Success at the Kotel Comes at a Cost(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
The success of Women of the Wall Nashot HaKotel, Union for Reform Judaism, and The Masorti Movement In Israel-התנועה המסורתית בישראל, is unprecedented, Jewish history bending, ever so slightly, toward justice. 25 years of work. Victory.
It is crucial that we who celebrate this legal/symbolic/religious miracle in our Homeland also acknowledge the sense of loss being experienced by the founders of WOW, whose narrower focus birthed a movement that grew beyond their original vision.
The Kotel has grown.
We have grown.
Change is hard.
As Amos Oz once quipped: "The title “traitor” is indeed, in some cases, an honorary badge. I am not referring to the trivial traitors who sell some information for money. No. I refer to people who are regarded as traitors because they are ahead of their time. Sometimes, a traitor is simply a person who has the courage to change – in the eyes of those who do not change..."
The success of WOW to galvanize the vast majority of Diaspora Judaism to make the first legally encoded right of non-Orthodox Judaism at our holiest place is an affirmation of the painful truth: success does not come without a price. A price worth paying, to be sure. But our sisters' tears are like a broken glass at a wedding, worthy of our pause.
A pause. Not a full stop. There's work to be done.
Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Rabbi, Congregation Netivot Shalom
Chair, Rabbis Against Gun VIolence (#RAGV)
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