Having been to the Western Wall in Jerusalem many years ago, I know what a holy place it is to the Jewish people. Even as a Christian, I recognized the importance and the aura of sacredness that surrounded the wall. When I was there the crowd was intense and kept me from getting close enough to touch it. I was surrounded by fervently praying believers dressed in a way that was foreign to me and seemed to come from another time far removed from my own. At the same time, I justifiably felt that I was the one dressed inappropriately and had barged into an era that I did not belong. Their devotion was impressive to say the least.
As you know, the custom is to approach the wall and place a written prayer in the cracks between the stones of the wall as Barack Obama did recently on his rock 'n roll world tour. With cameras blazing and fans drooling, the crowd parted for Obama like the Red Sea did for Moses and he placed this note, written on his hotel stationery, in the wall:
"Lord, protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins. Help me guard against pride and despair. Give me wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will."
We know this is what was written because someone stole it from the wall minutes after Obama left and promptly turned it over to a local newspaper which of course stopped the presses and published it. This story is just this side of tragic. What kind of person would steal a prayer which is a personal and private communication to the Creator of the Universe? What sort of National Enquirer wanna-be newspaper would dare print the thing? It is a disgrace and makes me embarrassed and ashamed for both parties. The only thing to make this tale more tragic would be if Obama had expected or even planned for his prayer to be stolen and therefore wrote the beautiful imploration with that in mind. Surely that is not the case. Surely not.
I don't often reply to a comment to any of my posts but I had to respond to the first comment by Mr. Anonymous about Obama giving his prayer to the newspaper. I have not heard or read anything about this at all and I would appreciate commenters giving their sources if they have any but for now, let's assume this is correct. Let's assume that Obama gave his permission for people to read his prayer. Does that not prove my point capitally? What an arrogant jerk! If it is true then why put on the show? Why not come clean? Obama never denied that the prayer had been stolen. An Obama Presidency would be the real tragedy. Also, whether or not a person is Jewish makes no difference to the expectation of privacy at the Western Wall or before the Creator.