Two representatives of the Women of the Wall filed suit in the Jerusalem Magistrates on Thursday against the Western Wall Heritage Foundation and Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Places. The plaintiffs, Women of the Wall chairwoman Anat Hoffman, and her deputy, Tamar Gottlieb, are represented by attorneys for the Israel Religious Action Center.
The indictment was filed following a 'discriminatory, humiliating and abusive' physical search that they were required to endure on Rosh Chodesh last Kislev. It was further alleged that after Hoffman insisted that the search was illegal, she was refused entry to the Western Wall compound. The lawsuit was filed for a total of NIS 133,938, as well as associated legal fees.
Orly Erez Lechovsky and Uri Nerov, representing the Israel Religious Action Center said "These restrictions come in opposition to a court ruling reaffirming the right of the Women of the Wall to pray in the Western Wall compound. The guards at the gates to the compound are stationed for security purposes only, and have no more authority to remove Torah scrolls from visitors' luggage than they do to remove chametz on Passover. The time has come for the Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Heritage Foundation to face the consequences of such illegitimate conduct.
Hoffman added, "Like any citizen, I have no objection to a simple security check, but I am not prepared to endure wanton humiliation while guards search for a nonexistent threat on my person."