Two and a half years of negotiation did not yield a deal. Then, suddenly, in January, 2016, it did. Why?
In November, 2015, I and other members of Original Women of the Wall filed suit before the Supreme Court of Israel to enforce the right of Jewish women to read Torah at the Kotel. Our case was brought by Dr. Susan Weiss of the Center for Women’s Justice, a trailblazer on behalf of women’s rights.
We filed suit because, in 2010, Rabbi Rabinowitz wrote a directive (“nohal”), barring anyone from bringing in a torah scroll to the Kotel. Since there are over 160 of these in the men’s section, this would not appear to be a problem. Rabinowitz, however, will not let Jewish women have access to any of these.
There is an Israeli law barring discrimination in access to or use of public property, which, currently at least, the Kotel and the torah scrolls there are. Hence, our suit.
Rabinowitz’s nohal does not have a legal leg to stand on while our case is formidably strong. The proof of that is the “unholy” haste with which the negotiations over Robinson’s suddenly reached conclusion once we filed it. […]
Our camp, on the other hand, scored a significant victory a few days ago in the cause of women’s prayer at the actual Kotel. The Court granted us an interim motion allowing us to bring in a Torah scroll during a short period it has given the State to respond substantively to our case. In principle, the Court has recognized our whole point.