Tuesday, October 08, 2013


A chazer bleibt a chazer

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is dead,  He shouldn't be missed.

Yosef was the "spiritual" mentor of the Shas party in Israel and was the Sephardic chief rabbi.

He was also a racist SOB with a political agenda that only the most reactionary could love.

The rabbi, born in Badgad was also famous for his remark that,  "Goyim were born only to serve. Without that, they have no place in the world."   According to the Jerusalem Post, he added, 

Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat. That is why gentiles were created." An "effendi" is a lord, or a master, in Arabic.

In 2010 speaking on the peace process with the Palestinians, the ungood rebbe said, 

"Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from this world," Rabbi Ovadia was quoted as saying during his weekly sermon at a synagogue near his Jerusalem home. "God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians."

 On Arabs in general the Christian Science Monitor writes, he said in 2001,

 "It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable."

In 2009 he said of Muslims"their religion is as ugly as they are."

In response to those and other statements the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism reported in 2010,

Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

 We utterly reject such sentiments as anathema to Jewish values and the beliefs of the Jewish people. Sadly, this is far from the first time that Rabbi Yosef has engaged in the most outrageous types of hate speech.

 Rabbi Rick Block, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the main rabbinic body of the American Reform movement, issues a statement on Yosef's death:

Rabbi Yosef's passing is a source of great sadness to the many who revered him and I extend heartfelt condolences to his family. Sadly, his legacy will forever be diminished by egregious outbursts of intolerance toward Reform and Conservative Jews, as well as non-Jews, especially Arabs. His comments ascribing the Holocaust to Jewish sinners also caused many great pain. Love and respect for all Jews and persons of every background are essential Jewish values.

Of course, rabbi Yosef considered reform Jews  as destroyers of religions.  In 1998 he opposed reform Jewish converts becoming Israelis.  In an off the cough comment about Reform Jewish Women, he remarked, "...these wicked women, the Reform, who do everything in order to bash Judaism … they should be wrapped in a tallit and buried."
The CSN adds:

 Yosef also had regressive views on the role of women and gays in society. In 2007, angry that many Ashkenazi rabbis supported allowing women to say a blessing over Shabbat candles after they'd been lit, he said: "Women should make (stew) and not deal with matters of the Torah." He said that anyone disagree with him was the fault of "a few stupid women. A woman's knowledge is only in sewing."

That wasn't all he had to say about women.  According to Al Jazeera he once said, 

  "A woman without sons is worth nothing… sometimes you hear at the ladies section in the synagogue the women babbling. What about? The one tells the other how beautiful her dress is… this is their brain."

He didn't have much use apparently for African Americans either (though I can't imagine that any African Americans gave a hoot what he thought about anything), He said of black people hurt by hurricane 
Katrina, per Ynet:

"There was a tsunami and there are terrible natural disasters, because there isn't enough Torah study… black people reside there (in New Orleans). Blacks will study the Torah? (God said) let's bring a tsunami and drown them."

"Hundreds of thousands remained homeless. Tens of thousands have been killed. All of this because they have no God."

Of course he found gay people "sick" and "perverted" and said they should be kept away from students. 

Failed Messiah points out Yosef has argued that those murdered in the Holocaust were a reincarnation of sinners from past generations.  The Shas spiritual leader said,

All those poor people in the Holocaust…we wonder why it was done. There were righteous people among them. Still, they were punished because of sins of past generations.

In 2007, Yosef explained why Israeli soldiers die in battle:

It is no wonder that soldiers are killed in war; they don't observe Shabbat, don't observe the Torah, don't pray every day, don't lay phylacteries on a daily basis – so is it any wonder that they are killed? No, it's not.

God have mercy on them (soldiers) and make them become newly religious – then they will all live a good life in peace," Rabbi Ovadia said.…"[W]hen soldiers believe and pray, God helps them during the war. (These soldiers) don't get killed.

