Comedian Sarah Silverman’s sister, Jerusalem Rabbi Susan Silverman, was among 10 women detained by Israeli authorities after they prayed at the Western Wall in traditional Jewish garb usually worn by men.
Susan Silverman and her teenage daughter, Hallel Abramowitz, were among those arrested for showing up at the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, wearing tallit, or prayer shawls, that Orthodox Judaism forbids women to wear, the Associated Press reported.
Sarah Silverman’s sister is a Reform Jew, a branch of Judaism that does not have such rules and is not recognized by the Orthodox rabbinate in Israel.
Susan Silverman and the 10 other women were part of “Women of the Wall,” a liberal group that prays at the Western Wall every month in defiance of regulations governing the holy site.
The group was arrested because regulations bar women from wearing prayer shawls at the holy site, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told the AP.
Using her Twitter account and Facebook page, Sarah Silverman praised her sister and niece.
“SO proud of my amazing sister @rabbisusan & niece@purplelettuce95 for their ballsout civil disobedience. Ur the t---!#womenofthewall,” the comedian wrote early Monday morning. The Twitter post was retweeted 248 times and the Facebook post was liked by nearly 500 users as of late Monday afternoon.
Most Facebook users who commented on the post were supportive of Sarah Silverman’s sister.
“As an Israeli, I'm ashamed she got arrested. All she did was praying at the Wailing Wall with a prayer shawl,” wrote Yonatan Nir. “I can't believe there's an actual Israeli supreme court's rule forbidding them to do that... Religion should be free for everyone as they see fit!”
Rob Vogu wrote, “im not one who is keen or likes religion, but anything for greater good of womyn [sic] and all, i feel is a beauty in itself.”
Anat Hoffman, chairwoman of Women of the Wall, who also was among the 10 women detained, said the group has been using the civil disobedience tactic for 25 years. She told the AP that a member of the group was never charged with a crime during that span.
‘‘This is just attrition,’’ she said. ‘‘They want to the group to become frightened.’’
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