Women of the Wall
Anat Hoffman, chairwoman of the Women of the Wall group, holds on to a Torah scroll as police attempt to take it from her and detain her outside the Western Wall, July 12, 2010 Photo by AP
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Anat Hoffman was arrested at the Western Wall on Tuesday night for saying the Sh’ma Israel, Judaism’s central proclamation of faith, out loud at Israel’s holiest site.

“I was saying Sh’ma Israel and arrested for it. It’s just unbelievable,” she said in an interview from her bathtub, where she was soaking limbs bruised from being dragged by handcuffs across the police station floor and legs shackled as if she were a violent criminal. “It was awful.”

Hoffman has been detained by police at the Western Wall six times in the more than two decades that she has led Women of the Wall, a group which conducts prayer services in the women’s section at the start of each Jewish month. But on Tuesday night, when she was arrested for the crime of wearing a tallit and praying out loud, she was treated far more violently by police than ever before.

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