and inappropriate still worked. A long-time favorite was “Time Warp” from the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”: “...and do the pelvic thru-ust, until it drives you insay-ay-ay-ay-ane. Let’s do the time warp again,...” One night, the four of us performed it as a sister act at the local White Horse Tavern. The audience — rural New Hampshire diners out for an evening — stared in, well, horror.
We didn’t care. Then, like now, our favorite audience is ourselves. When all four sisters are together, we lie on our mother’s bed, with our mother, Beth Ann O’Hara, and stepmother, Janice Silverman, and talk and laugh. The fathers (Donald and our step-father, John) wander in and out, impatient for us to come into the living room with them and the grandchildren (my kids), but we want girl time. We want to laugh in the way we only laugh with each other. Now my older daughters, Aliza and Hallel, pile on as well. It makes us all happy that a third generation is growing to laugh with us.
As kids we were more likely to sing at the White Horse Tavern than in synagogue. We did not have a religious upbringing, and my parents and sisters still marvel at my having become a rabbi. We sisters associated being Jewish with being liberal. That’s how the lines were drawn in our New Hampshire culture: Christians celebrate Christmas and vote Republican. Jews celebrate Chanukah and vote Democratic.
Liberal values and arts replaced synagogue life. (Most years we joined the Reform Temple but very rarely went, except when my father was social action chair.) The soundtracks of our ranch house — on a quiet street in the middle and upper middle class North End of Manchester, N.H. —were the records “Pearlie,” “Godspell” and “Hair.” Our father, a retailer, was a social worker by training and would one day return to it. Our mother, McGovern’s personal campaign photographer, later founded New Thalian Players — a theatre company in Manchester.
Sarah and her boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel
Sarah is concerned about Israel — both its well-being and its behavior as a moral actor on the world stage. Recently Sarah e-mailed and asked what Yosef (my husband) and I were doing to make sure Sudanese refugees found sanctuary here. I wrote back with a list of what Israeli organizations were doing on behalf of the refugees here, and how Yosef was involved. I also reminded her not to be too hard on Israel — Sudan is an enemy state and terrorism is a very real threat, so if Israel is hesitant and cautious, it’s understandable. There is a tension between the government’s job to protect the nation and the popular desire to take in refugees. The latter urge should, and I believe will, prevail, but the former cannot be ignored.
Sarah wrote back, impressed at all Israel was doing to give safety to refugees (a small example: two Sudanese families live on our kibbutz, and other kibbutzim have welcomed many such families) and said, “God, the U.S. is freaking out over Mexicans — and all they want to do is clean our houses.”
It is fitting that Sudanese seeking refuge live on Ketura, home to the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, where people of many cultures call upon humanity — like the biblical prophets did on this same land so long ago — to make the earth a sanctuary for all life. And I am proud to say that at their benefit for the Arava Institute my sisters Sarah and Laura will use obscenity, racism and sexism to proclaim this conviction. Like the ancient prophets did. Sort of.
Husband of Rabbi Susan Silverman
Named by CNN as one of the top six Green Pioneers worldwide, Yosef Abramowitz serves as President of the Arava Power Company and Energiya Global, founding both companies with partners David Rosenblatt of New Jersey and Ed Hofland of Kibbutz Ketura. Arava Power is Israel’s leading solar developer and a pioneer in mid-size and large-size solar fields. Arava Power built the first grid-connected solar field in Israel and recently closed on $204 million for the next eight solar fields in Israel, with a further $1.5 billion worth of projects in the pipeline. Energiya Global develops affordable solar projects worldwide, with the goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.
An entrepreneur, environmentalist and human rights activist, Yosef has established Energiya Global to bring solar power on a commercial basis to developing nations. Yosef was named to the Jerusalem Post’s list of 50 most influential Jews worldwide in 2011 and 2012, joining the ranks of Mark Zuckerberg (#1), Shimon Peres (#22), Jon Stewart (#27), and Bar Refaeli (#50) among others — including Sarah Silverman, who happens to be his sister-in-law. He was also named by Calcalist, a leading economic daily, as one of Israels top environmentalists in 2010 and, in 1991, as the most influential Jewish student leader of the previous decade, according to Moment Magazine. Abramowitz was named by Haaretz as one of 2011’s top ten most influential Anglo immigrants. He has been co-nominated 3 times for the Nobel Peace Prize. Yosef was also awarded “Person of the Year” by the 2012 Israel Energy and Business Convention.
