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Barack Obama's prayer at Western Wall intercepted en route to God

barack obamaisraeljerusalemobamaopinion l.a.opinion laprayerwestern wall

Jerusalem - Obama Western Wall prayer is published by Israeli newspaper, and everyone elsePoliticians lose certain (read: most) rights to privacy when they aspire to public office, but this particular breach makes me shudder a little. From the Guardian:

The rabbi of Jerusalem's Western Wall criticised an Israeli newspaper today after it published a private prayer written by Barack Obama and taken from the sacred site after he visited the city earlier this week.

It is a tradition for the millions of visitors to the Western Wall, one of the holiest locations in Judaism, to place inside the cracks in the stone written prayers or requests to God. The rabbi in charge of the wall collects the notes periodically and buries them on the Mount of Olives.

Yes, the underbelly of journalism involves chasing politicians out of seedy hotels in the dark of night, taping conversations and nosing through quasi-personal records, but it should most definitely not involve stealing personal appeals to higher powers. Political Machine even refuses to publish Obama's prayer, opting for its own rendition: "Dad, things are great here. Please send more money. Love, Barack":

It may seem paradoxical to make a joke about the prayer, then refuse to reprint, but there are two principles at work here. In comedy, nothing is sacred. In a democracy, privacy is sacred.

But, because you'll ask, and because I don't have such high standards:

"Lord—Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will."   

Beliefnet submits its line-by-line breakdown, and commenters wonder if Obama expected it to be made public. Reason, which calls the prayer pilfering "warrantless wiretapping on a phone call to God," raises this question:

What if the same note had come from George Bush's pen? One can only imagine the headlines: President Sees Self as "Instrument" of God's Will! 

To which I respond: private prayer, people! What he writes to his maker is his business and — in an ideal world — should be inadmissable in the court of public scrutiny. Besides, I'm willing to bet everyone secretly thinks they're at the center of the universe. Obama at least has the evidence on his side. 

-- Amina Khan


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Saint Michael Traveler

The Middle Eastern Dilemma: Israel, Arabs, and Persians

The two state models for Palestinian and Israeli are not working. Many experts on the Middle Eastern politics and people would suggest that a two state solution in not viable model. We have struggled with it for nearly 60 years.

Should we be looking at the region as a Federal States with one government elected by all of the people? This model may have a much better chance of survival as a solution for both Israeli and Arabs.

We have been forced into one box by the Israeli Lobby; we need to look outside of this box. We can’t afford war after war to support a failed two state model.

Both Jewish and Palestinians have paid a high price for a failed system to consider the human side of the Israeli-Jewish struggle for a lasting peace.

I suggest that only as one nation, Federal State of Israel-Palestine, the peace may endure. We, Americans, have failed to see the both side of the struggle for a lasting peace. As Semitic people, they have common historical and religious heritage.

Obama made it clear that Jerusalem would remain the capital of Israel and that he would not see the city divided. Those who advocate one state solution as a Federal State would also suggest Jerusalem as the capital of the Federation.

The advocates for one state solution stress that under a two-state solution, Jerusalem can not be the capital of Israel. This city is religious holy city belonging to Jews, Muslims and Christians. This city should not be controlled by a theocratic Jewish state; in that case, it should be an open international city.


Any word on what John Edwards is up to lately? Oh, I forgot, we can't discuss that at the LA Times.


Friday afternoon bombshell: Leaked photograph proves Obama is Jewish.

Collin McDowell

Wow! We have fallen so far, so fast. Suggesting that Barrack Obama's prayer was a calculated PR move is, easilly, the most ridiculous suggestion I've read in the L.A. Times (and THAT is saying something!) I am so disgusted by this process because I know that, before long, one of these attempts to "swiftboat" Sen. Obama will actually stick. If the democrats had the good sense to play dirty, we would be at the end of Gore's second term looking pleasantly up the road at this nation's first non-white President.

Jason S.

Journey to the centuh... journey to the centuh of the univer-uh-er--erse. gruun grrrun grrun gronk. Thank you.

Yeah, but now I'm curious about what the other prayers say.


