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.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (407 Responses)
  1. The Change Express

    it wasnt so much of a disrespect of CNN to post the prayer..but the total disrespect of Israel to allow this to happen. Do they not think that Barack is worthy enough of privacy? Do they think him less of a man and that his words to God means nothing?

    July 27, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. kelly WI

    Big deal.
    Who the heck cares? Just something else to give him more free publicity. But then there are always the ones who can be fooled with anything. He doesn't even celebrate xmas or birthdays with gifts. Not the muslim way.

    July 27, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Jenny

    PR At a New Low
    Wow, Obama, after watching your campaign closely for the last year, I thought your PR people can’t get any lower, but this one takes the cake. Congrats, I think it worked.
    Nice letter by the way.

    July 27, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. chubby

    To obama u are blessed. You really need to go back to elementary school and learn sentence structure and for goodness sake use spell check or a dictionary. I am sure you support obama because he will give you "stuff".

    July 27, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. Independent for Obama, TX

    Let us focus on the contents of the prayer. What a nice genuine prayer. This sheds light on the humility of the man.

    OBAMA 08

    July 27, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. Obama to our rescue 08/12

    Since they know who removed this prayer then turned it in to whoever printed it they both should be stoned .
    Read " thereitis " above and you have it in a nut shell .

    You M cCain fallowers take a good look at what you are fallowing and you should have plenty to wonder about and McCain isnt moving so fast you will miss him .

    July 27, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. David Goldman for OBAMA







    July 27, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. randy

    CNN you can still post the picture as long as i am consign i belive obama is on on christian and on on true christian in did so CNN you can post the letter to let those neo cons anti obama people to see and belive.

    July 27, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. stan

    this whole thing was totally staged by nomama, the tv showed exactly where he placed the note and focused on his hand as he was doing it, are we all stupid and let this guy get away with this act, the person who removed it should be cursed, and he was a seminary student, sure, of what religion, muslim, of course,

    July 27, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. jason, tx

    First, Lee B, you are an ignorant fool. (yeah, I know, you will not post this)

    Second, this was a despicable act. I can't believe the news paper printed it and, actually, I'm not surprised some seminary student, probably from the Christian Right, plucked it from the wall. What a calculated move.

    Oh, and Lee, HE IS A CHRISTIAN!!! For crying out loud.....

    July 27, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. nate

    Nice use of the word "uppity" Paula. Oh we get where youre coming from...

    July 27, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. Go McCain

    Why aren't the media writing about more important concerns, Such as why, on a supposedly "fact findng" trip, Obama would take the obvious politial photo-op ploy of visiting a military hospital. This dispicable....what? He didn't?...Oh...Why Obama would turn his back on our wounded troops by refusing to visit....

    July 27, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. zorba

    Disgusting. Is nothing sacred or private anymore? This really just plain goes too far.

    July 27, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. PUMA

    This is soooo obviously an Obama stunt. It reeks of "holier than thou". And this is the man that the "world" wants as our president?


    July 27, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. stan

    and danny, he is about as much about change as hitler was, open your closed mind and see the light, he is an empty suit and appeals to people with empty minds,

    July 27, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Michael

    Some of you border on the absurd in your thinking that the campaign would set up something like this. Either you have a very active imagination or just do not like Obama, either way it would be nice if some common sense were used in your comments. The suggestion that the McCain campaign had something to do with this is another absurd suggestion. I believe McCain is smart enough to figure out something like this would destroy any chance of him being elected President. Whether one likes or dislikes Senator Obama this was wrong, the media is wrong for reporting it and it shows the stupidity of our media around the world.

    What is more troubling is the fact some of you wish to make this into some type of political play. This has nothing to do with politics; this is a blatant violation of religious privacy and choice. I guess those of you who wish to make political hay out of this wouldn’t mind your personal prayer to God made public and do not care for others privacy when it comes to religions prayer. This is a sad testament really, it has become clear in this election cycle that many if not most Americans support anything goes type of politics. It is because of this, the world will continue to look at the United States the way they do, arrogant, hypocritical, and not willing to change.

