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. joe

    Shame only the Seminary student, the paper and all the news net – works that are prying with the fellowship between Senator Obama and God.

    July 27, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Moses, Ca.

    To all of the McWar supports, you know as well as I do. that was wrong, if it happened to McWar you would be saying " Oh my God " can you beleive what they did to McWar. All of you McWar supporters can hold a town hall meeting in a phone booth. Get real...

    July 27, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. PUMA-Jessie

    Some one needs to talk to the young man who gave the note to the newspaper. Lets find out why? Lets find out if he is a McCain supporter, an Obama supporter or neither. Lets find out why he was there and able to take the note. I can not see where this benefits McCain in any way, but I can see all the media coverage benefiting Obama, because it helps to put to rest the muslim issue. It would also be nice to know why that newspaper saw fit to publish the note. They should have known better! The media and that includes the print, have been so overboard in their coverage of Obama, it has been almost shameless.

    July 27, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. ET from OMAHA

    What a very shamefull act! Pure violation of privacy.
    Now Million of people in the world will ask if it's worth to put any prayer note in that wall again.
    Israelis should present a serious apology to OBAMA and promisse not only to their people but to everybody in the world that this would not happen again.

    July 27, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Chris

    I'm amazed this story is still running. I've seen some crazy stuf in these comments... I can't believe someone called Obama the most arrogant man alive based on such a simple prayer. Baseball players can pray to win the world series, but Obama can't ask for forgiveness or protection for himself and his family?

    Yeah, the world has pretty much gone nuts when people take offense to prayers and applaud the presidential candidacy of a guy that campaigned for GW Bush... TWICE.

    July 27, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. Richard (from Puerto Rico)

    July 27th, 2008 1:26 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    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 on the sacred Holy Site and what it stands for to all the people in the Holy Land. It is an utter aciton.

    July 27, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Anna

    i cant believe this wasn't stage craft.

    The idea of a jewish seminary student stealing someone else's prayer off the Wall is just that...off the wall.

    This is way too much to ask the literate observer to believe.

    July 27, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Rob

    Beautiful humble Christian Prayer from a man of Faith.

    July 27, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Robert

    How foolish are Americans to not realize this whole thing is STAGED! Come on people, wake up! Notes all over the wall, Obama places one and it's carefully watched so as to not lose sight of it and then pull it from the wall and release it to the media. It was a planned event, just like everything else on this man's calendar.

    July 27, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. Anna

    I dont believe this story. I am sorry.
    this has to be a hoax.

    This UNIDENTIFIED jewish seminary student who stole a secret prayer at a Holy place in one of the most volatile regions of the World please come forward and tell me I am wrong.

    July 27, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. BJ

    he obviously paid some kid to take the prayer, did you hear what it said!?!?!?! if it were a real prayer, it would have been for McCain to to eaten by wolverines.

    July 27, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Richard (from Puerto Rico)

    CNN, I think you are really against Obama, All your media frenzy of publishing all the "negatives" and hardly any of McCain, is reason enough to think about it. With the exception of Jack, who battles against the Wolf , Bolger,Campbell and the others who want to see Obama fail. I have heard McCain make such blunder and no hype from CNN, to fallow-up like you spin with Obama, leads me to believe whole-heartedly that you are truly Pro-Mc.Cain.

    July 27, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. bk

    Wake up people this was staged in order to reinforce that he is a Christan. He still has to explain sitting in that hate filled church for 20 years and taking his children. Some people believe that Obama is special he is special alright. A fraud. and a empty suit.


    July 27, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. dina osullivan

    Not only was the student immoral, the newspaper, Maariv was also for printing it. Shame on them.That's bad journalism.

