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. You Es Ehhh!

    This is the height of privacy invasion!!! I understand this happening in America but not in the holy site! It's very unfortunate.

    July 27, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. janet

    I wish that CNN had not published this prayer... it was obviously a personal moment between Obama and God. We do not have the right to know what it is.

    On the other hand, hopefully this will give all those people who claim that Obama is arrogant a glimpse into who he really is. I wish my own prayers were that humble and heartfelt.

    July 27, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  3. E.C.Coleman

    The Rabbi is completely correct, regardless of the religious faith of the prayerful participant. Any person caught removing a prayer note from the Holy Wall should be publicly identified and censored. How dare a seminary student have such lack of moral fiber, integrity and character that he would commit such an act? The act, itself, was a sacrilege, but to publish the prayer was also egregious.

    July 27, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  4. Griff

    Whe didn't he send it Via E. Mail... (His God), must have a direct link with him...

    July 27, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  5. OBAMA 'O8

    Its definitely a shame, but really not that surprising. And Obama's not an idiot– he knew there was a high probability of someone stealing it...

    July 27, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. outsider

    this is so wrong in israel, who ever it is that did it, but God is able

    July 27, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  7. LD

    Now the whole world knows he is a christian. For those who have doubts they will be convinced. I have never seen such deceit as it relates to a man of color running for president of the USA.

    July 27, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. Godson

    Believe me, McCain is going through Obama's prayer notes to find an attack ad line. He just went absurdly senile the whole week, his disorientation might last till election day and he might end up voting for Obama. McConfused

    July 27, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  9. OBAMA U ARE BLESSED

    BCOS HE HIS SPECIAL THAT IS WHY THE EVIL ONE EXPOSED SUCH NOTE OUT IF IT WAS A VISIT FROM A WHITE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WILL THEY HAVE DONE THAT IN SHUT WHEN U ARE BLESSED AND TOUCH BY GOD NO EVIL SHALL PROSPER OBAMA IS TOUCHED BY GOD AND PEOPLE COULD NOT JUST BELIEVE WHY IS IT A BLACK MAN WELL THAT GODS DOING .OBAMA DOES NOT CARE WHO READ OR EXPOSE ANY SO CALL NOTE THAT SHOULD SHOW U WHO AND WHAT CHRITIANS ARE MADE OFF WE ARE ALL EQUAL IN THE FACE OFF GOD .GOD SHALL BLESS HIS FAMILY DEFENANTELY BECOS HE HAS BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY AND HE HAS NO CHOICE THAN TO CONTINUE THE WORK OF THE LORD WHICH IS "CHANGE,YES WE CAN"

    July 27, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. USA FOR OBAMA

    The Western Wall is a Holy Place. The State of Israel is Holy. I have been there several times. You can feel the presence of G-d.

    Barack Obama's pray is humbling and from his heart. He is seeking forgiveness and guidance from G-d.

    We need to all do that.

    July 27, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. JfromNC

    Shame on you CNN for posting this on your website. Is nothing sacred?

    July 27, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  12. BJKidd

    That CNN would print this prayer is appalling. What were you thinking?Are you sinking to the level of the National Enquirer?
    This is journalism at it's worst.

    July 27, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  13. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Mighty lame action on the note-taker's part, for surely. Wonder if Mr. McCain has left a written prayer at the wall, and whether or not his note was molestered in similar fashion? A mild insult, insignificant against the larger scale of more pressing problems which need to be addressed. Just another example of the human propensity to nosiness, and the species' inability to mind their own business.

    July 27, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. heatmiser

    Just another example of how there are two different sets of rules, one for the left, and another for the right. If this had happened in reverse, the right and its morons like Hannity, O'Reilly,and Limbaugh would be screaming loud enough to be heard all the way from Mars that this was just another example of leftist atheism. Just like McBush can make dozens and dozens of mistakes, almost daily, but noone covers them, they get maybe 1 paragraph buried somewhere. Let Obama make a mistake however, and it's headline news for 3-5 days. Just where in the hell exactly is this press "love affair" with Obama? Sure he gets more press, but the flip side is his level of error is so low noone else would ever be able to live with it, especially not the senile angry Mcain.

