Women’s group sneaks Torah scroll into Kotel plaza
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Women’s group sneaks Torah scroll into Kotel plaza

Women of the Wall hold ‘first Torah reading and bat mitzvah’ at Western Wall women’s section, and on social media

Eliza Moss-Horwitz, Lucy Sattler and Alexandra Schwartz pray with Women of the Wall. Schwartz (right) holds an empty Torah cover beneath her prayer book, symbolizing the Torah scroll the group was prevented from bringing in to the Kotel plaza, January 2014. (photo credit: Courtesy of Moving Traditions)
Eliza Moss-Horwitz, Lucy Sattler and Alexandra Schwartz pray with Women of the Wall. Schwartz (right) holds an empty Torah cover beneath her prayer book, symbolizing the Torah scroll the group was prevented from bringing in to the Kotel plaza, January 2014. (photo credit: Courtesy of Moving Traditions)

The Women of the Wall group snuck a miniature Torah scroll into the Kotel plaza on Friday after police refused to allow them to enter with their regular Torah scroll.

The feminist group advocates greater equality for women’s permitted ritual observances at the Kotel, including allowing them to read from and dance with Torah scrolls at the holy site.

At approximately 6:30 am, the group tried to enter the Kotel plaza with a regularly-sized Torah scroll, which it intended to use for its “rosh hodesh” (marking the new month on the Jewish calendar) and a bat mitzvah ceremony in the women’s section — the first ever, according to the organization’s members. Torah scrolls are not permitted in the women’s section according to rules set by the Kotel rabbinate, and police prevented the entry of the scroll Friday morning.

Under the watchful eye of police, who were hoping to prevent altercations between the women’s group and Orthodox worshipers at the holy site, the group entered the women’s section and began their prayers — sans the Torah scroll.

At approximately 7:30, the group tweeted that it was “still hopeful” the bat mitzvah girl, Sasha, would be able to read from a Torah scroll during her bat mitzvah.

A member of the group then produced a miniature but, according to the group, ritually kosher Torah scroll.

The reading from the scroll commenced, accompanied by dancing with the tiny Torah.

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