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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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UNHOLY WAR

Rav Ovadia Calls Tzohar Rav Stav ‘Evil’; Tzohar Replies: Repent

The campaign for Chief Rabbi has sunk to the depths even politicians have not reached. Rav Ovadia calls Rav Stav of Tzohar “evil” and Tzohar calls on the Torah sage to “repent.” Next up: Tisha B’Av.
Former Shas chiarman Aryeh Deri with the spiritual leader of the Shas party Rabbi Ovadia Yosef back in 1999, before Deri's jail sentence.

Shas chairman Aryeh Deri with the spiritual leader of the Shas party Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir / Flash90

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The “three weeks” start early this year.

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About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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23 Responses to “Rav Ovadia Calls Tzohar Rav Stav ‘Evil’; Tzohar Replies: Repent”

  1. Is this what Yahweh, calls them to do?

  2. Larry Thomas says:

    ” Baseless Hatred ” towards Rabbi Stav . . . :(

  3. Dan Silagi says:

    Both of these guys are evil, as is the idea that Israel needs a chief rabbi in the first place.

  4. Lisa Kamins says:

    the saddest issue here is the sinat chinam that all of this is causing. our Am needs achdut, and for achdut we need to pull together, not tear each other apart. only that will help Am Yisrael regarding everything, including to help bring the Moshiach.

  5. Lisa Kamins says:

    the saddest issue here is the sinat chinam that all of this is causing. our Am needs achdut, and for achdut we need to pull together, not tear each other apart. only that will help Am Yisrael regarding everything, including to help bring the Moshiach.

  6. Lisa Kamins says:

    the saddest issue here is the sinat chinam that all of this is causing. our Am needs achdut, and for achdut we need to pull together, not tear each other apart. only that will help Am Yisrael regarding everything, including to help bring the Moshiach.

  7. Lisa Kamins says:

    the saddest issue here is the sinat chinam that all of this is causing. our Am needs achdut, and for achdut we need to pull together, not tear each other apart. only that will help Am Yisrael regarding everything, including to help bring the Moshiach.

  8. Lisa Kamins says:

    the saddest issue here is the sinat chinam that all of this is causing. our Am needs achdut, and for achdut we need to pull together, not tear each other apart. only that will help Am Yisrael regarding everything, including to help bring the Moshiach.

  9. Gil Gilman says:

    Seeds may be sown hither and yon, but won't take root and grow to fruition if the soil isn't fertile. The other day my wife said to me, "the ginnala flame maples we planted oh so many years ago should not have grown that tall." I responded that they love our acidic soil, and that it is perfect for them to thrive. So…

  10. Gil Gilman says:

    If we are waiting for agreement between Torah sages to usher in Moshiach it won't ever happen. The fact of the matter is that Moshiach needs no help. He will arrive and give one, both or all a solid spanking over his knee.

  11. Rabbi's please leave politics out of religion, pray for Israel, she must remain alert, ready and cautious. Rabbi's prayers are much needed, you are the spiritual heart of Israel.

  12. Ira L. Jacobson says:

    In fact, there are rabbis in the national religious camp that would make good chief rabbis. It is a great pity that the leadership did not pick one of them as its candidate.

  13. Steve Klein says:

    For one rabbi to call fellow faithful rabbi evil and a heretic, I do not think Moses would approve of that.

  14. Steve Klein says:

    We need some kind of religious authority to establish guidelines for conversion, marriage, divorce, etc., don't we?

  15. I reckon not a single person commenting even knows who Rabbi Stav is, much less what he stands for. Those commenters lamenting politicalisation of the Chief Rabbinate need to understand that the position IS a political position. It creates and implements govermental policy and influences Cabinet Ministers in their actions on vital issues- not just concerning religious Israeli Jews but all Israelis, including non-Jews. For example, mass transit shutting down on Shabbat, or Kashrut being an official state policy in everything to state dinners on down to IDF messhalls.

    Rabbi Stav is what Westerners would call Modern Orthodox, not Charedi. Charedim have always served as Chief Rabbis and when I say "always" I do not just mean since 1948 since the position is an Ottoman anachronism. Having a non-Charedi Rabbi as Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, and a Charedi Sephardi Chief Rabbi will lead to infighting and the position will lose gravitas as well as effectiveness viz a viz creating and implementing policy.

    However, the opposition to Stav goes deeper than just niche labels like "Modern Orthodox" and "Charedi," Stav has actively sought this position by lauding his own accomplishments, this is a worrying issue because it shows a great concern for personal advancement as opposed to a desire to strengthen Israel's Jewish character. Even more worrying is how he has promoted himself. Stav has vowed to "simplify" Jewish identity. As of now, it is relatively easy to acquire Jewish ethnic identity in Israel, you merely need a single Jewish grandparent. To acquire a Jewish religious identity though is comparatively complicated, often requiring an appearance before a Bet Din (panel of rabbinical judges) and at times, an actual conversion if only your patrilineal line was Jewish. Stav is trying to appeal to those who want to blur the line between religious and ethnic identity and this is a very serious thing for a people that have practiced endogamy for hundreds of centuries. He has also made worrying comments on other issues as well, but for the sake of brevity I will not touch upon them.

    As for Rav Yosef lashing out against Stav, why should he not? If a rabbi finds it OK to bend Halacha to suit secularists' needs, he really isn't fit to serve as Chief Rabbi, Ashkenazi OR Sephardi. Judaism isn't a buffet table where you can pick and choose which mitzvot to uphold and wish to toss away because they cramp your lifestyle. Rav Yosef has devoted his nine decades to strenghening Israel's Jewish identity. His behavior is not in conflict with Halacha. In fact, he is abiding by it in drawing attention to a man set on undermining the tiny role played by the Chief Rabbinate.

  16. Moishe Sachs says:

    So, no one knows why he called him evil. We don't know if he's right or wrong, so it makes him evil for saying it. Of course, I'm not surprised. Yosef is the suicidal evil man who supported the Israeli government illegally immorally forcefully removing 10,000 innocent souls from their precious privately owned properties in Gaza. How any Jew could continue to follow or respect him after that is beyond me. He was wrong for so many Torah reasons that it's mind boggling. Also, to have such callous disregard for innocent people versus Israel's existential genocidal enemies, is deeply disturbingly evil.

  17. Dan Silagi says:

    NO.

  18. Dan Silagi says:

    NO.

  19. This is the inevitable result of the Talmud precept that Rabbis supersede God in decisions on this earth. We see here Rabbis fighting for the position of God on earth.

  20. How about dementia as a reason. Even the most brilliant people are not immune to this type of affliction in old age. Such a state would lead to unusual and uncharacteristic behavior that has no explanation. Extreme age can confer great wisdom, but it can also can see the end of such wisdom and a descent into poor behavior.

    Bless the Rabbi, and I hope that he will live out his life in peace and honor!

  21. Why is the need for an 'evil' thing? Tossing this word around in circumstances that are NOT evil is a disservice to all considered discussions. These rabbis are not evil, nor is the idea of a chief rabbi.

    Please, stop being a bomb thrower.

  22. Dan Silagi says:

    @Jacob. Did you see this morning's headlines? The Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi of Israel has been arrested for corruption, and is now under house arrest. I didn't throw that bomb.

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