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The Schmooze

Will Smith Visited The Western Wall And Crashed A Bar Mitzvah

Art and life collided today when “Men In Black” star Will Smith visited Jerusalem, home of a very different kind of Men In Black, while filming Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” nearby in the Wadi Rum area in Jordan.

Smith, his wife the actress Jada Pinkett Smith, and a coterie of companions including Israeli tour guide Barnea Selavan toured Jerusalem’s Old City. They walked through the shuk and visited the Western Wall, where their presence disrupted 13 year-old Atir Cohen’s bar mitzvah.

“At first I didn’t know who it was,” Cohen told The Associated Press. Smith put a note in the cracks of the Wall and posed for a picture with the bar mitzvah boy.

Smith with his Israeli tour guide

The couple continued on to a tour of the Western Wall tunnels with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall, and went on to visit the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Smith called the Wall “very spiritual, very powerful.” Rabbi Rabinovitch noted that the couple spent several minutes standing at the Wall in prayer.

Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny


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