As feminist prayer group Women of the Wall arrived at the Western Wall in Jerusalem Monday for a bat mitzvah ceremony and their monthly prayer service, they found their way blocked by crowds of dissenters.
The Women of the Wall have sparked extreme backlash in Israel for their petitions to change gendered restrictions at the Kotel, or Western Wall. They seek a space at the wall for women and men to pray together—currently, the Western Wall has only sex-segregated spaces. The group has also advocated for women’s right to read Torah at the Kotel.
Beachwear has become the newest item of contention in France’s ongoing battle between Muslim citizens’ veiling practices and state-mandated secularism.
British department store chain Marks & Spencer recently introduced a new item to its Western European stores, designed specifically to appeal to Muslim shoppers. The “burkini” is a one-piece swimsuit closely resembling a hooded wetsuit. The suit satisfies modesty requirements for women whose religious convictions lead them to cover their heads, arms… Read more about Modest beachwear sparks controversy in France
Two horrific attacks in Israel this week have prompted “a rare outpouring of self-reproach and soul-searching among Israelis across the political spectrum,” in the words of New York Times reporter Isabel Kershner. In focus: the state’s seemingly lax attitude toward violent Jewish extremists, compared to notoriously harsh policies for Palestinian suspects.