Romney at Kotel: 'Pained' by Temple's Destruction
Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney, toured the Kotel Plaza Sunday as part of his quick visit to Israel. The visit took place during the fast of Tisha B'Av, in which Jews mourn the loss of the Temples, as well as the many troubles and afflictions that the Jewish nation suffered during the centuries of Diaspora.
Romney said that "In this sacred spot and on this special day, I have gotten to know more about the history of the Jewish people, and I feel the pain of the destruction undergone by the Jewish people – the special nation as it was in the past – and I pray and hope for peace for the nation of Israel and the entire world."
Accompanied by Kotel Rabbi Rav Shmuel Rabinovich, Romney then recited Psalm 121:
A song of ascents.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from G-d,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
G-d watches over you—
G-d is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
G-d will keep you from all harm —
he will watch over your life;
G-d will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Romney then placed a note between the stones of the Kotel.
The Republican candidate, who is running neck-and-neck with President Barack Obama in the polls, said that he has visited the Kotel tunnel in the past and knows the history of the spot. His wife, Ann, joined the visit and noted that she chose to fast on this day, and avoided wearing leather shoes, thus following Jewish tradition for this day.