The Sunday View: Can Jews ever learn to share the Western Wall?

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The Sunday View

The Sunday View: Can Jews ever learn to share the Western Wall?

Our mini-documentary series explores whether Orthodox and progressive Jews can ever find a compromise over the Kotel

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

The Western Wall is the holiest site in Judaism today — holy, because it was one of the retaining walls of the Second Jewish Temple.

That temple was destroyed nearly two thousand years so the wall is pretty much the closest you can get to its site without climbing up to the plaza on top, but that for centuries has been the location of Muslim holy sites.

So the Western Wall and its accompanying plaza is the place to go to pray if you’re Jewish or if you just happen to be in the area.

The plaza is gender-segregated. Men and women are not allowed to pray alongside each other there, which is what you’d expect if you follow Orthodox traditions of Judaism.

That’s the flavour of Judaism practiced by the Israeli state and the authorities who operate the Western Wall, but it can be quite jarring if you come from a progressive denomination – and millions of Jews do.

So what’s the solution?

Watch this episode of The Sunday View for the full story.

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