Sep 9, 2014

notes he did not take from the Kotel

There has been a funny, if abhorrent, Facebook page that recently became popular. The page is called "Notes I took from the Kotel" (in Hebrew), and it displays notes that this fellow, supposedly some guy named Amos from Holon, supposedly took from the Kotel.

"Amos" has claimed that it is real and it is in the public interest to know. This is how he justifies exposing the notes. Also, he says he never displays the names on the notes, only the prayer or request written on it.

I recently came across the page, and found the few displayed notes I saw to be interesting. Even though taking the notes out and putting them on display, if he is actually doing it as he has claimed over and over again, is morally problematic, the content was fascinating.

That was until Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitz, rav of the Kotel and ther holy sites, got wind of what was going on. Rabbi Rabinovitz called it a despicable crime, and even filed a complaint with the police about it.

In response, Amos put up a post saying he is ending his activities on the site, and in truth he is not Amos, is not from Holon, and the notes were not really taken from the Kotel but he had people writing them just for the prank he was pulling.
sources: ynetnews, Haaretz

Maybe, maybe not. Either way, Rabbi Rabinovitz's complaint seems to have done the job.

What i wonder is what the police could have done. What law was he breaking? who was he stealing from? Rabbi Rabinovitz says he was desecrating a holy site. Maybe, maybe not. I do not know if that would stand up, especially when the Western Wall Foundation removes notes a couple times a year as part of their cleaning and maintenance process. This is theft and that isn't? this is a desecration and that isn't? this is injurious to the feelings of people who placed the notes and that isn't? I am not sure a real crime would have been committed, had this actually been done, but I'd like to know what crime it could be considered, if any.


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7 comments:

  1. Come on, really! There is a HUGE difference, between the Western Wall Foundation taking out the notes, and burying them, because there was no space left, and they were falling all over the place, as compared to taking notes out by a citizen, who then displays to the public what people privately wrote to Hashem. What do you think, Rafi?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Second what Meir S said. One is invasion of privacy, the other is merely house cleaning.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Except when Prez Obama put his note in the wall, that was fair game and even published in the newspaper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The guy that did that was roundly condemned, and rightly so. See:

      http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/maariv-s-publication-of-barack-obama-s-western-wall-note-spurs-outrage-boycott-1.250584

      This article actually gives a pretty good explanation for why this is wrong.

      Delete
  4. Way - he specifically references that incident in his complaint

    ReplyDelete
  5. "Except when Prez Obama put his note in the wall, that was fair game and even published in the newspaper."

    IIRC, Obama himself announced to the world the contents of his note. At that point, one cannot claim privacy anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Agree 1000% with Meir and Tal. Unethical to say the least. In today's era, there is a lack of respect, morality, ethics, manners, etc. In other words, no menschlichkeit!

    ReplyDelete

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