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Israeli paper publishes Obama Western Wall prayer

July 25, 2008 | 11:04 am

Before he left Israel Sen. Barack Obama made the required religious pilgrimage to the Western Wall, unannounced in the predawn hours.

The handwritten prayer of Democratic presidential nominee to be Barack Obama as placed in the Western Wall, retrieved by an Orthodox Jewish student and published in an Israeli newspaper to considerable criticism

As The Ticket reported in Pool Report the other day, he prayed with a rabbi, took a few moments of meditation with his hand on the wall and then, according to custom, slipped a personal prayer note into a crack in the sacred wall.

These notes are left by the thousands and are meant to be private. But his visit to the Western Wall was a public event.

As the freshman senator headed for the airport, a young Orthodox religious student reportedly searched the Wall until he found the note and turned it over to Maariv.

The newspaper's decision to publish the prayer drew a storm of criticism in some Israeli circles, as such prayers are considered personal and revealing them makes one subject to "the indignation of God."

One might wonder, as our colleague Frank James does over at this Swamp item, at the propriety of a seminary student of all people stealing a private prayer left in a sacred wall for God. Wonder if he got paid for that.

Our Times colleague Richard Boudreaux has also blogged the full story over on the Babylon & Beyond blog here and also here.

— Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Associated Press