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. Linda of Atlanta

    So, is the Seminary student being expelled? He obviously doesn't belong in the Seminary!

    July 27, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. allainjules

    Shame ! Rabbi is right !

    July 27, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Raymond Duke

    I am like another person on this . When is Obama the "PHONY" going to debate John McCain and talk to the american people about the problems we face.As far as a veteran I know and have been involved in NATO exercises. They like to play war fake war games with us but have no intention of helping in a real war. They should be giving us all the help we need in Afghanistan and fighting right along with us instead of staying in the safe areas. Maybe when Hitler attacked these people we should have just sent them a few supplies and stayed out of it. I say don't put the anti missile site in poland to protect these nato countrys. I say that we need to get rid of the old Nato and start all over with the new countrys from the soviet bloc. They have provided fighting men and did more than these socialist parasites who call themselves our Nato friends.

    July 27, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. jmo

    Come on people, it’s 2008. It doesn’t surprise me at all. If the student hadn’t removed it, somebody would have. There’s no such thing as privacy, or ethics, or morals any more if there’s a story to be had. I'm not saying it's right, it's just the way it is.

    July 27, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. Paula Hussein Mack

    The Wailing Wall is the Holiest of places in Jerusalem, the very act of sending the prayer to God the Holiest.. this man has been ripped to shreds, huliliated and his inner most thoughts scrutinzed by the world. I cannot fathom one person on this blog saying one mean thing. My goodness what kind of hearts do you have?? God Bless you Barack and we are all praying for you..us with kind hearts who love you because you are a child of God like all of us. God Speed. Have you haters forgotten he is a man with feelings and a heart.. God have mercy on all you haters. Shame

    July 27, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. dark days

    First a Jewish student with no respect for the wall and his own religion steals the note. Then a Jewish newspaper, knowing full well what sacred violation took place, prints the note. Sorry Israeli press, your true colors have been exposed.

    July 27, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  7. Ali

    Lee B. How can anyone with any brains think that BO didn't conspire to have his prayer released? REALLY? The fact that you belive that BO is a Muslim causes me to question your brains. You probably forward every warning email you that hits your inbox. Just an FYI. Those emails are fake about 90% of the time.

    July 27, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  8. observer

    This is sick and I clearly do not understand that the Media has no respect for a deeply personal thing like a prayer. Same on all you at CNN trying to start a smear campaign on Obama. McCain has so many gasps and rubbish about going after Russia, that you ought to cover
    Just silly journalism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    July 27, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. Damian

    This is why I'm an atheist. Organized religion has taken the concept of goodness and thrown it in the gutter! It supported slavery and the crusades, all in the name of the concept of goodness.

    July 27, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. bobby from MS

    what ever story destracts people from knowing Obama went to the gym instead of going to meet with wounded troops. Is that right CNN? The Pentagon spokesman even said they didn't tell Obama not to go but they did say not to make it a media affair.

    July 27, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. Ron democrat turned independent

    Sen. Obama is not what he wants us to believe he is. on an interview with people's magazine recently he said he does not buy gifts for his children on christmas or for their birthdays. that is also the teaching of the MUSLIM faith who do not celebrate the birth of christ or any birthdays including their own.this may be why he did not attend MLK's birthday celebration in Memphis thid year.when you add this to his background it gives you food for thought does it not

    July 27, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. Connie

    To Johnboy, As an Obama supporter I can not wait for the real debates to begin either.The reason Obama will not join McSenile in the town hall meetings are two-fold, McSenile is not telling him what to do and those places are just to small to hold all of the supporters that would be there for Obama.Besides I do not believe Obama would stand by while a librarian was arrested for holding a sign like McSenile did.Remember be careful what you wish for( this past week an example).Future vs Past. Back to the prayer that was stolen and published,every one remember God rewards those who do good things and punishes those who do bad. Go Obama 08

    Connie from indiana

    July 27, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Exactly! How can such a private thing be published for the world to see? How disrespectful!

    July 27, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. aztec3

    Gosh, I guess the next question about this is when will this note be put up for sale on Ebay???

    July 27, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Ron

    How disappointing and how very, very wrong. Both the student who STOLE a prayer and the paper that printed it; both should be condemned.

    Our trust in the wall has been destroyed. No longer are the words between a man and his god sacred but fodder for the curious and the media.

    My heart is broken...

    July 27, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Jason

    OBAMA is the future of this country and its sadly that some people would rather see this country sink than see it be saved!

    July 27, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. Crush Rush

    Its so easy to spot the dittoheads,they are the ones that have nothing good to say about John McCain,they just lie and attempt to instill fear about Obama.Some use as many as thirty alias on here just to make it look as though their numbers are greater.

    July 27, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Capricorn7NC

    If you think Obama's arrogant, then he's just as arrogant as every politician in DC. Look at McCain, talking like he was the only one for the surge, which took a body of people to approve, not just him. That's arrogant.

    July 27, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. Alex

    Lee B, I would really be very interested in knowing how you and your right wing friends came to the conclusion that Sen. Obama is a muslim. Because there is ZERO evidence of this, unless your thick skull only sees what he looks like from a strictly superficial point of view. And just to point out one small detail among those who hold beliefs such as this, if you'd do your homework, you'd find that Judaism, Christianity AND Islam have very very very similar fundamentals. Not all muslims are "Radicals", just like all Christians aren't Nazis. I hope you guys have fun meeting you maker someday.

    July 27, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. conspiracy theorist

    i'm certain mccain is behind this.

    July 27, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. connie

    Jeff: Any black man who is confident is "arrogant." The old word for it used to be "uppity."

    But Obama is different: he has confidence Plus. Which means, he's driving people with your mindset crazy!

    Have fun voting for McCain; it's okay for white me to confident.

    July 27, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. Patrick

    After all the contributions by African American's for this country starting with the revolutionary war and the current one, Where in the history of humanity that a set of people has given so much and have gain so little in return? People can dislike Obama because of his politic, but he dislike him because of his heritage is sad. When will we ever learn? Hate, Racism, Prejudice, has no place in the world, The Nazi tired and were defeated, we need to fine a way to uplift humanity, of all the things one can do to uplift mandkind, and to make this world a better place when you are gone, some of you choose to be hate-mongers. WOW ! what an achievement.. Some of you will bring the devil to tears.

    July 27, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. Black 35 year old male for McCain

    Why was Larry Craig on the "Hot Topics" banner for two weeks for his bathroom escapade and John Edwards is not mentioned anywhere ?Adultery, bastardy, and nastiness are news except if it is a Democrat.

    July 27, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. FMcMullen

    I was deeply offended by the actions of the seminary student who removed Obama's "prayer note" placed at the Western Wall. . I am a devout Christian who deeply supports Israel. Although I admire his accomplishments, I am not a supporter of Senator Obama.

    I visited the Wall about 10 years ago and poured out my heart to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I prayed a blessing on each of my friends (some Jewish) and family members. I remember feeling that I had never been closer to God nor had my prayers been so intimate and private. Senator Obama deserved the same.

    I appreciate the condemnation by the Rabbi who manages the Wall. I feel like the student AND THE NEWSPAPER THAT PUBLISHED IT should be sanctioned and publicly reprimanded by the Israeli Knesset. If the errant student (and Israel ) were hoping and looking for the possible future president's support,

    What in God's name was the student thinking?

    July 27, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. proud army and navy mom

    McCain 08........Our country deserves better then Obama
    McCain 08........Our country deserves better then Obama
    McCain 08........McCain 08........Our country deserves better then

    July 27, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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