Man prays at Western Wall 390.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The Rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinovitz, announced on Monday that he
has sent a letter to the online auction website eBay in an effort to prevent the
sale of stones from the Western Wall.
Small stones from the Western Wall
have appeared on the website promising blessings and good fortune, according to
a statement released by Rabinovitz’s office.
A search of eBay shows a
product titled “Piece Of Stone Soil From The Wailing Western Wall Kotel
Jerusalem Jesus Israel,” on sale for $24.99.
The item is described as a
laminated card “contain[ing] stone soil from the western wailing
“The history includes not only the religions of Judaism and
Christianity, but history buffs of any religion [sic],” the description reads.
“Just know what the contents of the card contains is history at its
best. From Jesus Christ to King David, King Solomon, rabbis, popes,
almost all of those within the bible and the thousands of years of people
since.” it continues.
No mention of blessings or the like is mentioned on
the item’s auction page.
Efforts to contact the vendor were
Rabinovitz said in a letter sent to eBay on Sunday that use
of the stones of the Western Wall is a desecration of their holiness, forbidden
by Torah law and a violation of the Antiquities Act.
eBay had not yet
responded to the letter, the rabbi told The Jerusalem Post
Citing a ruling of renowned arbiter of Jewish law the late Rabbi
Moshe Feinstein, Rabinovitz said that commercial use of holy items is akin to
embezzlement from God, and that buying such items brings curses and not
Even if these stones are simply from the vicinity of the
Western Wall and were taken without permission, it is fraudulent to present them
as bestowing blessing and good fortune, Rabinovitz said.
“There is no
special powers in theses stones at all,” he told the Post
. “It is simply a
blasphemous injury to generations upon generations of the Jewish
The rabbi and the Western Wall Heritage Foundation have filed a
complaint with the police.
Also on Monday, Rabinovitz said that more than
10 million people visited the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall in
2011, according to new police statistics.
The figures are testimony to
the “deep affinity of the People of Israel for the remnants of the Temple,” he
“The multitudes of the people who cling to the stones of the wall
are an expression of remembrance for the Temple, more than a remembrance for the
destruction,” Rabinovitz said. “In light of these impressive figures, we have to
be vigilant to see every one of the visitors as an individual. We have to
continue to find ways to give everyone a deep and profound experience at the
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