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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Rav Ovadia Yosef’

Senior Haredi Sefardi Rabbi Approves Going Up to Temple Mount

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

It seems that cracks are appearing in the Haredi consensus, which used to be firmly against setting foot on Temple Mount, for fear of violating the holiest Jewish site. According to Maariv, Rabbi Meir Mazuz, head of yeshiva Kisseh Rachamim (Seat of Mercy) in B’nei B’rak, has responded to a public question on his institutions’ official website with the psak (decision): “min hadin mutar” – meaning that it is legally permitted. However, he said that one must restrict one’s movements on Temple Mount to the areas which are not problematic.

The entrance to the Temple before the destruction was restricted to Jews who had cleansed themselves of the impurity of the dead, a 7-day process requiring two sprayings with water containing the ashes of a red heifer. Since we are no longer in possession of these means, we are unable to cleanse our impurity and so, should we set foot on an area where the holy sacrifices were being made, or, even worse, the holiest sanctuary, we would be defiling them.

But there are today many religious-Jewish experts who offer clear instructions as to where the “safe” area for walking is, mostly the perimeter of the compound.

Rabbi Mazuz’s decision comes a scant few months after the passing of Rav Ovadia Yosef, who staunchly objected to Jewish ascent to Temple Mount. Rabbi Mazuz’s stature in the Sefardi Haredi community might usher in a new era in mainstream religious Jewish approach to the Temple Mount.

Rabbi Mazuz is considered one of the senior Sefardi rabbis in the world, but has always been to the right of the late Rav Ovadia. He was actively opposed to the Gush Katif deportations, including adding his name to the list of rabbis who at the time called on IDF soldiers to refuse an order to evacuate.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party which may suffer a setback come next elections due to the passing of Rav Ovadia, is not happy with the public defiance being shown by Rabbi Mazuz these days. Their spokesman has already criticized the Rabbi’s decision, and the question Shas seems to fear is not so much about Temple Mount but about the possibility of dissent in the Sefardi ranks over more critical issues, like politics.

Tireless Schemer: Deri Announces Plan to Return to Govt Using Lieberman

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

On Tuesday night, Shas Chairman MK Aryeh Deri told Haredi Radio Kol Barama that the main reason his party will continue to support Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Leon is not so much because of Mr. Leon’s qualifications (he’s an accountant), nor his long residency in the holy city (he just moved from Givatayim), but for one all important reason – because MK Avigdor Lieberman, the powerful, brooding, still in trial for corruption former Foreign Minister and head of the Israel Beiteinu coalition party supports Leon for mayor.

In Deri’s own words: if the Haredim aren’t united next week around Moshe Leon’s candidacy, they’ll be “losing the chance to take down the coalition in the next three years.”

A while ago, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat refused to appoint a Lieberman associate, Dr. Vladimir Sklar, to a senior post on the East Jerusalem Development Authority, and Lieberman either had a bad hair day that day, or the cops were knocking on the door with more questions, or he just had an epiphany about replacing the current mayor with a far, far better candidate – whatever the real reason, Moshe Leon was informed that he was about to achieve something he had been yearning for all his life, become the mayor of Jerusalem, and that he must relocate from the Tel Aviv area in a hurry, to establish residency.

Israeli politics is so brutal and personal, a 1920s Tammany Hall politician could probably be made head of the ethics committee (and often is).

On the radio last night, MK Aryeh Deri (who also relocated to Jerusalem, after spending 22 months in minimum-security Maasiyahu prison near Tel Aviv) described what he termed “the opportunity.” He said MK Avigdor Lieberman is the axis of the current coalition supporting candidate Moshe Leon, and that all the Haredim have promised him their blocks of votes.

But anything less than a Haredi tsunami in support of Leon, deri warned, and the game would be lost. “We won’t be able to come to him later and tell him, look it’s not like we’re after you personally when we’re destroying you politically” by abandoning your candidate. “We won’t be able to come to him afterwards and expect that he break his pact with Lapid and Bennett.”

