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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’

Lapid Stages Slight Comeback in Polls

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party would win 14 Knesset seats if elections were held today, compared with 11 in a poll in November, according to the Hebrew-language Walla! website.

The increased strength is attributed to recent bills on more rights for homosexuals that Yesh Atid has sponsored, although they not yet been passed into law. The results still show Lapid is far from returning to his present Knesset representation of 19 Knesset Members.

The poll gave the Jewish Home party 11 seats, one less than it now holds in the Knesset, while Shas would nine seats, two less than it now holds. Shas is holding its own better than expected since the recent death of the party founder and spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Party chairman Aryeh Deri and his predecessor Eli Yishai are in in a power struggle that could divide the party.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Left a Kosher Empire

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Overlooked in the eulogies and praise of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is the role he played in the development of the kosher certification, Badatz Beit Yosef, under the leadership of his youngest son Rabbi Moshe Yosef.

The Beit Yosef kosher standard meticulously follows the standards of Rabbi Yosef Caro, the author of the codification of Jewish law, the Shulchan Aruch.

The Beit Yosef certification is widely used amongst Sephardic and other Jews, and an estimated 70 percent of Israeli restaurants follow the Bet Yosef standard as do many eating establishments in France and several in the United States.

In one of his weekly broadcasts, Rabbi Ovadia lamented that some were abusing the Beit Yosef standard, so coveted by Sephardi Jews and not as widely accepted by Ashkenazi Jews.

New Jerusalem Entrance Highway to Be Named for Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Monday, October 14th, 2013

A new highway planned for the entrance to Jerusalem and to bring motorists through the Har Nof neighborhood will be named after Rabbi Ovadia Yosef whose home was located there.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said Highway 16, to be named in memory of the rabbi, will connect with the entrance to Begin Highway near Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital.

“Road 16 will symbolically link two great men: Menachem Begin and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef through the two main entrances to the city,” he said.

Jeremy Man Saltan on Death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Netanyahu at the UN

Friday, October 11th, 2013

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai broadcasts from Jerusalem’s Old City and is joined by our Knesset insider Jeremy Man Saltan. They discuss the passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef along with analyzing Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent speech at the United Nations.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Letter Reveals Rav Ovadia Retracted ‘Land for Peace’ Ruling in 2003

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef reversed his famous “Land for Peace” ruling of 1993 after the Palestinian Authority literally exploded in Israel’s face a decade later with large-scale terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings.

The revelation of the letter, seen below, explains Rav Ovadia’s incredibly strong statements in recent sermons, such as one of the most famous ones three years ago when he said of the Palestinian Authority, “All these evil people should perish from this world. God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”

In 1993, when the prospect of peace turned into a mantra that mass media used to blind themselves and wishful-thinkers, the idea of Israel’s surrendering Judea, Gaza and Samaria for peace with Yasser Arafat was pushed by U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The Israeli government was split, and the Shas party, which obeyed whatever Rav Ovadia said, withstood arguments from nationalists and kept the Rabin-Peres coalition government alive with his famous ruling in favor of giving up “land for peace” because it is a matter of “pikuach nefesh,” saving the lives of Jews.

After Rav Ovadia died, Israel’s populist but rather ignorant media turned the funeral into a peace festival that obliterated the greatness of the rabbi, who wrote 50 books and who was cited all over the world as one of the greatest Torah sages ever.

The “expert analysts” on Israel radio and in the mass media explained that Rav Ovadia was a great man, but not because of  his brilliant mind that lived and breathed Torah and not because of the Shas party that he founded and turned into a kingmaker in Israeli politics.

“Land for peace” was the reason 800,000 Jews from all sects of Israeli society came to the funeral.

What they did not say is that 10 years after Oslo, during the Second Intifada that also is known as the Oslo War, Rav Ovadia ruled exactly the opposite.

Instead of “land for peace” being an issue to save the lives of Jews, it had become clear that it was a concept that endangered Jews.

