Yeshiva Student Who Dug Obama’s Prayer Note from Western Wall Feels Guilty, Atones

By Natalie Gewargis

Jul 28, 2008 4:12pm

His face hidden, his identity only revealed with the first Hebrew initial of his name — Aleph — a yeshiva student went on Israel’s Channel 2 on Sunday to confess that he had taken the prayer note of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, from Obama’s visit to the Western Wall and given it to the press.

“I am asking for Obama’s forgiveness," said Aleph. "If he was offended by it… of course he was, this is not a nice thing to do. It was sort of a prank. I hope he will forgive us, and we hope that he will win the presidency."

The Rabbi in charge of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinovitz, harshly condemned Aleph’s pilfering of the prayer, as well as the publication of the prayer by the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv.

“Heaven forbid that one should read them or use them in any way,” Rabinovitz said. “This sacrilegious action deserves sharp condemnation and represents a desecration of the holy site.”

Aleph gave the note to Channel 2′s religious affairs reporter who gave it to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation which returned it to the Western Wall.

- jpt

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