The Prayer, simple and to the point and said a lot. a prayer we all should say. if we lived by obama's prayer then humankind would change .
God Bless him.

C Mccoy

Some think this prayer was wrote because he expected
it to be read. Well my thought is that I,d like to have that approach to GOD at all times, that I was being watched and heard.

Brian Gardiner

This is PRECISELY why, as a lifelong democrat, I have been forced to shift support from Hillary Clinton to John McCain. Hillary never wore her religion on her sleeves like Barrack is doing, and neither does John McCain. Barrack is too busy slamming his religious beliefs down our throats (you didn't think he's know that his written prayer would be intercepted?????) and trotting off to foreign lands to solve wars. John McCain will rightfully stay at home and let others do that dirty work, and remain secular in the process.



I hope Brian's tongue was in his cheek...

But anyway... this is another in a long line of ridiculous shots at the presumptive Democratic candidate.

Back in the 70's was a TV sitcom, "CarterCountry" that played on the "comedy" surrounding former president Jimmy Carter.

Maybe we need a sitcom about the electoral mudslinging and smokescreens?


I am not currently a supporter of Obama, but I do support and respect his privacy. It's sad to think that such a personal moment can be turned into a public spectacle.
Keep your head up Mr. Obama. Our prayers are with you.


God be with him, guide him, and protect him. For he is the chosen one to run our country. Amen.

We need this man as our role model for our people for our country has fallen from grace.


Mr. Obama supposedly writes "Lord...guard [me] against...despair." Never would have thought Mr. Obama would be one prone to despair. It's also hard to believe that anyone, let alone a presidential candidate, placing a written prayer in a public place, would fail to consider the possibility that the prayer could be made public.


Val Murrell

Brian you have the reasoning of a 3rd grader.

g mendel

idiot, mccain is no better than bush. your a poor loser. hillary is more of the same. get in touch.

L Waldron

Makes sense Mr. Gardner. Obama personally believes in God. John McCain keeps campaigning on why NOT to elect Obama, when will he tell the American people why they should elect him? A democrat for McCain is realistically one who is perhaps hiding his/her real reasons for not voting for their democratic nominee...

Whether he "wanted" the note read or not he was on his time doing his thing. I am not really highly religious but I will not judge a person's way of life.


the phrase "instrument of your will" does not mean Obama thinks he is at the center of the universe. Quite the opposite. It is a request to be made a servant, to have God lead him to do what is best for God's plan.


Regarding McCain's constant drumbeat of why voters shouldn't vote for Barack, it points to one reality: McCain HAS NO PLAN other than what his inept party and poorly organized campaign advisors write in large lettering on note cards. There are three ideas, but none are new:
1) Let the super rich keep more of their money by reducing their taxes (2) drill for more oil using public lands, and (3) make sure that automatic handguns are available to every person in the US without restriction or registration, so that communities will be safer (yeah, right)...

Riaz Haq

Obama's prayer at the Wailing Wall reminded me of a joke I heard from an Israeli friend during one of my visits to Jerusalem. Here's how it goes:
When President Jimmy Carter visited the Western Wall along with Prime Minister Menachem Begin around the time of Camp David accord, Mr. Begin said to Mr. Carter: "Mr. President, you can wish and pray here for anything you want and God will grant your wish and prayer." In response, Carter prayed out loud for Israel to withdraw from the occupied West Bank and Gaza to pre-1967 border. Hearing this prayer, Begin said to Carter, "Mr. President, you are only talking to a wall".

Fernando Rehagel

Despite I am not an US citizen (European) and as I am a political interested person, I follow with high interest the election campaign in the States (as I have never done before) and I have to agree with Jennifer that you can't learn more from the McCain campaign than the three points she mentioned ((1) Let the super rich keep more of their money by reducing their taxes (2) drill for more oil using public lands, and (3) make sure that automatic handguns are available to every person in the US without restriction or registration). The recent adds from the McCain campaign only show me, that there is only an old self called experienced man without a concept, who tries to canalize his frustration of the Obama media attention into childish TV-Ads. When does the real McCain campaign with well-founded topics and concepts start? And when begins FOX-News with objective coverage?



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