Donald Trump sends a handwritten prayer to the sacred Western Wall.
In a move that has received mixed comments from supporters and critics, America’s Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump wrote a prayer on a sheet of paper to be sent and to be placed in the Western Wall, Judaism’s most sacred edifice today. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, converted to Orthodox Judaism after her marriage. This makes this act by the Republican open to all sorts of interpretation.
For one, critics believe Trump did this to gain popularity with the American Jews, most of whom support his opponent Hillary Clinton. Adding to this large-scale unpopularity of Trump among America’s Jews are the anti-Semitic rhetoric his own supporters have engaged in, and against which he hasn’t taken any action.
One of the major reasons for Trump to try and gain the sympathies of the Jews this way, is he is rapidly losing his ground with the white Evangelicals, a section of Americans who until now formed his strongest support. This loss of ground among his once-sworn supporters has forced him to try and gain popularity with minority communities.
However, supporters slam the criticism saying this act has a major cultural and political significance. By sending a note to be placed in the historic wall, which was once part of the second Jewish temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., a supporter of Trump who lives in Israel, said he believes the notes shows Trump, “respects Jewish tradition and prayer, and acknowledges the Kotel belongs to the Jewish people and he believes in God.”
The note, which is a short prayer asking God to protect America, can be viewed as an underlining Trump’s anti-Islamic stance. Israel has traditionally had issues with Muslims Arab countries which surround it, and Trump’s prayer being placed at the Western Wall may be looked at as an affirmation of his negative views about Muslims.
— Aüd™ (@CodeAud) November 1, 2016
A copy of the letter was given to Israeli media houses for publication while the original was given to Trump’s advisor, David Faiman who is going to Israel.
As the only surviving portion of the temple, the Western Wall is seen as a potent link between God and people. The custom of placing prayers in the crevices of the wall is an age-old one that is widely practiced even today.