Israeli police questioned a prominent Reform movement activist in connection with the wearing of prayer shawls by women at the Western Wall,Â JTA reported today.
Anat Hoffman, the director of the Israel Religious Action Center, said she was fingerprinted Tuesday and that her case was being referred to the attorney general for prosecution.
- Anat Hoffman
Hoffman was brought in for her involvement in Women of the Wall, an activist group that presses for rights for women at Judaism’s holiest site.
“I think it was a meeting of intimidation,” Hoffman told JTA’s Ben Harris. JTA posted a video of an interview with Hoffman, in which she displays her ink-stained fingers.
“The stains that are still on my fingers are actually a stain on the State of Israel,” she said.
The interrogation follows the November arrest of Nofrat Frenkel, an Israeli medical student and Women of the Wall member who was detained after donning a tallit at the site.
According to the Forward, an Israeli police spokesman said he did not know of Hoffman’s interrogation and declined further comment.
Hoffman told Jane Eisner of the Forward that Women of the Wall have complied with an Israeli Supreme Court ruling that prohibits women from wearing the black-and-whiteÂ tallit, the traditional prayer shawl for men, when they pray at the Kotel.
“The women each wear a smaller, multi-colored shawl like a scarf around the neck and under a coat, so as not to offend the strict sensibilities of other men and women at the Wall, said Hoffman.”
“It’s a sad moment,” Hoffman told the Forward, and mentioned that she has gone to the police station in Jerusalem many times to lodge complaints against people who she says have assaulted her and members of her group. She added that the assailants have never been arrested. — Mordecai Specktor