Ras al-Amud, East Jerusalem – 14th of March, 2014: Palestinian men hold their friday prayers on the street pavement in front of a line of police preventing them from accessing the Old City and the al-Aqsa mosques. As it often happens, Israeli authorities restricted access to Old City in order to prevent disturbances after a series of incidents which saw half a dozen Palestinians killed from Gaza to the Jordanian border.
Jerusalem, Israel – 2nd of March, 2014: Hundreds of thousands of religious Jews took part in a massive prayer rally at the entrance to the city, protesting against a proposed law that would punish religious communities that fail to meet their quotas for recruitment in the IDF. Members of countless haredi sects and groups prayed together, allegedly managing to bring to the same spot 600,000 Jews. This number was not accidental, for it was that many Jews who stood on mount Sinai to receive the Torah, and it is said that when as many Jews gather in one place, a …
Jerusalem, Israel – 30th of January, 2014: Israeli religious Zionist activists, rabbis and politicians held a mass prayer at the Kotel “for the redemption of the people of Israel” and calling for the failure of US secretary of state John Kerry’s efforts to convince the Israeli leadership to accept his peace plan, which would establish the Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and divide the city.
Jerusalem, Israel – 9th of June, 2013: The womens’ prayer group Women of the Wall held their monthly prayers at the Kotel. After the previous month’s events, which saw thousands of religious seminary girls gather in a counter-prayer and a few hundreds of angry haredi youth causing lots of trouble, this month’s prayer tool place peacefully, also thanks to a massive deployment of Israeli policemen which physically escorted the Women of the Wall to and out of the women’s section of the Kotel, and established several barriers to protect them.
Jerusalem, Israel – 10th of May, 2013: The prayer group Nashot HaKotel (the Women of the Wall) returned to the Kotel (Jerusalem’s Western Wall) to hold their Rosh Hodesh prayers, marking the beginning of the new Jewish month. In a challenge to what they describe as the domination of orthodoxy over contemporary Judaism, these women read the Torah aloud, and pray wearing a tallit (prayer shawls), two practices that are traditionally reserved for men.