This guy didn't even like those who were pretty much like him,  In past, he called the "Mafdal" (an acronym for the National Religious Party) "fools who believe anything." More recently, he referred to the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party as the "home of goyim," and described  the Religious Zionist candidate for chief rabbi, David Stav, as a rasha, a wicked man.  He also once referred to the current Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, "...a blind sheep."

The Times of Israel meanwhile shamefully adds to the story:

"Rav Ovadia Yosef was a spiritual leader to hundreds of thousands, if not more, a great learner [of Torah] and a wise and learned man, a father to an impressive family and an important contributor to the society and politics of the state of Israel," US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro says in a statement released in Hebrew.  "Today in Jerusalem and all across Israel, his supporters and followers mourn him," he added. "To them, and first and foremost to his beloved family, I send my condolences. May his memory be blessed."

"Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was one of the greatest rabbinic authorities who built the nation of Israel in the Land of Israel," Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky says in a statement.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was an "impressive and incredibly intelligent" man who was very involved in what was happening in Israel and beyond, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon says, adding that Yosef was "a great Torah and law scholar" who was "careful to listen to different opinions before formulating his position, and did that with great openness and patience."  
"The rabbi displayed at meetings a true concern for Israel, [and] the security and strength of Israeli society in all its forms," Ya'alon notes. Yosef was "extremely pragmatic" and provided a "unique leadership derived from his wisdom, greatness in Torah and his involvement in various parts of society."

Are you kidding me?   How could any human being have anything actually even remotely nice to say about this man.  Yet, the few quotes just above were far from the only pious offerings made about him.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mourned the passing of Yosef, who he called one of the greatest religious commentators of this generation.   Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau said as he left Yosef's room: "We knew of his good heart, his love of the Torah and his friendliness. He cared for all the people of Israel. It is a great loss. I was honored to be with him at his final moments."  Britain's ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, said,  "I had the honour of meeting him, and of seeing his extraordinary spirit and learning, I was honoured to witness first-hand his love for mankind and his wish for peace. I send my sincere condolences to his family, Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and the whole of the Shas movement,"    Finally, upon learning that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef had bit the dust, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas reportedly asked a group of Israeli parliamentarians whom he was meeting at the time to send his condolences to the rabbi's family "in the name of the Palestinian people."

Did I mention, eight hundred thousand of his followrs attended his funeral procession...the largest in the history of Israel.

This was for a guy who pretty much hated everyone except those who followed him blindly.  

The following is from HAARETZ...

If he's the greatest, we're in trouble

We did not join the prayer circles for his recovery nor the Psalms reciters requesting God restore his health. We did not want to put God to a test. What if the doctors could do no more and only God and Channel 2 were left at his bedside? May God have mercy.

