July 27th, 2008
12:54 PM ET
15 years ago

Rabbi: Removal of Obama's purported prayer note 'sacrilegious'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/27/art.obama.ap.jpg
caption="Sen. Barack Obama places a prayer note in Jerusalem's Western Wall."]

JERUSALEM (CNN) - The rabbi who supervises Jerusalem's Western Wall condemned the removal of a prayer note purportedly written by Sen. Barack Obama, saying the action was "sacrilegious."

The U.S. presidential candidate visited the holy site early Thursday and placed a note in the cracks of the wall - a custom of visitors.

It was subsequently removed from the wall, according to the Israeli newspaper, Ma'ariv, which printed what it said were the contents of the note.

Ma'ariv said a seminary student gave the note to the paper.

Obama's senior strategist Robert Gibbs told CNN, "We haven't confirmed nor denied" that the note is from the Illinois senator.

"This sacrilegious action deserves sharp condemnation and represents a desecration of the holy site," said Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, who supervises the Western Wall, in a statement.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (407 Responses)
  1. Texas trail puppy!

    How low can McSame Camp go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 27, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. Jeff

    Taking the prayer away from the wall was not cool. But really, did you read the prayer? I think Obama should have been praying a little earlier for the Lord to help guard him against pride. Obama is the most arrogant man alive.

    July 27, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. Bud

    Terrible to treat a man's private act/testimony of faith as public press fodder. It is sacrilegious.

    July 27, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. glittergirl

    and shame on CNN for continuosly showing the private note!

    July 27, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  5. Jim

    and so is the medai in the US for printing it !!!!!

    July 27, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  6. Danny

    It has become very clear that there is a powerful (and very old) movement that is against Barack Obama becoming president. This just reaffirms me that Obama truly IS a change agent. A very powerful one at that, and if elected, he WILL change this world. There is always resistance to change – that's just the nature of it. But when the resistance reaches such high political levels, we, the people, need to remember this! (Do NOT think this was some innocent teenager – this happened at one of the most holy sites in the world – do NOT be naive!)

    Barack Obama DOES represent REAL change. Fasten your seatbelts, because we're about to take off!

    July 27, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  7. Marc, Seattle Wash

    My goodness, they just can't give this man a break.

    July 27, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. Blayze Kohime

    Even as an atheist myself, I think this was an utterly despicable act by the person who retrieved it and more by the publisher. And for what? It seems that his prayer was most honorable anyway.
    A person's religion should never be intruded upon when they are keeping it to themselves. If more people in the world kept it to themselves we wouldn't have so much violence.

    July 27, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. John Eblen

    The person who stole Obama's prayer to God and the Newspaper who published it have all proven that their God is the God of Profit! I am surprised by and disappointed at anyone who does not recognize the sanctity of one's personal relationship with God.

    July 27, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. Paula

    What's the rabbi's upset about? If they didn't want his note to be removed they should have kept all that security at the wall. For all we know Obama's camp set it up. Like all the Phoro-ops that took place. the Obama's camp isn't short on cash.was the pre-ads in Germany for free food and the only thing you had to do is listen ti this guy speak.Do one favor for us-like when Bill Clinton was in office-unlike with Bush and now Obama-no nic pik at his real estate deal? You guys blackmailed Clintion family over a investment some folks make. It wasn't even a million dollar investment or returns. He never did himsel any favors while Governor. You uppity folks like Obama and the ones that are now foaming at the mouth. You will get your way. Why don't you just say HE WON. THE ELECTION IS OVER. WE WON OUR PRESS CAMPAIGN FOR HIM AND US. YOU NEVER HAD A CHANCE.

    July 27, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. William, from Cali!

    Is there nothing, that "evil un-Godly beings" will not do?

    July 27, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  12. Al from Dallas

    Lord, give me strength and wisdom to have the capability to write like this.

    July 27, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  13. DobermanSpencer

    Sen. Obamas prayer is one I say myself; but it is his to share with who he wishes. His relationship with God is his business people, he is American and has freedom of religion. Now the note in the wall was simply a ceremonial ritual of the locals. A man's conviction and faith is expressed in his actions to others and himself. He demonstrated his, but it must not be custom to remove them. Unfortunately the inconsideration and curiosity, along with what I would consider greed, has yet again shown humanities inability to resist temptation.

    Just my opinion...your's may vary.

    July 27, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. Joe - Wilmington, DE

    Do you think money may have been involved? I guess some things supercede one's religious convictions.

    July 27, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Dennis

    I have a hard time believing this wasn't an orchestrated event between the Obama campaign and that young Israile seminary student, who would have known better.

    July 27, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. Beverly

    I totally agree that it is not only sacrilegious but also extremely disrespectful and an invasion of ones privacy. And then for any news media to pick up the story and print the letter? I wouldn't want to be standing in their shoes when the bad Karma Fairy or better yet "their God" strikes down.

    July 27, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. JohnBoy

    When do the debates start?

    Why is Obama scared of the debates?

    Let Americans ask the questions.

    Is Obama a empty suite?

    Vote for a real American.

    McCain 08

    July 27, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. Lee B

    This note stuff reminds me of the staged antics of Bill Clinton on the Normandy beach piling up stones on a beach that had none to pile up except for the ones planted by his handlers for a photo op.

    The Obama camp probably paid someone to remove this note to make it public as there are still a lot of people who beleive the candidate is a Muslim–as I do. I mean, for all the numbers of years those notes have been placed and guarded against such actions without any such betrayal on the watchers' part, how could anyone with any brains possibly beleive that this happened otherwise?

    July 27, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  19. SPJ, Ann Arbor, MI

    So, could CNN perhaps show some decency and not keep running the picture of it?

    July 27, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. Joan, Ontario

    CNN, I just listened to a report on your Weekend tv show with criticisms about the student who took the note and of the paper who published it. Well, you have it on your web so what is the difference? That is an invasion of his privacy too.

    July 27, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. rachel

    I am no obama supporter, but the rabbi is right, down right disgraceful that the note was printed, that wall is now tainted.

    July 27, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  22. Mike, Youngstown

    Well that was despicable.

    July 27, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  23. Janey/Michigan

    Send this man another 10.00 to garner fake publicity, you Obama followers–maybe you can finance another ego-serving trip for your hero. Or maybe you can pay for him to insert another note in the wall so he can have it splashed all over the world and then claim that no one was supposed to know about it. I am sure this won't be posted, as all postings about this which are anti-Obama have been taken off.

    July 27, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. R

    what has the world turned to? I can't believe someone would remove it, and CNN/media are even posting the picture of it. His prayers are nobody's business. Obama should have known with his popularity this could have happen. I wished he didn't do this

    July 27, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. D Constantine

    If Obama did indeed write this, then I have been given one more reason to like this man and to cast my vote for him. He seems sincere and humble. Two qualities that I would look for in a leader.

    July 27, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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