    July 27, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. MC Texas

    As a visitor to Israel I find it difficult to believe anyone could take a note from the wall easily. It is my opinion the 'student' was paid in some manner to do this in order to portray Obama as 'still the victim'. It appears the Obama camp is hell bent on soliciting sympathetic emotional responses from ill-informed folks around the world. Has Obama traded sides again? Is he now posturing as Jewish? He is posing as President of the USA in Europe and the Middle East thus counting his chickens before they are hatched. Who is going to tell him of the broken and rotten eggs in his basket? Someone needs to save him from himself. Personally–I don't want the perpetual victim as my president.

    July 27, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Cindy

    Man... even the wall is politicized.

    Give the man a freakin break. He's visiting these historic, religious places for the first time in his life, and all the press can do is politicize it.

    It's no wonder why he wants to keep his girls away from public eye.

    July 27, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Mike

    Texas trail puppy! – Funny that you blame it on McCain when it was obviously the Obama-loving media that pilfered the note. Can't see the truth for the rock star love anymore?

    July 27, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. mary kieffer

    I would like to know how much this little trip cost and who paid for it? Because if this came out of the campaign fund, then this should be considered some type of fraudulent use of the funds. If this came out of the taxpayers money then the same should apply. Regardless, it is evident that this presidential candidate will not be able to control anything including his spending. Which means he can't control the country's spending. This means more will be taken out of MY paycheck to pay for what?? His frivilous spending? Up till this trip Mr Obama had my vote. Too bad.Finally, how much was spent on this trip and how many poor people could that money have helped? Shame on you Mr. Obama and shame on the press for kissing this guy's @$$.Oh I forgot CNN lips have been puckered all along! My bad.

    July 27, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Peter

    this is pathetic

    July 27, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. anything goes

    yeah... he will change the world just look like south side chicago and 50 millions illegal got UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

    July 27, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. Leave no Paula behind!

    Paula – did you learn grammar, punctuation and spelling at a bowling alley? Your opening sentence ("What's the rabbi's upset about?") has so many orthographical errors that I wonder how you got past second grade. But the best line from your idiotic screed is "You guys blackmailed Clintion family over a investment some folks make." Good to see someone named Paula actually standing up FOR the Clintions for a change. We all love the Clintions. Heck, I even love DeWitt Clintion. I wonder if the Clintions are any relation to the Clintons.

    July 27, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. McCain-in-4, Clarksburg, MD

    Anyone who says the McCain or Obama had anything to do with this theft is trying to sell us on something. What Obama wrote, or was purported to have written, is between him and God. Anyone who tried to spin this unnewsworthy story belongs in Goofy-ville with the rest of the wingnuts.

    Obama certainly gave an impressive account of his skill, vision and candor over the past week, coming back to U.S with a clearer picture of his expectations of Federal Government, private businesses, as well as ourselves as citizens of the world. The debate will become much more pronounced, and my choices have become delightfully difficult.

    July 27, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. SayCheeseObama

    Did I fall asleep and miss the election? Is Borat really our President? Yak! A very arrogant person that will only get more arrogant and he will leave all of you blinded supporters behind. Mark my words. For all of you that down McCain for his age...don't forget that discrimation is present not only for race, but AGE, SEX, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, etc. So if you are any of these SHAME ON YOU..you are discriminating! I've always thought of age as a sign of experience! Experience is what we need in this election! You'll see that when the Fairy Dust settles!! 🙂

    July 27, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Sue

    Those who honestly wished to know what is in the heart of Barack Obama, though this admittedly unorthodox act of the seminary student, now know. I'm sorry, but I think it is important for CNN and others to print what has already been revealed. Obama's prayer should be circulated in e-mail as the smears have been circulated. Isn't this what we all wanted - to find out if this man is good, is trying to do good?

    July 27, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Elizabeth- TEXAS

    McCain complaints and whinns about everything Barack says and does. Sometimes McCain speaks for Barack.

    McCain isn't wearing a flag pin and now McCain ia meeting with the Dahai Lama. I can only imagine what McCain would have said if Barack had met with him.

    Barack Obama's pray was from his heart to the heart of G-d I bet the heaven's are rejoicing, too.

    July 27, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17