Alex Rittenberg (daughter of Terri and Scott), was in Israel for Rosh Hodesh this month, and was kind enough to send us her perspective on her experience.
Hi! It's Alex Rittenberg. I just sat down for breakfast with a friend after davening at the wall! So here is my take on what happened:
It's 5:45 in the morning and a terrible noise sounds that signals it's time to get up. Why is this morning different than all other mornings? Why do I wake up with the same amount of energy as a puppy? It's because it's Rosh Chodesh and I can daven with women of the wall.
After walking for what seemed like forever, Yona (my friend) and I finally arrive at the Kotel. We are immediately greeted with great warmth and excitement. Anat Hoffman, the leader of Women of the Wall, hands us two Rosh Chodesh siddurim and says she is glad that we were able to come. As women begin to arrive the excitement in the air continues to rise. The feeling that accompanies the arriving women was unparalleled.
We begin the Shacharit service with a "shaky" start. (It was hard to hear the woman leading) However, once we began to daven, the spirit and the ruach lead the group.
As the service continued, more people began to join and our prayer got louder and louder with every joining person. We are here.
I looked around the women's side of the Kotel and notice the countless men that stand around the edges in solidarity. The support from the men was incredible. This shows that not only women, but the Jewish people have the ability to stand as one.
Not only was this a Rosh Chodesh service, but it was also two more simchot as well. We came together to celebrate an oof roof as well as a baby naming. (Not only was the naming incredible to watch, but this proved that this was simply the beginning of the new generation of Jewish women.) The congregation of women came together to sing songs of mazel and luck to the young women.
This experience was unlike any other. This is not just a service. This marked one step closer in achieving our equality as women.
Alex at the wall (center)