Women’s Rights Become A Battleground For Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Jews

Source: NPR


Jewish women sing songs of worship as they march arm in arm with male supporters through an ultra-Orthodox area of Jerusalem’s Old City.

They’re from a group called Women of the Wall, which lobbies for women to be allowed to pray, sing and read the Bible aloud at the Western Wall, the most important site for Jewish prayer. They hold these marches about once a month, and they often get heckled. Today is no different.

Ultra-Orthodox men sneer and beseech the women to go silent. Young boys from a nearby Jewish seminary, or yeshiva, taunt the women and blow high-pitched whistles to try to drown out the female voices.

Some ultra-Orthodox object to women singing in public — a subject of theological debate here. In Israel, it’s rare to hear a woman even speaking on ultra-Orthodox radio.

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