Pinchas: The Battle for the Kosel

A star, right before going Super Nova, gets larger and larger, but the core begins to disintegrate to the point where the star simply collapses upon itself.  Anybody with two eyes can see that the Reform/Conservative Movements are comparable to such a star.  They boast great numbers (which are highly questionable, since non-affiliated often equal Reform in their eyes, and they allow non-Jews to be counted), yet they are suffering from a lack of any core values (since they are in constant flux according to what society thinks).  It’s only a matter of time before they disappear, much like their predecessors in history. 

Therefore, to help their situation, they have taken upon themselves to make war elsewhere, hoping that their members will “rally around the flag” and focus their attention elsewhere and hopefully give some meaning to their movement.  So, they’ve teamed up with Women of the Wall, whose founding members are linked with (some violent) pro-Palestinian groups, to promote themselves as the new “saviors” of the non-religious Israelis (who, by and large, do not accept them as such).  So in the name of "unity," they have brought much divisiveness to the Western Wall.


With the “Battle for the Kosel” heating up, an article was recently published by Yoel Rabibo, which, I believe, sums up the Jewish position on the subject.  Here is an extract:



“It’s easy to say ‘live and let live’ – you do your thing at the Kosel, we’ll do ours – when you have no rules, no knowledge of Torah, no respect for tradition or holiness and no appreciation of the impact that the proper fulfillment of mitzvos has not just on the individual, but on the entire world.


"It’s not 'liberal' to argue that halachic standard for conversion should be dropped and anyone should be allowed to call himself a Jew.  It’s ignorant.


'For example, I know nothing about soccer, other than that the objective is to put the ball in the net of the opponent more times than he puts it in yours.  I don’t know how many people are on a team, what the different positions are, what the rules of the game are.  I don’t know anything about strategy, or what makes a good coach or star player.


"In other words, I don’t know what it takes to win.  What’s more, I don’t care, and I can’t understand people who do.


"Now, let's say someone came up with a new idea to make the game more inclusive: anyone can join the team, irrespective of his abilities or physical condition or age or size.  Anyone can put on a team uniform, with a number and his name on the back, get out on the field and play ball.  Think what an ego boost that would be for all those overweight 60-year-olds who think they’re still in their prime!


"Why would the coach have exclusive authority to determine who can or cannot be a team member?  What right does he have to decide that only those who have trained, are in good physical shape, and have the appropriate skills can play the game?  That’s bigoted!  Is the 80-year-old who donated the soccer stadium any less worthy to be on the team?


"I’d be the first to support such a move.  I’d take it even further.  Change the rules so that everyone has a chance to score and feel good about themselves.  How about making the goal posts wider apart, say the width of the entire field?  And we can introduce time-outs to allow the out-of-shape huffers and puffers to take frequent rest stops on their way up and down the field.


"Taking these positions doesn’t make me liberal or pluralistic or egalitarian, nor does it make the soccer maven who opposes them a racist who ‘discriminates’ against the out of shape.  I can support these proposals, ignoring what competitive sports is all about, because I don’t know anything about soccer and have no feeling or regard for it.  So I can focus exclusively on the question of how we make the most people feel good about themselves, which is irrelevant in the context of competitive sports.


"In the same way, the Reform movement is ‘free’ to push for rule changes at the Kosel and in the way we admit converts to the Jewish people.  It’s not liberalism, but ignorance and lack of any feeling or regard for Torah and Jewish tradition . . . .


"As Irit Linor, a secular media personality, observed last week: ‘The Reform movement is by definition one of change.  Even secular Jews like me sincerely wonder what makes them a stream in Judaism.  When Reform Jews abandon mitzvot like kashrut and Shabbat that secular Jews like me know about, and when their rabbis officiate at interfaith marriages, then before they demand equal rights, they would be well advised to realize that, with all due respect, the Kosel is still a site with ‘roots that go deep back in time,' to quote Rabbi Shalom Chanoch.  They should remember this when they come and wish to change the customs that exist at this site.'


"The Reform movement encourages and thrives on Jewish ignorance, which is why it hasn’t succeeded in Israel.  And now its leaders have the audacity to use blackmail – we won’t give money or support Israel in Congress unless you give in to us – in the name of unity.


"Every Jew, whether Reform, Conservative or Orthodox, is welcome to come and pray at the Kosel in accordance with its time-honored traditions (those who insist also have a place at Robinson’s Arch for ‘pluralistic services’).  But a movement that has brought such devastation to the Jewish people is not welcome, no matter how much it threatens to harm us.”


Michael Winner