Sunday, January 01, 2006

Room with(out) a View

A temporary indoor synagogue has been put up at the Western Wall, presumably for Hanukkah or perhaps for the rainy winter season. Here is a view of the men’s section. The arched windows behind the Ark, in which a Torah scroll is stored, look directly toward the Kotel.

Indoor synagogue at the Western Wall: Men’s section

Here is a view of the women’s section, which is located behind that of the men—no view of the Kotel at all:

Indoor synagogue at the Western Wall: Women’s section

Why couldn’t the mehitza have been placed such that the women would be beside the men and not behind them, so that they, too, might have a view of the Kotel while they are praying indoors? Frankly, sometimes I think that those currently in control of the Western Wall would reorient the mehitza at the Wall itself to put the women behind the men if they could get away with it.

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