Barack Obama left a prayer in Jerusalem's Western Wall during his recent week-long foreign tour. The prayer--written on a piece of stationery from the King David Hotel--was supposed to remain in the wall until its custodians removed it for burial on the Mount of Olives.
That didn't happen...
An orthodox seminary student is alleged to have plucked Barack Obama's prayer from the wall and taken it to the newspaper Maariv which published it. I am prepared to accept the possibility that this story is apocryphal or manufactured. But if it is not, the student and the newspaper deserve Biblical tsouris (grief).
What upsets me so much about this--apart from the egregious violation of Senator Obama's most intimate territory--is the utter humility and sincerity of the prayer:
Lord, protect my family and me.I'm not a religious man but this prayer resonates with me. I intend to put it on a t-shirt with the Obama logo and wear it. If this is a campaign ploy, then it's a good one. Otherwise, I wish the worst for those who authored this sacrilege.
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.