    July 27, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. iwannatalk2

    I just can't believe it. Well, actually, I can. No matter what he does, says or prays, people will hate this man. I am a republican. But I am voting for Obama because we need a dynamic shift in theory and conviction in Washington. I read 1 person smirking say "oh he prays for himself- typical" What do you people want? This is the first black man to achieve what he has, and you don't think people want to kill him for that?! What is wrong with you?! If they shot and killed 2 presidents, shot and killed a US senator, shot and critically wounded another president, critically shot in the head another member of that presidents party- what do you want him to pray for? More sleep on the campaign trail??!! And these guys were all white!!!!!!!! You guys really really upset me that so many people forget the history of race and murder in this country. People bombed a CHURCH for crying out loud– there is nothing sacred to insane monsters. And we all need to pray for our selves and others every day. He asks for help with pride and despair. When was the last time any of us asked God to help us not be prideful? No we ask for help getting more money- or help me get this promotion, or let this deal go thru, or that....just so that we can keep sticking our chests out saying "look at what I did". I feel despair just reading some of your comments! What do people want?! I just don't get it anymore. Jesus prayed for HIMSELF in the garden right before being crucified, and he is the example we should be following.
    You know what? I'm gonna pray for every person who has written a comment on this article that God would open up all of our eyes to our failings and shortcomings, and help us to do better. Cause we all need Jesus around here!! And that ain't no joke.

    July 27, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. libs be dopes


    No doubt.


    Without a doubt.

    Anything to keep the spotlight on him.

    Anyone seen the Clintons?

    October suprise!

    July 27, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Jasmine in Marburg, Germany

    It was wrong to remove the note, it was even worse that the media published it. It's sad that trust, virtue, and honour doesn't seem to mean much when it comes to money. Perhaps there is still hope for change. A redemption could start with apologies from the media sources which published it (I believe your network is on this list), and of course, perhaps most importantly; the Senator deserves an apology as well, for the invasion of his privacy.

    July 27, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. Sherry

    And why did an Israeli newspaper print the note when they should have known it was a sacroligious act?

    July 27, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. Andrew

    thereitis: "This has to be expected from the Zionists among the Jews"

    What is that supposed to mean?

    July 27, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. LatinosforMcCain

    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

    Why is it that the DEM Liberals are trying so hard to hide when the facts are that Congress which is run by the Dem has a Approval Rating of 9% how pathetic can that be!!! Yes Dem Congress in which Barrack Obama is part of it that Congress and the DEM are worse than Bush!! that right worse!! So Nancy Pelozi, Harry Reid, Howard Dean and Barrack Obama, you all are pathetic leaders. AMERICA wake up and elect John McCain 08

    Latinos for McCain 08

    July 27, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. stan

    Comments of note: Oh God, let me be your instrument of change, let me sit at your right side along with Jesus, let me have the power to destroy my enemies, or republicans, for sure, let me walk on water, and cure those who are blind to my promises of change, let all doubters of my true message of change be cast into hell, especially the republicans, oh god, I am your savior, let me stand about you, bah, bah, bah, bah,

    July 27, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. Will, NJ

    I suppose the most disgraceful thing is occurring on these forums where the article is about a man's religious freedoms being violated yet some still feel it appropriate to bash the man on totally unrelated issues. I would expect nothing less from McCain followers after his hate campaign.

    July 27, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Michaelene

    I don't know what is worse.
    The fact that he had campaign posters placed at the Wailing Wall.
    The disgraceful use of a holy site as a campaign stop.
    The bs prayer which pleads for humility while the world calls him an elitist.
    The fact that this senator publicly placed his private prayer for tv cameras.
    His carefully worded prayer conveniently blasted on tv and web by his own supporters.

    Obama is a disgrace!

    July 27, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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