Kevin McCarthy at the Western Wall
Kevin McCarthy at the Western WallWestern Wall Heritage Foundation

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, arrived in Israel on Thursday afternoon together with a delegation of members of Congress from both the Republican and Democratic parties. His first stop upon arrival was the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

The delegation was received by the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, and by the director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, who explained the importance of the holy site for the Jewish people and presented them with a model of the Temple and the history of Jerusalem.

The Western Wall Rabbi prayed with them, and Congressman McCarthy and his delegation prayed for peace in the United States and Israel and placed a note between the stones of the Western Wall.

The Rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz told the Congressman: " These ancient stones at our feet are the same stones that supported the Temple almost two thousand years ago. The Temple was destroyed, but its spirit remained in the world - a spirit of freedom and mission, a spirit of faith in the Creator and in humanity. It is a spirit that carried the Jewish people to every corner of the world in their long journey. For many years, we have been admiring how the American nation expresses the deepest and most important values of the Jewish spirit. We have a covenant that unites us, Jews and Americans. A covenant of destiny - to be faithful messengers of the Creator of the world and to repair the world in the kingdom of the Almighty. Together, let us recite Psalm 121 from the words of King David, which deals with the protection of the Almighty over all of us in our comings and goings."

Congressman McCarthy signed the Western Wall guestbook in the name of the United States Congress, "Israel, you are a blessed nation, and our shared values unite a bond that will never break." He also noted that he looks forward to Israel's next 75 years, of a long connection that just gets stronger.

Speaker McCarthy and his delegation landed at Ben Gurion Airport earlier Sunday. He was greeted by his counterpart, Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana. McCarthy is scheduled to address the Knesset on Monday afternoon at the legislature's opening meeting of its summer session.