Ten women, including comedian Sarah Silverman’s sister, Susan Silverman, and her niece, Hallel Silverman, were arrested on Feb. 11, 2013 in front of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem during a political demonstration.
Susan Silverman, a rabbi, and her teenage daughter prayed with eight other women wearing traditional shawls, which are banned for women at the holy site.
The New York Daily News reports that after being being detained for several hours, all 10 women were “charged with violating an Israeli court ruling that bans women from wearing traditional prayer-shawls or praying too loudly.”
In an interview with the Daily News, Susan Silverman said that she was proud of taking a stand over the ultra-orthodox law at the Wall: “The space allowed for women is becoming smaller and smaller. If the law is changed, I will be proud to have played a small part,” she said. “The rules are outdated. It’s 2013 and we’ve moved on. It’s time the law moved on too.”
Her sister Sarah had this to say via Twitter:
Although Israel police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the protest was ”against regulations set by the High Court,” the women say there is nothing in Jewish law forbidding them from praying in their shawls at the Wall.
Rabbi Silverman, who has lived in Israel with her husband and four children since 2006, told the Daily News that “the way Israel is run by the religious establishment at the Wall is an insult to God…It’s like spitting on Sinai.”