Every year, countless individuals place notes within the ancient, sacred stones of the Western Wall—Judaism’s holiest site and only remnant of King Solomon’s Temple—in hope that their innermost wishes come to pass. Now everyone who wished for a jigsaw puzzle might soon attain their heart’s desire.
In honor of Israel’s 60th anniversary, German company Ravensberger, making high-end puzzles and other toys, has manufactured a 1,000 piece puzzle depicting the Western Wall.
The puzzle was distributed world wide, and Israeli company Sacheck-Na ("please play") decided to market it in Israel utilizing a highly controversial marketing ploy.
The company placed 400 puzzle pieces inside the Western Wall, wrapped within blue notes emblazoned with the company’s logo and containing various wishes such as “I want a united Jerusalem”, or “I want peace”.
The company urged Israelis to go on a treasure hunt to retrieve the missing puzzle pieces. Whoever finds the missing pieces will have their very own puzzle sent to their home.
Even though Judaism’s holiest site is involved, Sachek-Na has no qualms about utilizing it for commercial ends.
”This marketing campaign represents an effort to launch a puzzle depicting Israel at its finest across the globe, and I think that there is nothing more appropriate and beautiful than that,” said Moshe Kloghaft, the company’s media advisor.
“ I hope that people world wide only associate Jerusalem and Israel with games and other such positive things,” added Kloghaft. “Besides, placing notes in the Western Wall does little to diminish the immense amount of dignity and respect that we hold for this site... When celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio visit Israel and take photos at the Western Wall, doesn’t this also entail making commercial use of the site?”
Not everyone aggress with Kloghaft, however. Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, said in reaction to this marketing scheme that “I see this course of action as an affront to the Western Wall and the holiness that it represents.
"The sacred stones of this wall are meant to be a site for prayer, not games. Even if this is a worthy cause, one must separate the sacred from the secular, and marketing is definitely a secular endeavor. "