Women dancing at the Western Wall

Ta’ali: Rosh Hodesh Av Reflections / Rabbi Tamara Miller

By: Rabbi Tamara Miller, Skilled Volunteers

Accept the prayer of your people as lovingly as it is offered. Restore worship to your sanctuary. -Rosh Chodesh Amidah

Ta’ali . . . al tif’achadi . . . zeh rak avanim. “Go up. Do not be afraid. They are only stones.” The young woman reached for my hand. I ascended the natural bimah at Robinson’s Arch.

The Women Of the Wall Rosh Chodesh Av morning prayer service began at 7:00 a.m. One-hundred women created a semi-circle in the back of the women’s section at the Western Wall. Our female voices added a sweet soprano sound to the kotel plaza.

Nevertheless, we were under special security. A young policewoman scanned and recorded the proceedings, while another policeman weaved in and out of the crowd, admonishing several young Israeli women to adjust their tallitot: One of our women was detained last month because she wore a masculine type prayer shawl in a “manly” way.

One woman, holding her prayer shawl under her arm, stood on the side.

“Would you like to put on your tallit?”

“No,“ she replied. “I don’t want to be arrested before Shabbat. I wouldn’t get home in time.”

Read moreTa’ali: Rosh Hodesh Av Reflections / Rabbi Tamara Miller

Reflections on Rosh Hodesh Tamuz, by cantorial student Jen Rueben

Reflections on Rosh Hodesh Tamuz, by cantorial student Jen Rueben

Rosh Hodesh Tamuz services
Rosh Hodesh Tamuz services at the Western Wall

I had the incredible privilege of praying with the Women of the Wall for their Rosh Chodesh Tamuz service this past week. What an experience to usher in my year of cantorial study in Israel!

The morning started out peacefully. We watched the sun rise over the Kotel as we prayed. I was touched that some men stood behind the divider in the back and prayed with us. A few dirty looks were sent our way and a couple of people plugged their ears as they passed to keep from hearing our singing. Despite this, for the first time, I was able to pray at the Kotel with my tallit wrapping my shoulders. I was able to add my voice to the prayers of my heart in this place that is so holy to my people.

Read moreReflections on Rosh Hodesh Tamuz, by cantorial student Jen Rueben

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