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The Boston Globe

World

Israel rethinks ban on female prayer at holy site

JERUSALEM — Amid outrage across the Jewish diaspora over Israel’s flurry of recent ­arrests of women seeking to pray at the Western Wall with ritual garments — in defiance of ­Israeli law — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the Jewish Agency, to study the issue and suggest ways to make the site more accommodating to all Jews.

The move comes after more than two decades of civil disobedience by a group called Women of the Wall against regulations, legislation, and a 2003 Israeli Supreme Court ruling that allow for gender division at the wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, and prohibit women from carrying a Torah or wearing prayer shawls there.

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