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. LeMonton

    CNN: "McCain camp rips Obama for cutting troop visit"

    Very pathetic of McCain and his camp to criticize Obama for not visiting troops, while overseas, when it was the Pentagon that raised "concerns".

    As a matter of fact, McCain would have criticized anyway. If Obama would have visited the troops in Germany, McCain would have argued that he was using the troops for political gain (as the trip to Europe was a political trip). If Obama would have cancelled (as he did) to avoid that perception, then you see their comments now.

    Can you believe a politician complaining that the opponent did not visit more people while on a campaign trip? Not only was the pentagon that show "concerns", but it is also highly inappropriate of McCain to criticize Obama on this and it shows the level of desperation, emptiness and lack of message and solutions of McCain.

    July 27, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Kevin Hart

    This is indicative of how far the neo-cons of the Jewish persuasion, and their Republican lapdogs, who masterminded the illegal war and occupation of Iraq, will go to try to find out if Obama is a closet Muslim. The seminary student was hoping to find some prayer to "Allah or Mohammed" which could be fired off around the globe for an instant "gotcha". Instead, a man's private prayer to God is violated and his dignity at a sacred site is desecrated for political puposes. It is time to turn off the money spigot of US tax dollars to Israel. No more GI and USMC blood, broken bones, missing limbs, widows, widowers and orphans for a diabolical lie, generated by the neo-cons.

    July 27, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Belle

    Well...let's see...Obama meets with the leader of Iraq, then HIS campaign LEAKS the details of the meeting so it would appear as if the leader of Iraq is in total agreement with him...omitting that the timeline was based on CONDITIONS on the ground.

    Then a college student takes his prayer, and it is published globally at a time when he is being called arrogant?

    I think Obama is a good man basically. However, he needed to follow his role model, JFK and actually WORK in the Senate for 10-15 years before running for President. He needs experience, and his OVERSIGHT on the war in Afghanistan as COMMITTEE SUB-CHAIR was non-existent! Don't know why he just didn't resign if he wasn't going to do anything....that would have been the honorable thing to do.

    July 27, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. libs be dopes

    I wonder which one of his 300 advisors wrote it for him?


    July 27, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. NPA

    It was also sacrilegious how CNN exploited the prayer and how the Republican Christians tried so hard to find something wrong with the prayer.

    July 27, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. Chuck, Euigene Oregon.

    I am appaled that CNN continues to talk about this.

    July 27, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. S. Boatman

    John Mccain Had Someone Take The Note To Try And Have Some Dirt On Obamas Religion! Mccain Is A Crooked Politician! This Shows He Is Not The Right Person To Be President!

    July 27, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. ex-Republican for Obama

    The rabbi is absolutely right of course. I'm sure Senator Obama fully expected that his note would remain private. What a shame.

    Obama '08

    July 27, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Ted van Tol

    Two days ago I saw Sen. McCain in the Situation Room.
    I realy felt sorry for him.
    I saw a tired man who told us that he know how to win wars,
    he would bring Osama Bin Laden to justice because he knew
    the aria he lives and so on………………………..
    I saw at his face that he did not believe his own words.
    I saw the same face that I have seen by G. Bush the last 3 years.
    Sen. Mc Cain, whom I respect, is an old and tired man. When he
    becomes President of the USA he wil be totaly depent on his advisers like Bush did.
    When Mc Cain would go to Berlin I am sure, no one would show up.

    And what a difference when I see Barack Obama, young, strong, wise and loved all over the world. He is surely isnot the Messiah, he is not pretending that but he is a good man with a vision for this world no one ever dreamed of.
    He gives so many hope for the future.

    Americans vote for the best candidate, Barack Hussein Obama.

    With love from the Netherlands.

    July 27, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. debkansas

    Whats all the up roar over. He left the note there on purpose so that it would be found and people would think that he actually prays. Hessin Obama is a fake. I don't trust him. Just who appointed him President anyway, I thought he was to elected by the people NOT selected by the media. Boycott the media. Americans should be allowed to make up their own minds and not be convinced that Hessin Obama is the choice of the people. HE IS NOT MY CHOICE AND NEVER WILL BE. HILLARY/MCCAIN FOR PRESIDENT. I am a believer and I feel sorry for those that don't have faith.

