by Rabbi Menachem Creditor, in honor of my hero, Rabbi Yonina Creditor
My hope is renewed at the possibility of Jewish Pluralism in Israel given the amazing moment we marked today, as a Jerusalem District court upheld a ruling that five women who had been detained at the Western Wall for wearing prayer shawls traditionally used by men and singing were not disturbing the public order. (The police had challenged a ruling last Thursday by a magistrates’ court upon the detentions.)
Rabbis for Women of the Wall launched in October of 2010, with rabbinic leadership representing all streams of Judaism, and recent statements by Rabbi Yitz Greenberg and Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld make it clear that Modern Orthodoxy’s support for Jewish Pluralism in Israel is growing.
Thanks to the leadership of my fellow founding cochair Rabbi Pam Frydman and incoming cochair Rabbi David Kalb, I know the path forward will be led by resonant rabbinic power and infused with wise, loving, collaborative rabbinic vision.
It is my prayer, as I conclude my term as co-chair of Rabbis for Women of the Wall, that the political power of Charedim in Israel declines and that Charedim do not become targets of Jewish hate. Pluralism is not limited to progressive streams of Judaism. The path ahead must include our whole family.
It is my prayer that the State of Israel see itself as the safe heart and nurturing home of the Global Jewish People, affirming Jewish Pluralism and Jewish family. The Diaspora is a legitimate expression of Jewish Peoplehood, and the State of Israel has an obligation to support every Jew in the world.
It is my prayer that yearning Zionists, those who love the State of Israel that is and are passionately committed to building the State of Israel that has yet to be, step up and do their part in defending our People’s Home. Jewish critique of Israel is only authentic when it is borne in and of love for our People’s Home.
It is my prayer that women, at the Kotel, in the Galil, in Buenos Aires, in Australia, Johannesburg, and San Francisco never again experience the violence and persecution they have endured monthly for almost twenty years, all the while channeling the fire of Deborah the Warrior and the song of Miriam the Prophet.
It is my prayer that Jews around the world continue agitating for Jewish Pluralism in Israel, so that no one – no human being – ever again have their voice silenced for being who God created them to be.