The Skverer Rebbe from New Square (near New York) is visiting Israel these days. The Rebbe is staying in Jerusalem for a couple of days and then, as far as I heard, he is heading to Meron where he wants to pray at the Kever of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.
The Skverer Chassidim of Jerusalem had built a new Beit Midrash and thus invited their Rebbe from New Square (near New York). I saw a photo of the Beit Midrash located in the Makor Baruch neighbourhood. The photo also showed a huge tent right outside the building. This is why I thought that the Rebbe would hold his Tish inside of the tent and I didn’t even bother going. A couple of years ago, I went to the Satmarer Rebbe’s tent in the Ge’ulah neighbourhood and this was in vain. I didn’t see anything of Rebbe Aharon Teitelbaum, as the Mechitzah (gender separation) consisted of thick plastic. For guys, it wasn’t a problem at all seeing the Rebbe but the women didn’t see a thing unless they were ready to cut down the Mechitzah. 🙂
By the way, I saw Rebbe Aharon some time later at the Satmarer Synagogue in Bnei Brak. 🙂
When I looked at Israeli haredi websites, I thought that I was dreaming. Pictures showed the Skverer Rebbe’s Tish right in front of the Kotel (Western Wall). To tell you the truth: I was shocked.
However, in my opinion the Kotel should not be used for private chassidic Tishes. It is a public place where every Jew should always be able to pray.
According to the photos, the women’s side (Ezrat Nashim) was closed, as the Rebbe occupied the entire area with his Chassidim. The men’s side was also full of Skverer Chassidim and thus no one else was able to pray or even allowed in due to tight security.
Everybody is complaining about the leftist Women of the Wall desecrating the Kotel. This is true and those women only follow their evil leftist agenda. I don’t want to compare them with the Rebbe but both are using this public Jewish place for their own private purposes.
Can anyone imagine what would happen if every chassidic group from now on started to celebrate a Tish at the Kotel?
The Kotel with it’s tremendous amount of Jewish history is a place for prayer and meditation. A place where Jews can get closer to their Creator. The Wall itself used to be the outer wall of the Second Temple. It is a place where we pray to G-d and not honour a Rebbe. Not only the Skverer Rebbe but any kind of Rebbe.
A chassidic Rebbe can celebrate his Tish somewhere else because the Temple Mount as well as the Kotel belong to G-d and not to a Rebbe.
I wonder why the State of Israel allowed this kind of event. Maybe there was a lot of money involved, who knows. 🙂