The Women of the Wall protest group say their central mission is to be able to "wear prayer shawls, pray, and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall." Four were arrested Thursday for worshiping at the Wall wearing prayer shawls on the first day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, a routine the police justify by a past court ruling. Ultra-Orthodox men heap abuse on these protesters.
Several dozen women turned out for the prayer demonstration Thursday, including a number of women lawmakers. Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency, has submitted a proposal to the prime minister setting up a new area for mixed-gender and women-led prayer area at a side section of the Western Wall, a site revered by Jews as the last relic of the biblical Temple.