There are a few articles about the Kotel and Women of the Wall in this month’s Sh’ma Journal about Holiness. As my friend Ellen Allard taught me in in her song, “Holy-Holiness” – “all around, everywhere – holy holiness”. (Very Baal Shem Tov of them.)
So why the attachment to locale?
I’m actually less interested the location of the Kotel issue – rather, the debate (or lack, thereof) in Israel about one’s freedom to connect to a place they find holy Israel. I am interested in examining if one is allowed to be at a site or location in Israel, connect to its roots and express their god-given right to pray. out loud. with people they want to pray with. It’s not for me to decide whether one finds a particular place meaningful or holy. It’s not for the Rabbinate to decide either.
But I’m American – what do I know? My progressive ways of praying are not welcome in Israel – or are they? After all, Ben Gurion, in the Declaration of Independence stated that Israel will:
“Uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens without distinction of race, creed or sex, conscience, worship, education, culture and language.”
Some say this is an “American-born” issue. I ask: Does it matter where it came from? When injustice is spotted, who cares who calls it out? It’s still there.
Here is my musical take on this month’s Holiness topic:
(The mp3 and sheet music are available for free for educators and advocates.)