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Israeli court: Women can wear prayer shawls while worshiping at the Western Wall

In a major victory for feminist religious group Women of the Wall (and for all women who want to worship freely at one of Judaism's holiest sites), an Israeli court ruled on Thursday that women could pray at the Western Wall while wearing prayer shawls.

The decision comes after a series of clashes between female worshipers and the Orthodox rabbis who manage the Wall according to a strict interpretation of Jewish law. The rabbis' enforcement of Orthodox tradition barred women from wearing tallit (prayer shawls), reading aloud from the Torah and entering certain areas around the Wall, all of which significantly restrict women’s ability to pray. Women were often arrested for defying these restrictions.

But the court ruled on Thursday that their presence did not pose a threat and did not violate "local custom," as the Washington Post reports:

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