News Roundup: 150,000 Jews sign Petition Protesting Mixed-Gender Prayer at Kosel; Children in Ukraine Daven at Kever of Rav Nachman
Am Echad Delegation to Present PM Bennett with Petition signed by 150,000 on Wednesday against Mixed Gender Prayer at Kosel
by Yehudit Garmaise
A group of approximately 45 Orthodox Jews who live outside of Israel will deliver to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, on Wednesday, a petition signed by 150,000 Jews who protest the addition at the Kosel of a permanent “pluralistic prayer pavilion” to accommodate mixed gender prayer and other religious reforms that are widely supported by Reform and Conservative Jews.
After many protests and conflicts erupted over the prayer pavilion, in December, 2021, Bennett and Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana froze their plans to green-light what was thought to be a “compromise” between Jews who value halacha and progressive Jews, however Orthodox Jews did not feel their views were fairly represented.
In response, Am Echad, which is sponsoring the delegation’s trip to Eretz Yisroel, launched its “One Kotel” campaign, which spread throughout Orthodox communities worldwide: by mouth, by phone, on sign-up sheets in shuls, through social media, and on chat groups to reach participants from 56 countries and gather 150,000 signatures of Orthodox Jews, across the religious spectrum, who oppose the mixed gender prayer pavilion.
Children in Uman, Ukraine, Leave School Early to Daven at Kever of Rav Nachman
As Hashem loves tefillos of little children, Rav Yaakov Jan, the rabbi of the Orthodox community and the local kashrus organization in Uman, Ukraine, instructed the Tamudei Torah and all the kehilla’s schools to the end, gather the children, bundled in their winter coats, to daven at the kever of Rav Nachman of Breslov.
The children’s rebbes led the tamim, whose sweet voices can be heard saying Shema and other tefillos that asked for peace, safety, and the welfare of their government, which is now under attack from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We’re anxiously monitoring the situation,” Shlomi Elisha, the deputy director of Hatzalah Ukraine told B’Chadrei Chareidim, Yeshiva World News reported. “We set up an operations room at Hatzalah, which centralizes all the referrals, but we’re optimistic that everything will end with diplomacy. We’re all davening for shalom shel malchus.”