Shas party’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said Saturday night he really loves knitted-kippa Jews,” but it’s just their political leaders who are “Amalek” – the eternal enemy of Jews.
The national religious community in Israel now can breathe easier and know that Rav Ovadia really loves them.
Sure, the distinguished rabbi said last month that national religious Chief Rabbinate candidate Rabbi David Stav is “evil” and an “enemy to Judaism,” but, heck, that was just meant to cheer up Shas’ favorite clientele, the dwindling Sephardi community that still feels oppressed by the elite Ashkenazi community. Indeed they are, but they are equally oppressed by their own leaders. So what better way to keep the common people in line by telling them that the Rabbi really loves Jews, even those who wear a knitted kippa.
But what about Shas Rabbi Shalom Cohen, who said in a sermon a week ago that “as long as there are knit kippot, the [divine] throne is not whole? That’s Amalek. When will the throne be whole? When there is no knit kippa.”
If a listener thought Rabbi Cohen, who is a member of Shas’ Council of Torah Sages, meant that knitted-kippa Jews are Amalek, he did not understand correctly God forbid he should say such a thing.
Rav Ovadia, who sat silently on the podium as Rabbi Cohen spoke, knows exactly what he really meant.
Sure, Rabbi Cohen said some things against” those rebellious national religious Jews with knitted kippot, but he was only referring to their political leaders, opined Rav Ovadia.
Love, love, love, he said. Love for everyone – with one small exception. It is the political leaders of the knitted-kippa crowd who are problematic.
They not only are problematic. They are the true Amalek, Israel’s eternal enemy dating back to the days of the Exodus from Egypt.
And who is the real knitted-kippa modern Amalek of the Jews? None other than Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party, which, unlike Shas, took the daring move in the last elections to welcome secular Jews as Knesset Members and put the emphasis on nationalist instead of religious.
Rav Ovadia has his grounds for considering Bennett Amalek.
The Jewish Home party is against exempting Haredi youth from IDF service forever. That means that Shas yeshivas would have less youth learning , or at least registered as learning, in their institutions,
If there are less students, there is less money from donors, especially from the Israeli taxpayer whose hard-earned money has been going into black-hat yeshivas for years with the payback that the future Torah scholars and eternal voters for Shas are defending the nation by learning Torah, even if they are just listed as learning and actually working or stashing home.
Now that Rav Ovadia has explained Rabbi Cohen and has mended ties with the national religious community, except for those enemies of Jews like Bennett, Israel is ready for Tu B’Av, which begins Sunday night.
The Talmud lists it along with Yom Kippur as the most joyous days of the year when, according to the Talmud, that the daughters of Jerusalem go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards and said, “Young man, consider who you choose (to be your wife).” Tu B’Av is the same day of the 40th yearin the desert when the ban was lifted on female orphans marrying into another tribe.
It is the perfect day for a daughter of a Shas rabbi to become engaged to the son of a national religious politician.
And God willing, Rabbi Cohen and Rav Ovadia will perform the marriage ceremony.
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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