The Shmooze

(Snow)Woman of the Wall

By Michael Kaplan

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Jerusalem’s children get to play in snow only about once every 7 years. But when they do get that chance — as they did this past weekend as the country fell under a sheet of white ice — they take to it like pros.

Facebook and Twitter lit up with photos uploaded from millennials from across the Middle East of the historic snowstorm. And the flurry of excitement also opened way for the divided city’s Arabs and Jews, as well as religiously zealous and secularists alike, to come together for some winter fun.

Political and social groups wanted in on the excitement, too.

Women of the Wall, a feminist group that has been pushing for expanded freedoms for Jewish women to pray at the Western Wall, found their own special way to capitalize upon the moment.

On December 11, their Facebook status put out a call:

“It might snow in Jerusalem! Who is volunteering to go build Snow Woman of the Wall #2?! Remember?!?!”

And sure enough, within a day, the call had been heeded. A snow woman — sporting a pink babushka, a tallit, cucumber-eyes, and a carrot-nose — welcomed visitors at the gender-neutral entrance to the wall.

The group, controversial in a city where gender boundaries are stark and defined, told the Jerusalem Post that the tallit-wearing snow woman was shaped only in jest, and was not meant as a provocative political statement.

Backing their statement, the pictures online of prayer-goers posing with the icy lady confirm what many of us already knew: it’s pretty hard to get riled up over a snow woman.


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