Sisterhood Blog

Sarah Silverman's Niece Vows to Return to Kotel

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

  • Print
  • Share Share
Wiki Commons
Susan SIlverman and her daughter, Hallel Abramowitz-Silverman, are arrested during Women of the Wall portest last week.

The teenager arrested on Rosh Chodesh Adar at the Western Wall for wearing a prayer shawl on Tuesday convinced Jerusalem police to withdraw their 15-day ban on her returning to the Kotel. She plans to go to the Kotel on Monday to chant from the Megillah with other members of Women of the Wall in celebration of Purim.

Hallel Abramowitz-Silverman, 17, who is comedian Sarah Silverman’s niece, went to the Kishle police station on Tuesday with her parents and a lawyer for Women of the Wall, bearing a letter requesting that she be able to retract her signature on the ban. Originally, she signed it as a condition of her release on Feb. 11, when she was arrested along with nine other women at the Kotel.

“I was nervous, and I didn’t realize [signing] it would mean missing Megillah reading,” she said in an interview with The Sisterhood. Being held at the police station that day “was a very hard couple of hours.”

The only reason she agreed to sign the statement to begin with was that her mother was leaving Israel on a trip later that day and they were afraid that she’d miss her flight if they did not.

Abramowitz-Silverman said she was surprised at how quickly police agreed to withdraw the statement. They were in and out of the police station in about 10 minutes, she said.

“They were scared not to” sign it, she said. “They gave in. We got it, we won. It’s amazing. It’s a sign of weakeness on their part. They’re getting scared, this is them showing that, and we’re going to keep fighting until we win this.”

Women of the Wall will be at the Kotel to celebrate Purim on Monday as they have for many years, said the organization’s spokeswoman, Shira Pruce. “Purim is such a happy day full of role reversals and opposites, a day of so much joy that we’ve never had any problem with police or the public at the Kotel and we hope that will still be the case,” she said. But “we’re aware of the fact that regulations change in the moments before Women of the Wall get to the Kotel, so we are prepared for that reality.”

Meanwhile, a hoax statement purporting to be from Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi, Shlomo Amar, prohibiting women from chanting the Megillah in Israel circulated among journalists Tuesday. The chief rabbi’s spokesman, Ziv Maor, said “it is fraudulent” and that his office is investigating the source of the document, which is on the chief rabbi’s letterhead and worded in such a way that it appeared to be from him.

“Now we’re trying to check who has the interest to send such a letter,” Maor said. “They took a letter paper of the chief rabbi’s with his signature and switched his content, probably by scanning it,” he said.

Rabbi Amar will issue an actual statement about women’s megillah reading this week, however, said Maor.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: women of the wall, sisterhood, kotel, jewish women, israel, anat hoffman

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.