Rabbi Yocheved Mintz’s remarks on WOW’s 30th Anniversary

Rabbi Yocheved Mintz at Women of the Wall’s 30th Anniversary Celebration

Rabbi Yocheved Mintz is Rabbi Emerita of Congregation P’nai Tikvah in Las Vegas, Nevada. For many years, she served as an International Vice Chair of Rabbis for Women of the Wall and she shared these words on behalf of North American supporters during Women of the Wall’s 30th anniversary celebration at Beit Shmuel in Jerusalem.

On behalf of the thousands of women and men in North America who stand with the Women of the Wall, we offer our gratitude to you for 30 years of indefatigable activism for women’s equality in the religious sphere and in public life.  Your struggle against the status quo, your efforts to educate, your work in the legal realm, your commitment and perseverance —you continue to inspire and encourage all who are advocating for full access for women to pray at the Western Wall.

We support you with our prayers and our checks, and sometimes we join you when we are in Israel, but it is you who come to the wall month after month.  It is you who, as the late Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, z”l, might say, you who pray with your feet—and often endure taunting, derision, name-calling, the shrill voices of misguided teen-aged girls trained to scream when you gather to pray.  It is you who suffer the taunts, the spittle, the thrown chairs and eggs, the humiliation, physical assaults, and even arrest.  And yet you persist l’sheim shamayim.

May you be blessed with continued resolve, strength, and dedication.  May the One who enlightens, open the eyes of those who refuse to see, and unlock the hearts of those bound up by hate.  And may the day come soon, bim’heira b’yameinu, when women’s voices will be welcomed at the Kotel; when women will be able to leyn Torah in peace and safety; and when women whose practice it is to wear tallit or lay tefillin, will be free to do so.  Ken y’hi ratzon.