Dear Mr. Sharansky,
I am writing to ask you to use your new authority to provide real freedom of religion at the Kotel, Jerusalem's Western Wall.
Like many others, I have long been in awe of your heroic fight on behalf of Soviet Jews. Your courage in the face of the full force of Soviet power was a beacon of light that inspired countless others and made possible the repatriation of many Jews to the Land of Israel. We are all in your debt.
Recently, the Prime Minister of Israel turned to you to provide another act of courage and service. Few can ignore the atrocious reality that the most public religious site of Judaism, the Western Wall in Jerusalem, has been a site of constricted bigotry, under the domination of an Orthodox rabbinate intent on maintaining its monopoly and avoiding a real exchange of ideas with other Jewish streams.
we have witnessed women arrested, harassed, even incarcerated for the "crime" of attempting to hold a Torah service at the Kotel, the Western Wall. They are bullied, shouted down, pushed and attacked for the beautiful egalitarian expression of Judaism as they practice it. Many of them have been charged with a crime simply for wearing a Tallit, a prayer shawl.
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