Arafat’s “peace,” which murdered more than 1,000 Jews, wounded thousands others and which continues until today under the invisible hand of Mahmoud Abbas, is not the peace Rav Ovadia had in mind.

He wrote, “My dear brothers of Israel, residents of Judea and Samaria:

“It is my intention to make clear my position concerning Judea and Samaria. I have explained more than once since my Halachic ruling, that giving up land for peace has no validity in light of the current situation.

“I intended there be a true peace, in which Jerusalem and its surroundings will be secure in peace and quiet. But now, our eyes see that surrendering our holy land causes a danger to life.

“This is not the peace for which we prayed. Therefore, the Oslo Accords are null and void.”

Rav Ovadia then cited the verse form Psalms that states, “I speak peace and they speak war.”

Just as populist media falsified Rav Ovadia’s ruling, it has turned Jews in Israel and all over the world into victims of ignorant and slanderous reporting of Rav Ovadia’s Saturday night sermons. They took phrases out of contact and without any understanding that the rabbis was speaking the language his constituents understood, which is not the style of the pseudo-sophisticated Ashkenazi elite and certainly not that of the bleeding-heart media.

The Aish HaTorah website once quoted Rav Ovadia with comments that stated much clearer his idea of land for peace.

It quoted Rav Ovadia as saying, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef stated: “If the heads and commanders of the army, together with the government, state that saving of life is involved; that if areas of Israel are not given back, the danger exists of immediate war on the part of our Arab neighbors;

“And if the areas are returned to them, the danger of war will be averted; and that there is a chance of permanent peace; then it seems that according to all opinions it is permitted to return areas of Israel in order to achieve this aim, since nothing is more important than the saving of life.”

The Palestinian Authority war or terror on Israeli in the 1990s, after the Oslo Accords did not satisfy Arafat’s appetite to swallow up Israel, took a breather towards the end of the decade when the Barak government was on the verge of giving Arafat almost everything he wanted.

At the Funeral of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

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Yishai showcases the life of the legendary Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (z’l) at the sad time of his passing. Yishai specifically talks about the huge, historic funeral that he attended with over 800,000 people on Oct 7th as the people escorted the great man along the route of his levaya (funeral). Listen in to get the inside scoop of what it was like to be at this momentous event.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Peres’ Eulogy: Rav Ovadia Was ‘My Teacher, My Rabbi, My Friend’

Monday, October 7th, 2013

President Shimon Peres  eulogized Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Monday evening, stating, “A few hours ago I went to the hospital to say goodbye to my teacher, my rabbi, my friend Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. It was a difficult time. Tears filled my eyes and my throat was choked with emotion. I held his hand which was still warm and kissed his forehead.

“When I pressed his hand I felt I was touching history and when I kissed his head it was as though I kissed the very greatness of Israel.

“Immediately after the fall of the Second Temple there were two greats of the Torah – Yochanan ben Zakai and Yehuda HaNasi. I mention them because they came to the conclusion that for the Jewish people to survive we need to study.

“Rabbi Yosef symbolized that and acted upon it, he was simply a great man. His greatness wasn’t measured but rather it was felt as a spiritual wind in every corner, lighting up the darkness in unexpected places. When I met him I sensed he was a great man with an unbelievable memory and the wisdom to share his knowledge with others. His contribution was his love for Israel and he solved problems no-one else could solve using his wisdom and spirituality.”

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, One of Today’s Giant Torah Sages, Dies at 93

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Rabbi Chain  Ovadia Yosef, unarguably the greatest Sephardi Torah sage and one of the most influential political leaders of the past 40 years, died in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital Monday after several months of deteriorating health.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected at his funeral, which will begin at 6  p.m. (11 a.m. EDT) at the Porat Yosef Yeshiva and he will be buried in the cemetery at Sanhedria  in Jerusalem. Several main streets will be closed.