Abramowitz was active in the anti-apartheid and divestiture movement at Boston University, he led the Jewish communitys successfully campaign to reinstate $7 billion to the US federal budget as corrections to the Welfare Reform Act. Abramowitz served as the president of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews from 19972007, and has been co-nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He was the keynote speaker at Russias national human rights convention in 2004. He helped to establish the Ethiopian Atid Ehad political party in Israel. Abramowitz is an active advocate of Solar power in Israel in Israel, both for Jewish Israelis and for Israeli Arab Bedouins. While investigating the burning of Jewish homes in Ethiopia, Arbramowitz was held up at gunpoint. He has organized various human rights demonstrations in 23 countries.
He has been arrested two times. The first arrest, outside of the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C. in October 1985, was on behalf of Boris Lifshitz. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned [Abramowitzs] conviction, setting precedent on First Amendment rights outside embassies. The second arrest was on behalf of Ethiopian Jewry. Border police beat Abramowitz outside of the Jerusalem Convention Center at the World Zionist Congress in 1987. The then-newly elected Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Mendel Kaplan, freed him from the police van before police could bring record the arrest in record.
Abramowitz has led two hunger strikes. The first was a fourteen-day strike that protested Boston Universitys investments in South Africa, during apartheid. Abramowitz was banned from pre-democratic South Africa for his anti-apartheid leadership. The second was during Abramowitz’s time serving as the WUJS chairperson. This two-week strike was held on behalf of the Soviet prisoner Zion Alexei Magarik, who was subsequently released from prison and flown to Israel. [Abramowitz] organized 23 demonstrations and events worldwide in February 1987 for the most successful ever International Jewish Student Solidarity day for Soviet Jewry. Alexei, subsequent to his release from solitary confinement and his release to Israel, was the last prisoner of Zion in the USSR.
Abramowitz won a U.S. Supreme Court case for free speech. In addition, the case Abramowitz v. Boston University helped set a precedent for free speech rights at private institutions in Massachusetts.
This is disturbingly close to sandmaggot koranimal behavior. Hard to believe that this is enforced by the national government.
I may have to reassess my attitude towards Israel, upon learning more clarifying explanations.
She used to be a D-lister. Now she’s not on any lists.
I think some cable channel I’ll never see hired idiot Kathy Griffin, maybe Silverman could be her sidekick?
Ukshartam l’ot al yadeCHA v’hayu l’totafot bein eineCHA (You shall bind them for a sign upon your hands, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes) would mean that only men should put it on, since the Scripture uses the masculine second-person suffix. As for a tallit, the only biblical commandment involved is to put tzitzit on any four-cornered garment that you might wear in the daytime. Therefore, observant Jews go out of their way to put on such a garment during prayer, in order to fulfill that commandment. But women are exempt from that mitzvah, because it involves a time factor; only by day, not by night, and women are exempt from any positive (do it) commandment that has a time limit, unless it is specifically commanded to them, such as the sacrifices offered after giving birth. This is according to the orally transmitted part of the Torah, later recorded and called the Talmud. There have, however, been a few exceptional women who have, despite their exemption, put on talit and tefillin.
Based on the pic at # 10, probably about a 36D-lister.
Thanks! That’s what I wanted to know. One could argue that the masculine suffix could mean that only men should wear tefillin. But, the way you put it, it sounds like the tallit is different, women are exempted but not ordered not to wear it. It’s no different than when I was growing up in Spain, in a Catholic family, we were exempted from not eating meat on Fridays but my mom would frequently serve fish. She always said, just because you don’t have to do it it doesn’t mean you cannot do it!
Were they staying at the Kotel Hotel?