You can have plenty of issues with Aryeh Deri’s ethics, but not his political astuteness. He was and continues to be the most dangerous element inside the religious world when it comes to preserving Eretz Israel. He pushed his late mentor, Rav Ovadia Yosef ZTL, to approve the concept of land for peace on the ground of “pikuach nefesh” (a potential mortal danger that permits the violation of a commandment – in this case the commandment to settle all of Eretz Israel). Deri has one goal in mind: to replace Naftali Bennett as the go-to Jew in government.

In terms of the math, the two parties are almost even – Shas has 11 seats, compared with Bennett’s 12.

Shas will make life much easier on the pro peace settlement forces inside and outside the government.

But Shas cannot co-exist with Yair Lapid’s vehemently anti-Haredi Yesh Atid party.

A major coalition surgery would be required to remove Lapid and Bennett, and replace them with Deri’s Shas and Shelly Yachimovich’s Labor. Shelly has 15 seats, compared with Lapid’s 19, but United Torah Judaism would happily oblige the new players.

This could be accomplished, Deri has been implying, if not outright announcing, but not without Ivet Lieberman. Only he has the muscle and the access to the PM that such a bold move would require. The Israel Beiteinu boss would have to stifle rebellion not only within his own very right wing faction, but in Likud as well. Without his political skills, such a blatant move against the National Religious and the Bourgeois Center could end up collapsing on itself. And if deri wants to keep the dream alive, he must, must, no question about it, must deliver Jerusalem for Moshe Leon.

Hedging his bets, local-Jerusalem and national, Deri has already committed to an anti-Barkat block comprised of the Haredi parties and Israel Beiteinu in the Jerusalem city council, which would effectively prevent the mayor, should Barkat end up winning, from cobbling a governing coalition. That would mean the executive in Jerusalem would not be able to pass laws or a budget. There’s a chance for education stats to drop even lower, and garbage collections to drift into the real of pure nostalgia in Jerusalem…

Rav Ovadia Comment Earns Lhota the Haredi Wrath

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

The passing of Rav Ovadia Yosef ZTL seems to have become a divisive issue in the race for Mayor of New York City. Hamodia, which on the same day published a op-ed comparing Bill de Blasio to a Nazi-sympathizer, slammed Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota for his not so generous comments about Rabbi Yosef.

“I mourn his death,” Mr. Lhota told a group down in Chinatown, “but I also know he’s made statements that, at the time, were unfortunate.”

“Why Lhota would deem it necessary to add such a wholly unnecessary and disrespectful qualification is puzzling,” the editorial inquired.

Councilman David Greenfield lashed out at the Republican candidate for Mayor. “What?! Who the heck are you — Who the heck are you, Joe Lhota, to opine about one of the greatest Gedolim (sages) of our time? Completely outrageous,” Mr. Greenfield yelled in dismay.

“So why is he doing this? Because he wants to pander to the secular media,” he exclaimed.

Michael Fragin, who serves as a consultant and Jewish adviser to Joe Lhota, explained that Mr. Lhota was responding to a question asked by a reporter about the criticism of Mr. de Blasio’s comment. “He gave a straight answer with regard to that. But that doesn’t distract at all that he felt anguished that many people in New York were in mourning,” he said.

Joe Lhota stopped in Williamsburg Monday night, to express solidarity with the shop owners that are being sued by the City’s Human Rights Commission for posting a dress code sign for shoppers. “I am supporting you,” Mr. Lhota told the owners of Gestetner Printing on Lee Avenue. “I want to make sure that you’re treated properly. It is very important.”

At a wine tasting and fundraiser event in Manhattan Tuesday night, Mr. de Blasio was hailed for standing up and not backing down amid the criticism.

“Bill promptly acknowledged this great loss,” said Mr. Noe in his introduction of Mr. de Blasio. “The critics, who find the bad in everything, started bashing Bill, but Bill doesn’t back off what he knows is right and stood his ground.”

Bill de Blasio may well be measuring the drapes of Gracie Mansion as a new poll shows him with a commanding 44 point lead over his Republican rival, less than 30 days to Election Day. Joe Lhota actually has a 43/38 favorable view among Jewish voters, but it doesn’t translate into votes. De Blasio leads Lhota among Jewish voters 61-26.

