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. Maggie

    Obama will be our next president regardless of the smears by McSame and the publishing of garbage like this. Some of the remarks here like Paula's "uppity folks" are sickening. McSame does nothing but screech like a chicken while his campaign must be disappointed that the note was nothing they could use against him. Also, the photo that McBush's team is using to say that Obama went to a gym instead of visiting soldiers, is Obama playing basketball with soliders in Kuwait! God doesn't like stupid.

    July 27, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Andrea in Fl

    Just goes to show how low the media will stoop. Not only do I have faith in the bottom dwelling media, but I also firmly believe the removal was planned. I believe plastic Obama planned that note hoping it would be read and he'd wear his 'innocent, yet holy' look. Nothing his camp does is accidental.

    July 27, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Alexis

    Obama does not have to stage anything to get more media attn. CNN reports on his dam@ near every move and this is coming from an Obama supporter. So NO Camp obama did not hook up with the student to plot this whole thing. Obama hasnt even commented on the darn story yet. I loved the prayer but felt it should have been kept quiet esp. since visinting that wall is on my bucket list. To the athiest I will be praying for you. God Bless

    July 27, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Dood

    CNN has offended the Lord and Savior Jesus Obama and his unwashed slave follower cult.

    Meanwhile, the grill is good and hot. Who wants a burger? Hot dog?

    July 27, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Peter of Oregon

    He was absolutely right to condemn it! Many people also condemn CNN and the other media outlets for publicizing and perpetuating the story.

    This was a very personal statement between Barack Obama and the God he worships. And CNN's putting it out for the public demonstrated a whole new level of low in tabloid, sensationalist journalism. You showed absolutely no respect for Senator Obama, or his faith.

    July 27, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Peter of Oregon

    I hope that that seminary student has been identified, and he be put in the public spotlight for what he did, and expelled for his seminary school for his utter disrespect for Obama and his personal Faith in God.

    July 27, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Deli

    who said Obama was afraid of debates? pls find the direct quote without being out of context. Obama has become very good at debates compared to his early tries. He could stand up to HIllary (tho not as good still cuz she has amazing debating skills) and no way McCain can speak like he can. I've seen all the debates and McCain is not as good at debates.

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

    People keep useing my name on this website (typical Democrats at work with there awful language and childish name calling) I am 100% McCain and anyne that says they are for Obama needs to quit.

    McCain 08

    July 27, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. James Fron Chicago

    Are all you people crazy or just STUPID.. Obama probably didn't even
    write it, his speech writers did. This is all a PR stunt.

    Can't you see what's going on...Obama is creating a circus, he will do
    anything to get his face on the news.


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


    July 27, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Be Careful !!!

    To Griff– A daily dose of Christlike love will heal The heart disease of Envy

    July 27, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Swing Voter in Virginia

    Poor Obama, he just can not win. SO many people have NO idea what it means to have a relationship with God. We have a prayer box at my church and you would think NOBODY would stoop so low as to read the contents in it.
    And now you have people that hate Obama so much that they are saying this was staged. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! Even when people come against Obama, he is blamed for it.

    July 27, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Mike T

    I agree the note should never have been removed and made public.

    July 27, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Mandy

    I don't find it hard to believe that a seminary student was responsible for this sacreligious act, or that McCain's people arranged it. There are a handful of relatively small fundamentalist Jewish communities in Israel that receive a great deal of funding from the Christian right in the US, and use these funds to continuously rebuild settlements in what is acknowledged to be Palestinian territory, i.e. the West Bank. These Jews do NOT want a secular Democrat in the office of President of the US. It must be noted that the majority of Israelis favor negotiation and disapprove of such defiance, and many even view the funding of these activities as support for terrorism on the part of "Christian Zionists."

    July 27, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. PUMA 4 HILL

    Those of us who are Christian, and those who choose another religious path, pray all the time.

    Why, oh why does Obambi's prayer mean anything more? He is a human being like the rest of us and nothing more.

    STOP the madness. What has this guy done for you, for me??

    The Clintons have done and accomplished a lot more than this Senator and his hateful wife and the thugs who follow them.

    PUMA for McCain

    July 27, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Poster number 2 (Jeff) illustrates why the prayer should have remained private.

    Jeff goes on to criticize Obama's prayer (like McCain would have done)

    Jeff......That is not cool!

    July 27, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Frank from Peterborough

    Get used to it people the main stream news medias will publish anything they think might turn some segment of voters against Obama. Look at the difference in coverage of the 2 candidates where Obama gets the most but much of it is geared towards causing controversy with some part of the public.

    If the news medias really want something to publish they should get a story on Joe Lieberman changing John McCain's diapers so he will stop his whining. Maybe what John needs is a man sized pacifier because with it stuck in his mouth it might reduce the chance of him constantly putting both feet in it.

    July 27, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. Ben

    The media can be truly sleezy sometimes. I thought CNN would be better than this.

    And those who have criticized the note itself, clearly you are not familiar with custom at the Kotel (the Western Wall). It is traditional for visitors to write down short, private prayers like the one that (unfortunately) was published and insert them in the cracks of the Wall. It is unheard of for somebody to take one out and give it to the media.

    July 27, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. barry

    Note to John Boy...so immature little boy...there will be plenty of debates...so many we will tire of them...can't you myopics think of anything else to do but to come up with empty reasons to criticize the man who the whole world knows will be our president in Jan. '09?

    July 27, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. ruth

    It's despicable, how could someone think its news-worthy to publish the private prayers of any one? It is understood, when you are a public person some things will become public, however his right to talk and pray to God is very much a private affair. The person who took his prayer from the wall amounts to an atheist to me. No matter what anyone thinks or say about Sen Obama be they black or white, what gods has for him will happen in Gods will.

    July 27, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. PUMA 4 HILL

    PLEASE, Obama wanted his prayer disclosed to the WORLD. He is an attention seeker, egomaniac and the most arrogant to think his short experience in the Senate qualifies him for POTUS.


    Get over yourselves. Wake up!!

    July 27, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. go away mongers- Ventura ca

    This action shows the total disregard and disrespect for Senator Obama. His prayer is not "news" to anyone but God. I "pray" that Obama wins by a landslide and starts the healing process needed from the mongers of fear and hate. That is my public and private prayer!

    July 27, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. Cosmic Queen of the Cosmos

    Golly gee willikins, duh, what do ya' expect? The guy parades around the world like he is the Second Coming of you know Who and everyone gets upset because "it's private." Oh pooooollllleeeezzzzeeee! I don't know whether this guy who calls himself Obama is a snake oil salesman? A spiritual leader? A peacock? A politician? A vaudevillian? Or actually he does have some steak beneath his sizzle...hey world lets sit in my hot tub at 0300am singing "Kumbaya" and hold hands singing "We Are the World". Kiss-kiss-see how easy it is....Simon says...I am not delusional, am I?

    July 27, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. Laura

    Who cares? He should be addressing the concerns of our country in our country as Presidential candidate, not traveling the world pretending to be our President. He's so arrogant.

    July 27, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. Kerry

    Paula, you need to take a pill before your head explodes with all your conspiracy theories. A visit to a psychiatrist wouldn't hurt, either.

    I'm an atheist, and I found the publication of the note abhorrent.

    July 27, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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