A group of 16 members of the ruling coalition submitted a bill to the Knesset on Sunday that would prohibit any practices at the Western Wall that are not deemed strictly Orthodox. The bill would prevent women from wearing prayer shawls and tefillin, from reading from a Torah and from blowing a shofar at the Jewish holy site.
The new bill … stipulates that “local custom” will be determined by “the law of the Torah” as interpreted by Israel’s rabbinical courts and the Chief Rabbinate. The chief custodian of the Western Wall, according to the bill, will be a rabbi appointed by the minister of religious affairs in coordination with Israel’s chief rabbis.
In cases where questions arise as to what practices constitute “local custom” at the Western Wall, according to the bill, the Kotel rabbi would be empowered to decide in consultation with the Chief Rabbinate.