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Ultra-orthodox Jews harass Women of the Wall during prayer at wall

May 10, 2013 at 11:20 AM   |   Comments

JERUSALEM, May 10 (UPI) -- Three ultra-orthodox Jewish men were arrested Friday during a protest of the Women of the Wall prayer group that was praying at the Western Wall, police said.

Protesters threw garbage, spat and hurled insults at the women and three police officers were slightly injured during the protests, The Jerusalem Post reported.

It was the first time Women of the Wall legally prayed at the wall following a court ruling.

Rabbi Susan Silverman, sister of comedian Sarah Silverman, told the Post haredi men spat on her three daughters, threw coffee at the Women of the Wall activists and that a little girl next to her was struck in the head.

Oshrat Ben Shimshon, a representative of Women of the Wall, told Israel Radio, "Orthodox rabbis have determined that there is no halachik [religious law] barrier to women praying with prayer shawls and tefillin [a set of boxes holding verses from the Torah] and reading from the Torah."

Natan Sharansky, chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel, said a long-lasting solution was needed immediately. He said Friday's clashes at the Western Wall reinforced Israel's need to allow any Jew, group of Jews or Jewish community to pray at the Western Wall in accordance with their customs.

Over a human barrier of security forces, protesters shouted at the Women of the Wall activists as they held their first monthly service without restrictions following a court ruling that reinterpreted existing laws to allow them to perform their own customs -- such as wearing prayer shawls and tefillin -- without fear of being arrested.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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