JERUSALEM–Mitt Romney took a break from meeting Israeli officials here this afternoon to visit the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest places.
Arriving on Tisha B’Av, a Jewish day of mourning, Romney was quickly surrounded by dozens of worshipers, some of them Americans.
The candidate and his wife, Ann, parted ways upon arrival at the historic site, also known as the Wailing Wall. Ann Romney went to a part of the wall restricted to women.
Surrounded by Secret Service and machine gun-holding Israeli security on a sunny day, Romney made his way to the wall, greeting and thanking admirers who were shouting their approval for the Republican.
He was met at the wall by a rabbi bearing a map of the site and chatted with him for a minute before taking a slip of paper and making an inscription. Romney put his right hand on the wall and bowed and prayed for about 20 seconds. He then found a clear space in the wall, which is filled with slips of paper, and put it in the crevice.
Leaving the wall, Romney was given a copy of a book, “Touching the Stone of Our Heritage,” by the rabbi.
The candidate ignored a variety of questions shouted at him by both the American and Israeli press as well as the worshipers.
When of the Americans yelled, “Mr. Romney, say hello to Georgia!” the candidate looked over his shoulder and waved: “Hello, Georgia.”
Other Jews at the wall yelled out pleas for Romney to stand with Israel, release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from prison and recognize Jerusalem as the Jewish capital.
Also present with Romney at the wall were his son, Josh, and one of his top donors, Phil Rosen, a New York lawyer, who is here partly for a Romney fundraiser tomorrow morning.