Ovadia Yosef is referred to as gadol hador, the greatest rabbi of his generation, and may He save the generation if that’s the case. It is doubtful whether those who regard him as a great Talmudic scholar have ever read even a page of his writing: How to poach an egg that was laid on a Jewish festival and other no laughing matters - only the most profound philosophical questions.
After his death - may he reach the ripe old age of 120 before that happens - it will be hard to call him a saint. In life, we didn’t see him as a saint and so we have no reason to call him one as he lies on his deathbed.
We are not abandoning a sick old man because he was never ours to begin with. When our enemy falls – or becomes deathly ill – we must not rejoice, but, at the same time, we cannot forgive.
This is the “spiritual leader” whose spirit was bad, who viciously attacked all those who disobeyed, all those who did not bleed Shas. Now, as his family and entourage quarrel over succession, we should recall all those he cursed: Gentiles and Arabs, black people and women, teachers and gays, Reform Jews, secular Jews and even religious Jews who didn’t follow his teachings. Let us not forget the cursed politicians and disparaged judges and the Israelis soldiers who were lookouts during Shabbat but did not observe the holy day and thus died of their own fault.
There is no group in this great country that has not been insulted by his harsh words and his chronic tongue-lashing. There is no group in Israel that has not been humiliated by him in public.
He’s the man who founded Shas, the country’s most corrupt political party, boasting a membership well represented among Israel’s incarcerated. He adorned the heads of its leaders with Borsalino hats and outfitted them with Versace suits, leaving the rank and file in rags. To paraphrase the bible, Children he has reared, and raised, and they have rebelled against us. In his mission to restore the crown of Jewish tradition, the ends justified the means.
He established a separatist education system that impoverishes the minds of students while enriching the coffers of elders. He built profitable businesses for supervising kashrut, bankrupting consumers while amassing wealth for his clan.
He remained ensconced in his imposing edifice and came into no real contact with common folk. He knows of the real world only through the scented kerchief of the self-serving members of his court. Among the pilgrims who came for an audience with him are presidents, prime ministers and cabinet ministers. The made the pilgrimage not for Torah guidance nor for rulings on Jewish law, however, but merely to be ingratiating and make fools of themselves ceremoniously.
Even the Saturday night sermons he delivered in a Jerusalem synagogue were a disgrace wrapped in a mantle of dry wit. What he said in those sermons were not those “words of the wise [that] are spoken in quiet.” Quite the contrary, his words expressed anger and mockery, as if he regarded Judaism merely as folklore, as a collection of folk tales and epigrams phrased in street language as if the he were an amateur standup comedian. “Our master,” as his followers called him, provided his flock with straw and stubble. In Psalms it says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters,” But he never gave his flock green pastures nor did he lead them by the still waters. Instead of raising the sacred quality of their lives, he merely reduced it. Full of ethnic pride, he handed over the children Shas’ distinguished politicos over to the religious fanatics of the ultra-Orthodox Lithuanians.
A puppet of a spiritual leader is a brilliant contraption. Inflate the puppet. Dress it in a gown. Adorn its head with a crown. Put words in its mouth and then marvel at its sagacity. Our master asks, who could be so foolish as to disobey sheer wisdom? Over the years, it became clear that no one could match Shas leader Aryeh Deri as puppet master. His rival, Eli Yishai, should have learned ventriloquy.
He gets into fights with everyone and he does not lack malice. He wished us a sudden, unnatural death, promising Meretz’s Shulamit Aloni he would hold a party to celebrate her death, along the lines of “The Jews had light and gladness.” He wished me a bitter, swift end and said that my name should be erased from Jewish collective memory like the arch-enemies of the Jewish people, Amalek and Haman.
We, on the other hand, we wish him a ripe old age, despite his condition, which is described as “very serious but stable.” If he is ever buried in the earth as any ordinary mortal, we hope that he will lie in peace; and then we will also be able to live in peace. 


Miriam said...

"How could anyone have anything even remotely nice to say about this man?" you ask.

Well, let me say that I totally agree with you that Ovadia Yosef said many horribly racist and sexist things. He did, no question. But you are being willfully ignorant when you imply that he wanted to drown black people. When the thosands of Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in the early 1990's, it was Ovadia Yosef who was largely responsible for the Beta Israel community being accepted as Jews. This is one example of how complicated he was.

Oread Daily said...

Miriam, notice I specifically said African Americans in the excerpt below:


He didn't have much use apparently for African Americans either (though I can't imagine that any African Americans gave a hoot what he thought about anything), He said of black people hurt by hurricane
Katrina, per Ynet:

"There was a tsunami and there are terrible natural disasters, because there isn't enough Torah study… black people reside there (in New Orleans). Blacks will study the Torah? (God said) let's bring a tsunami and drown them."

"Hundreds of thousands remained homeless. Tens of thousands have been killed. All of this because they have no God."

Many evil people are complicated and do some good things. However, in my mind that doesn't excuse their evil. In my opinion, the mind of this man was full of hatred and it leapt out of his mouth too many times to go without notice.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being brave enough to post this. Yesterday we learned of an Israeli soldier who is facing criminal charges by police for comparing this man to Hitler. This only further proves what is being said about this despicable man.