    July 27, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. David

    The irony is that as one heckler shouted "Jerusalem is not for sale" the Israeli media proved that Jerusalem IS in fact for sale ... disgraceful

    July 27, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. Brenda

    Although I heard this story very early this morning on CNN, the commentator also stated that they would not divulge the contents of the note and commented on the debate that was going on in the news room. Well....here it is. Even this man's prayers are not private. This is a sacriligious act by the person who pulled the note as well as the ones who published it. I am so glad that he did not request anything to help the media circus. He prayed as many men pray or should pray after making this public. I am very disgusted at the way that the go after him and give John McCain a free ride or under-report his blunders. I guess John McCain is not news-huh?

    July 27, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  17. Jnette

    This is amazing...then why is CNN still posting it...this has absolutely NOTHING to do with the campaign or how americans are going to pay for food, get to work or get back into homes from foreclosure, ...I can't believe that CNN is still posting this and drawing this out...I question your motives as well. Please remove it, Will we next try to tind out when or how a candidate takes a shower to exactly what time they eat dinner...following a candidate is one this but this is over the top...I can expect this from some of the other unprofessional stations, but I really expected more from CNN...please continue to stay above the fray and be a leader in reporting. This has gotten out of control and definately not on the issues that we care about or care to hear about!!! But, please note that God will be Just.

    July 27, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  18. Mike

    Even as they report that Rabbi Rabinowitz considers removal of Obama's personal note to be sacrieigious, CNN persists in publishing a picture of the note. The lack of journalistic integrity and judgment shown by CNN in this case should be appalling, but unfortunately is no longer unique as the MSM tries to compete for page views with bloggers.

    Shame on CNN, and shame on us for contributing to the problem by visiting this webpage.

    July 27, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. Fred

    Why don't they find this "seminary student" and ask his motives? Does the GOP (& friends) have to sink this low to try to find some dirt on their opponent? Something smells very Lieberman-ish about this.

    July 27, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. Mike Dallas

    I certainly hope that this is not indictive of the level of integrity and confidentiality being instilled in ALL Israeli semenary students.

    This action was beyond contempt.

    July 27, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. Jay

    CNN should also be ashamed for showing the note–please remove it!

    July 27, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. AT

    Who is speaking against CNN posting this very personal prayer from Senaotr Obama? You are telling us that this has happened yet you have posted this letter twice this week. It is indeed tasteless and deplorable. I understand why some people do not read your posts. I searched other news sites and they chose not to run this story. You have no shame. The student that stole this document should be prosecuted. CNN should face consequences as well. It is disgusting what you have done. I pray for Senator Obama everyday that he would rise above people that would do things like this to him and his family. Get this story off your site now.

    July 27, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  23. P.Catanzaro - Miami Florida

    It is the first time in my life I have heard anything like this from that holy site. What a coincidence that this occurred to Mr. Obama! It seems like something orchestrated purposely by somebody who wanted this to be an extraordinary issue as publicity! I would not give to much importance as this sounds to me premeditated! I am not inferring that there was the knowledge of Mr. Obama I believe he is much smarter than that! but somebody who wanted this type of news to occur! I believe it is childish to give importance to this type of news!

    July 27, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. James Fron Chicago

    This whole thing is like a circus. Of course Obama knew the note would be removed and the contents would be all over the news net works. He wanted to get his point across, so people would believe
    HE IS A CHRISTIAN. This whole trip was nothing more than a PR
    stunt., and his excuse for not goingto the troops hospital is pitiful.

    July 27, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. adam

    so whats the point making a fuss now, why was it even allowed in the first place if it was bad. for this to get out, means organized religion was never sacred to begin with, only another tool to gain power over people. obama did nothing wrong, but organized religion screwed him on this one. i think huckabee said it best, the more you try and demonize obama the more its going to back fire. im happy to say he was right, the people truely will stop at nothing to hurt this man.

    July 27, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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