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Israel: Family of Sarah Silverman rail aginst rules at Jerusalem's Western Wall00:36

Israel: Family of Sarah Silverman rail aginst rules at Jerusalem's Western Wall

Israel, Jerusalem
February 25, 2013 at 20:59 GMT +00:00 · Published

Israel: Family of Sarah Silverman rail against rules at Jerusalem's Western Wall

Women of the Wall, an activist group wrangling for equal rights for men and women in prayer, marked the Jewish Purim holiday by protesting at Jerusalem's sacred Western Wall on Monday.

The group demands the right to wear prayer shawls, usually worn by men, sing, conduct prayer services and read from the Torah scroll while praying at the holy site, which prohibits such behaviour from women. In recent months, members of the group have been arrested and detained by security guards for violating the strict codes of conduct.

"How can anyone believe that it's OK to for some people to own our holiest sites, and for some people to own our religious rituals?" says Rabbi Susan Silverman, sister of US comedian Sarah Silverman. Sarah Silverman brought attention to the group when she tweeted support for her sister to her more than 4 million followers on February 11.

Believed to date back to around 19 BC, the Western Wall is the only remaining part of the Holy Temple, the most important site in Judaism. It is also known as the "Wailing Wall," as from the time of the temple's destruction in 70 AD until the Byzantine period, Jews were not allowed to come to Jerusalem except once a year to mourn its ruin.

Purim is a Jewish holiday that marks the failure of a plot to destroy the Jewish people, as chronicled in the Old Testament book of Esther.

Israel: Family of Sarah Silverman rail aginst rules at Jerusalem's Western Wall00:36
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Israel: Family of Sarah Silverman rail against rules at Jerusalem's Western Wall

Women of the Wall, an activist group wrangling for equal rights for men and women in prayer, marked the Jewish Purim holiday by protesting at Jerusalem's sacred Western Wall on Monday.

The group demands the right to wear prayer shawls, usually worn by men, sing, conduct prayer services and read from the Torah scroll while praying at the holy site, which prohibits such behaviour from women. In recent months, members of the group have been arrested and detained by security guards for violating the strict codes of conduct.

"How can anyone believe that it's OK to for some people to own our holiest sites, and for some people to own our religious rituals?" says Rabbi Susan Silverman, sister of US comedian Sarah Silverman. Sarah Silverman brought attention to the group when she tweeted support for her sister to her more than 4 million followers on February 11.

Believed to date back to around 19 BC, the Western Wall is the only remaining part of the Holy Temple, the most important site in Judaism. It is also known as the "Wailing Wall," as from the time of the temple's destruction in 70 AD until the Byzantine period, Jews were not allowed to come to Jerusalem except once a year to mourn its ruin.

Purim is a Jewish holiday that marks the failure of a plot to destroy the Jewish people, as chronicled in the Old Testament book of Esther.

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