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. D R

    Taking that note out was absolutely wrong! McCain pitching a fit over Obama skipping the troop visit, after Obama was told not to by our government was also BS. Making a negative out of the rest of the world loving Obama, by telling the people of America "that we should fear Obama's popularity" is outrageous. The right wing talk show people like, Hannity, Rush, and Fox news getting script from the government to give the public "as news" is BS!! and against the law!

    July 27, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. jason

    keep religion out of politics please...

    July 27, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. H-ROD

    so the wall is no more good they should tear down that wall!!!

    July 27, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. Julius above Montana

    In my estimation this is going to be one of the most divisive US elections in recent memory if John McCain wins – yes, more divisive then the 2000. Here is why.
    Love him or hate him Barack Obama is sui generis. He has changed the face of US politics for generations to come…can you imagine this election without him? Let’s cut through the BS and tell it like it is there is a genuine small fraction of the population who dislike Obama’s policies for what they are; then there are others who will simply vote GOP and will not stray under any circumstances; then there are those that dislike him supposedly because of____ reasoning yet any educated person knows the reason to be a façade, in reality they cannot in their conscious vote for someone who does not look like them.

    John Edwards spoke of the two Americas. Indeed, there are two, I have meet one and know only of the other to exist in the theoretical abstract. I met two people from Boston in Vancouver Canada (two of the kindest most sincere down people you’ll ever met….and recently in Hawaii I also met similar people. This is one type of America. The other is the uneducated hillbillies with two front teeth missing with the most intolerant of intolerant uneducated nonsensical views. These two people live in one world and for that I feel tremendous sympathy for those likeminded folks I met from Boston. Should this election be decided but a bunch of closed minded uneducated people then it is the most of incredible losses in mankind history. When you juxtaposition the two candidates the choices could not be anymore clearer in this election. In any other industrialized country on earth Obama would win by 20+ points but these are the same people that voted in Bush twice. America – the world will stop on November Nov. 4th 2008 to watch. Contrast the headlines with an Obama victory vs. McCain’s.

    July 27, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. Lou R

    It seems now days nothing is sacred. Most unfortunate. Those who violate personal privacy are doing so from an immature ego centered place or are power/greed hungry. I suspect the seminary student who violated Barack Obama's privacy was acting from his immature ego interests and their should be a consequence for his distasteful action. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.

    July 27, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. Cynamen

    Such a reprehensible act...which made it all the way to the front page of a newspaper says a great deal about a world being abundantly interested in what this brilliant leader has to say...to God be all the Glory! However, I cannot help but wonder if a note left on the wall by John McCain might have generated the same interest or attention? These are fascinating times in which we now live ~ not only in this nation's history, but also in world history...being written right before our very eyes! May we not fail to realize the magnitude of our choices, be they great ~ or seemingly insignificant. Our world is dependent on it....and God is watching.

    July 27, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. Douglas F Smith

    A seminary student did this act? And a newspaper printed Mr Obamas thoughts to God? The student should undergo severe censure, since he is obviously not fit for the role of a religious leader. The newspaper editor who allowed the printing of these private thoughts should join the seminary student in the unemployment line.

    July 27, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Go Obama '08

    As a Jew, I the removal of Sen. Obama's note in The Wall embarrasing. The notes are for God's eyes only. Curiosity should be the eigth deadly sin.

    July 27, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. Rev. Wright

    It wouldn't surprise me that my old friend Obama had it removed and released to the media by his staff.

    July 27, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. tsvi

    Ah, the "religiosity" of religious people.

    July 27, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. Carol Orticari

    He is not my candidate. He is doing more to raise the Black/White issue here in USA than help the issues. It seems we have been thrust into the past and are neglecting our NOW. My relatives are all from Italy and were not here when America was waging its slavery issues so why as a white woman shall I take the blame for something my family was not part of nor did my grandmother teach? I am white, 57, a lesbian who has a host of my own issues re: prejudice. I teach an embrace diversity and my students know it. I am tired of everyone talking about dead issues. I love America, all its people, the world's peoples, and want to move forward. As long as we bring up the past , and fail to forgive, we cannot love. So to everyone who lives there and will not forgive or say it is not okay for us to use the N word, a word used not only in modern music but in the literature we teach in our schools, then we do not embrace love. As a Christian it was Jesus' only message. So when will we allow the love to overscome. When it does, peace will reign.

    July 27, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Laura

    Who cares? Obama should be addressing the needs of OUR country, the United States of America.

    July 27, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. Joel - Queen Creek, AZ

    NOTE TO THE MODERATOR: What have I done to have my comments removed from this forum? I have never used profane lanuguage or made any threats.

    July 27, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. Q

    God knows who are his children. The effort to make all humans his children will continue.

    OBAMA 08'

    July 27, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. Fred C Dobbs

    Wow, what a hard hitting article on Barack Obama. What's next, a will he be going to the beach report?

    CNN and Wolf Blitzer – the first and last word in garbage!

    July 27, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. Noah

    And the Rabbi is right. That note was private. The media has lost all respect in their attempt to put Obama on a pedistal. Sad thing is, Obama is a good man who will have a hard time living up to the hype heaped on him by the media and his supporters. The bigger they are, the harder they fall some say.

    July 27, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    That is personal. Prayer is personal. Talking to God is personal. No one had a right to pull that from the Wall and share it with the world. It borders of sacreligious.

    July 27, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Happily Independent

    The actions of the seminary student is sacrilegious. Obama or anyone else that visits the Western Wall should have confidence that their words of prayer will not be published in a newspaper. Shame on the seminary student and shame on the Israeli newspaper as well. .

    July 27, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. donald westmoreland

    what a shame.they will stop at nothing to hurt obama.to change the mind set of a new america.steal a mans prayer,and use against him a shame.very scared they are.they need to be.no more of a few-running this great land of america,but we the people.the all seeing eye is dead.

    July 27, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. ALECO1 -----NOKOMIS,FL


    July 27, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. KH

    That is so sad, what is even worse is the republican advocates who will spin anything Obama does into something bad. It their eyes this man can do no good. Regarding them complaining about the press, it is true that the press needs to dedicate more attention to John McCain and his flaws which usually gets past over.

    July 27, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. Danel

    Boy, was he LOOK good on that skull cap?

    July 27, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. maryC

    nothing is respected, nothing is "special, (even your written,praises to YOUR = Lord and Savior ) the time is short, when our prayers are ":stolen and removed, Sacrilegius ,yes, yes,

    July 27, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. Mirta

    Just more free publicity for Obama. Did you notice he didn't mention his beloved country in his Prayer?

    July 27, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. wiser

    While printing Senator Obama’s prayer was wrong, it was telling. Senator Obama’s hubris and arrogance knows no bound. His prayer was not for his family, not for his country but only for himself. Senator Obama cares only about his own ambition.

    Americans will choose integrity over expediency, selflessness over selfishness, and heroism over shallow words every time. Americans will not be fooled and choose Senator McCain for president.

    Democrats for McCain!

    July 27, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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