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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gadol Hador’

Is Haredi Daas Torah the Only Reality?

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

It pains me to say this. Unfortunately as time goes on I see that it is more and more the case. The vast majority of Charedim in Israel are clueless. And therefore soldiers of war in the fight against what they see to be the Godless world outside of Torah. They have no clue about what the reality of the outside world is. They live in a world of assumptions dictated to them by a very small group of rabbinic leaders that they view as virtually infallible.

Of course they will deny that these leaders are infallible and readily admit that they can – and have in the past – made mistakes. But that does not shake their devout devotion to every single word they say. So that the world they now live in – difficult as it may be – is the only option they see. It doesn’t matter how convincing an argument might be about reality. When a man who is perceived as a Gadol – let alone the Gadol HaDor – speaks, it may as well be God Himself speaking.

Any arguments to the contrary are seen as an insult to the Gadol, to God, and to His Torah. So, whether it is in matters of belief or matters of lifestyle whatever they say, goes.

This was once again made clear to me after viewing the video below. It is an interview with Machon Shilo head, Rabbi David Bar-Hayim. I don’t really know this man or his politics, but I believe he is right on the money on this issue.

The question was asked about how someone like Rabbi Yona Metzger could have attained the position of Chier Rabbi of the State of Israel. As most people by now know, Rabbi Metzger has been arrested for fraud and theft of millions of shekels.

The fact is that Rabbi Metzger’s less than honorable reputation was known long before he ran for that position. Ample examples of his shenanigans abound. One of which is clearly described in the video.

And yet he won the election because of the kind of loyatly Charedim have to Rav Elyashiv. Rav Elyashiv chose Metzger because he promised to do away with the Chief Rabbinate’s automatic endorsement of the Heter Mechira. (That permits farmers to continue farming their land during the Shemita year – the biblically mandated 7th year sabbatical of Israeli land which is to remain fallow during that year). That rumors persisted about Rabbi Metzger’s character (as per Rabbi Bar-Hayim) was of no concern to Rav Elyashiv. Not that he had any respect for the Rabbinate. He abandoned that institution years ago – resigning as a Dayan (judge) on matters of principle.

His goal was to eliminate that long established legal loophole. He believed that this loophole was completely invalid and wanted to abolish it. Rabbi Metzger was only too happy to comply.

So the respected Dati Leumi candidate, Rav Yaakov Ariel who would have continued the Rabbinate approval of the Heter Mechira – lost. And the results now – ten years later – are a huge embarrassment to the Jewish people.

I am not questioning Rav Elyashiv’s Psak on the Heter Mechira. I am questioning the apparent lack of concern about all other considerations in the choice of a candidate… that his only concern was destroying the Heter Mechira.  There was no thought given to the consequences that may occur if such a man is placed in such a prominent position. Indeed the consequences were disastrous. And yet Rav Elyashiv’s words were considered Daas Torah – and tantamount to the word of God Himself! What is wrong with this picture?!

Updated: 850,000 Mourners at Rav Ovadia’s Funeral (+Video)

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Approximately 850,000 people – more than 10 percent of Israel’s Jewish population – crowded Jerusalem streets Monday night for the funeral of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, forcing the closure of the entrance to Jerusalem from the main highway and resulting in more than 200 of injuries and victims of fainting.

Police were barely in control of the crowds, and police officers expressed hopes that there will not be a tragedy from the cramming of people and cars into small spaces.

It is estimated that one million mourners may pass through the capital before the funeral is over, and that is estimated to be not long before midnight Israeli time. The body of Rav Ovadia arrived at the entrance to the cemetery shortly before 10 p.m., but authorities were having a difficult time to stop thousands of mourners from trying to come close to the grave site. At 11 p.m., five afters the funeral processi0n began, the burial was over.

Hundreds of people simply parked their cars in the middle of the street to reach by foot the funeral procession and burial, next to his wife Margalit at the Sanhedria cemetery. It  is the largest funeral in the history of Israel and may remain such for a long, long time.

Yosef, a widower, is survived by 10 of his 11 children and several dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His son Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef recently was elected as Chief Sephardi Rabbi, a post once held by his father.

Media around the world are reporting on the death of Rav Ovadia, and even the Gulf Times, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported it.

The Associated Press told its readers, “he was the charismatic face of his Shas party,” one of the most succinct and accurate statements that one could make.

Rav Ovadia was well aware that the Shas party, which he founded, will be without a shepherd after his death. His son Rabbi Yitzchak said that Rav Ovadia’s will stated that there should be no in-fighting over the future of the party.

Knesset Member Aryeh Deri, the charismatic and controversial political leader who has been his heir apparent, cried after the announcement of Rav Ovadia’s death, “How will we go on alone. Who will lead us now? U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro stated, “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.

“Today in Jerusalem and all across Israel, his supporters and followers mourn him. To them, and first and foremost to his beloved family, I send my condolences. May his memory be blessed.”

 

Crowds at Rav Ovadia's Funeral

Crowds at Rav Ovadia’s Funeral

.Rav Ovadia Funeral   Rav Ovadia Gravesite open  

Shalom Bear contributed to this report.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/half-million-at-rav-ovadias-funeral/2013/10/07/

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