Political and religious leaders from the entire spectrum in Israel immediately offered condolences and expressions of sorrow. Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau, who was in the rabbi’s room shortly before he died, tore one of his clothes, the custom among Jews after a close relative dies. Knesset Member Aryeh Deri, who was Rav Ovadia’s closest political aide for years, was barely able to be understood on public radio because of his weeping.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, “Rabbi Ovadia was a giant in Torah and Jewish law and a teacher for tens of thousands. He worked greatly to enhance Jewish heritage and at the same time, his rulings took into consideration the times and the realities of renewed life in the State of Israel.

“He was imbued with love of the Torah and the people. I very much appreciated his convivial personality and his directness. In my meetings with him, I always learned very much. The Jewish People have lost one of the wisest men of this generation.”

Rav Ovadia, as he was known to millions, has been in and out of the hospital several times this year.

He had not left the hospital since September 21, and was placed under sedation several times. His condition improved somewhat Saturday night and Sunday morning, but doctors said Monday morning he was “facing a total system collapse,” and he was pronounced dead at 1:25 p.m. (6:25 a.m. EDT).

The name “Chaim” was added last week, according to the Jewish custom to change the name of a critically sick person as a sign of a change of ways to repentance of the patient and of those praying for his recovery.

Rav Ovadia was by all accounts a giant in the world of Torah. He was widely applauded and criticized for controversial views, both in the world of Jewish law and in politics.

He leaves behind a treasury of Jewish thought and rulings on law. From the political standpoint, his cherished Shas Sephardi religious party will be sorely tested to continue its influence and political weight without Rav Ovadia’s guiding hand.

He was born in Iraq in 1920 and moved to Jerusalem at the age of four. By the age of nine already was writing comments on centuries-old Jewish thought, and his brilliancy was so outstanding that his yeshiva rabbi sought out Rav Ovadia when he stopped coming to learn at the Porat Yosef Yeshiva. The senior rabbi discovered that Rav Ovadia was working at a small grocery store to help his impoverished father. The following morning, the senior rabbi, Ezra Attiya, took Rav Ovadia’s place in the store so the brilliant student could continue to learn Torah.

Rav Ovadia was ordained as a rabbi at the age of 20, Before Israel became a recognized modern state, he moved to Cairo to teach in a yeshiva, and he returned to Israel in 1949. The following year, at the age of 20, he already was delivering rulings on Jewish law that contradicted those of senior rabbis, including the Chief Rabbi of Israel.

Rav Ovadia became Chief Sephardi rabbi of Israel in 1973, competing against an incumbent. His son Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef was elected to the same post several weeks ago.

He was known for his lenient rulings and his criticism of the elitist Ashkenazi religious structure, some of whose leaders wore jealously on their shoulders for years. His leniency is credited for keeping tens of thousands of younger Sephardi Jews in Israel from leaving tradition completely, even if they were not considered “orthodox,” especially by Ashkenazi rabbis who often took the most stringent views.

His personality and rulings made his followers feel they were good Jews even if they were not totally observant, instead of cutting them off from the community.

Rav Ovadia was immensely popular among the Sephardi community, both rich and poor. He fought for improving their social conditions, which generally was on the lower end of the scale during the 1950s and 1960s, when the “establishment” closed its doors to  many Sephardi Jaws in the world of academia and politics.

His political power was immense, and he often was in the position of making or breaking government coalitions. His nod of approval to join the Rabin-Peres government was critical , especially when he supported the Oslo Accords.

Adina Bar Shalom with her father, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Adina Bar Shalom with her father, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Former Shas minister Shlomo Benizri kissing the hand of Shas siritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Former Shas minister Shlomo Benizri kissing the hand of Shas siritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef recovering from a minor stroke in Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, January 13, 2013.

Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’ earlier this year, when his health began a serious deterioration.

Spiritual leader of the Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef during evening prayer in his synagogue in Yefe Noff, Jerusalem.

Spiritual leader of the Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef during evening prayer in his synagogue in Har Nof, Jerusalem.

Below is a video of rare visit of Rav Ovadia to the Belz Yeshiva last year.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/rabbi-ovadia-yosef-one-of-todays-giant-torah-sages-dies-at-93/2013/10/07/

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