The Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web had an interesting post yesterday. Barak Obama went to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and inserted a prayer, as is tradition among Jews. He's not Jewish, so it's just a nice photo op and a chance to say "look, I love Israel too!" (I'm not criticizing him in this aspect - if you're a politician and you end up in Jerusalem, or even within 500 miles of Jerusalem, you get that photo op.) However, that's where it gets a little dicey. From Taranto:
This set off a bit of a kerfuffle, as the Israeli newspaper Maariv published the prayer, purportedly filched by a seminary student. IsraelInsider.com has the text:
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.
Haaretz reports that "Jerusalem lawyer Shahar Alon asked Attorney General Menachem Mazuz yesterday to order a police investigation into the removal and publication of Obama's note":
"By making the note public," Alon wrote to Mazuz, "Maariv violated the law protecting holy sites, several clauses in the penal code and also infringed upon the basic rights of a person's honor and freedom."
Alon also initiated a boycott of the newspaper. . . .
Maariv's response: "Obama's note was published in Maariv and other international publications following his authorization to make the content of the note public. Obama submitted a copy of the note to media outlets when he left his hotel in Jerusalem. Moreover, since he is not Jewish, there is no violation of privacy as there would be for a Jewish person who places a note in the wall."
Thus, as IsraelInsider puts it, "what initially seemed to be a journalistic scoop of dubious moral propriety now seems to be a case of an Israeli paper being played by the Barack Obama campaign." Obama's so-called prayer was at best an open letter to God--a sentiment intended for public, not divine, consumption.
Now, from Matthew 6: 5-6
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
I think that about sums up my opinion as well.