De Blasio may have received a major boost among Jewish voters, as Anthony Weiner told Capital NY, Friday, that he’s endorsing Mr. de Blasio for mayor. “I’m supporting bdb,” Weiner emailed back. “No one has asked nor do they need to.”

Is there a single voter out there who would switch from one candidate to the other based on an Anthony Weiner endorsement? Well, if there is, do not friend him!

Visitors Continue to Stream to Rav Ovadia’s Graveside (Photos)

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Following the largest funeral in the history of the State of Israel, hundred of people continue to stream to the graveside of Rav Ovadia, in Jerusalem.

.Rav Ovadia Graveside

Rav Ovadia Graveside

Rav Ovadia Graveside

At Rav Ovadia's grave

.At Rav Ovadia Gravesite

Visiting Hours for Rav Ovadia Family Mourner’s Tent

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

A mourning tent has been set up next to the home of Rav Ovadia Yosef on Kablan street, Har Nof for the duration of the Shiva (week of mourning).

Visiting hours are between 10 AM and 1 PM, and between 4 PM and 7 PM. The family asks that all visitors restrict themselves to those hours.

Kablan street will be closed to all vehicular traffic.

Rav Bina Speaks about Rav Ovadia

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Rav Bina speaks to his students, and tells them about Rav Ovadia zt”l, before Yeshiva Netiv Aryeh headed out to the funeral.

Below is a video of Rav Ovadia when he spoke to the students of Yeshiva Netiv Aryeh.

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.

200 WOW Drowned Out by 10,000 Seminary Girls

Friday, October 4th, 2013

The first day of Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan (which is, really, the last day of Tishrei) was yet another eventful installment in the lengthy and often repetitive saga featuring:

The Kotel (a supporting wall for the King Herod-renovated temple)

The Women of the Wall (a group of largely Reform and Conservative women who have been attempting to conduct their distinctly unorthodox services at the site practically since the crusades)

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, the Kotel Rabbi, who, after having fueled the WOW campaign and giving it life for years has finally decided to leave them alone—about a decade too late

And 10,000 lovely, cheerful, sweet seminary girls, who told everyone they were there to pray for the recovery and well being of the ailing mega-scholar Rav Ovadia Yosef.

Look at the funny ladies with talitot and teffilin…. Photo by: Miriam Alster

“Look at the funny ladies with tallitot and teffilin…” Are the onlookers amused, angry, or both? Photo by: Miriam Alster

According to Haredi reports, the WOW just disappeared in the enormous crowd of youthful young ladies. Talk about integration!

According to Israel Radio, things had gone a little out of hand near the end, and the WOW had to sneak out of there through a side exit, as Haredi men were cursing them out and one man was arrested on suspicion of spitting and throwing stuff at them.

Religion brings out the best in people.

The email from the WOW read: “Nearly 200 Women of the Wall prayed this morning in the women’s section of the Kotel—out loud and as a group, with tallitot (prayer shawls) and tefillin (phylacteries). The multi-denominational prayer group prayed without police enclosures and restrictions, for the first time since April 2013.”

OK, very positive, so far. Not for long, though:

“This great achievement was tainted by the incited, abusive behavior of some of the women and girls who came to pray at the Kotel this morning,” the email continues. “Of thousands who came to pray for the health of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, there was a large group of women and girls who surrounded Women of the Wall, cursing, spitting and yelling throughout the prayer.”

Also: “A mass prayer was led by Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yitzhak Yoseph, over loud-speakers, drowning out women’s prayers.”

They should join forces with Jerusalemites who are exposed to Mosque loudspeakers drowning all other sounds five times a day, every day. Let’s ban all megaphonic religions!

“Despite the provocations of the girls and the loudspeakers, out of great respect, Women of the Wall stopped their prayer to listen and join Rabbi Yoseph’s prayer for his father. The women added “amen” and continued the prayer only when his was finished.”

That’s a hopeful sign, then. Let the man go first, especially if he owns the decibel machine…

“It was a trying and emotional morning for the women many of whom left the Kotel in tears, saddened but also resolved to continue to pray at the holy site,” says the email.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/200-wow-drowned-out-by-10000-seminary-girls/2013/10/04/

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