    July 27, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Taylor

    Shame on CNN for posting the note and for continuing to revisit this issue. This morning, one of your very own Sunday TV news commentators called the issue "pathetic", but apparently isn't aware that story-hungry CNN posted the note this week, and now continues to write about it.

    July 27, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Richard (from Puerto Rico)

    Not wanting to add fuel to the already started fire, but it makes me wonder whether this is the very first time this ever happened, or the first time it is exposed to public scrutiny? It also leads me to believe that such incident; the placing of the personal note by person of such high profile as U.S. senator Barack Obama, represents, I believe there should have been more oversight than there seemed to be. Of course, no disrespect to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowits. After all he made the adecuate observations about the alleged action action on the sacret emblem in the Holy Site and what it stands for to all the people in the Holy Land. It is an utter aciton.

    July 27, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |

    #1 CNN was sacreligious to have posted the prayer on this site, regardless of many readers asking for it to be removed. #2 To all you people saying nasty remarks regarding Obama, concerning this, you are not qualified to judge anothers prayer, are you?

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

    the public is fooled again. It would be of my opinion, since obama was on a magical mystery publicity tour, that he PAID someone to do that so that we could all have a heightened false perception of how pure he is.

    July 27, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Tammie From Cleveland Ohio

    To : The person"Obama You Are Blessed" You are a total nut job,
    You need to be committed.

    July 27, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Reality

    JohnBoy is a loser and extremely stupid !!

    July 27, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. Ann, MI

    Those of you who think this was a stunt really need to get your heads out of the gutter. I cannot find any evidence of other candidates, politicians or heads of state having their notes removed. This is an attack on Obama pure and simple, and a new low. If it had been Bush or McCain, your outrage would be everywhere. I hope that seminary student gets kicked out, otherwise some poor temple is going to suffer with a rabbi who thinks its okay to violate trust and the direct, private prayers to God.

    My friend recently converted to Judaism and was horrified by the racist and anti-Muslim comments made about Senator Obama. She couldn't believe that a group of people so persecuted could attack a man simply for his name and skin color, neither of which he chose.

    July 27, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Jasmine in Marburg, Germany

    Just quickly, in your article above you wrote "...eight-day trip to the Middle East and Europe." in the last paragraph. May I kindly bring it to your attention that Afghanistan is located in central Asia? The sentence should have read: ...trip to Asia, the Middle East and Europe. I don't intend to be critical, but imagine what the locals might be thinking about this geographical faux pas from your prominent international news network.

    July 27, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. Walt, Belton,TX

    Clever of the Obama camp to come up with the whole charade in the first place. Thank goodness the pro-Obama media is giving it the most coverage it possibly can. Wouldn't want to waste all that effort and talent!

    July 27, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. Steve

    BHO is in a presidential election. If he wants to keep his prayers to Allah a secret, he shouldn't defile the western wall with their presence.

    July 27, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. Ronnie. LA

    This whole thing is bogus and never happened, designed to put Obama in a good light. Keep it up CNN and MSNBC; your bias favoring Obama and your excessive coverage of him is starting to affect the polls in favor of McCain. His lead is down to 4% which is statistically insignificant.

    Americans do not like favoritism and a backlash is underway.

    July 27, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. SIck Person on Board!!!

    Paula-For all we know Obama's camp set it up. Like all the Phoro-ops that took place. IDIOT!!!

    July 27, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Whining Tommy Hussein in St. Louis

    terry,va July 27th, 2008 10:16 am ET
    This is a political stunt to try to convince people he has Christian faith. It won't work BHO.


    It's amazing how firmly some people will believe something, without any evidence whatsoever.

    July 27, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. Sammy

    Guess its natural that people do this. But newspapers/newspapers do not have to show it. So while I can blame the guy for going against his religious teachings (and his job) for doing what they did. I blame the media more for going after ratings rather than respecting a persons religious activities.

    July 27, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. Kevin

    I have no doubt that this note is going to make its way to ebay and I will bid at least 1000 dollars even though I know I would not win.

    July 27, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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