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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rav Ovadia’

Shas Spiritual Leader Says ‘HaTikvah’ Is ‘Stupid’ [video]

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

The spiritual leader of the Shas Sephardi Haredi party told party supporters Sunday night that the “HaTikvah” national anthem is “stupid,” reported the Walla! website, which also provided an audio of the rabbi’s remarks.

Rabbi Shlomo Cohen’s aides defended the observation he made when describing a meeting with Shas’ founder and late spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in 1955.

Rabbi Yitzchak Nissim had been appointed Chief Sephardic Rabbi at the time, and Rabbi Cohen said people stood up and started singing HaTikvah at the end of the inaugural ceremony.

Rabbi Cohen told listeners at Netivot that he said at the time, “What a bunch of nuts! Is this the Prime Minister?” He said he did not stand and asked Rabbi Yosef why he stood. Rabbi Yosef replied, “I was saying “Aleinu,” the prayer recited while standing at the end of morning, afternoon and evening prayers.

Rabbi Cohen explained that the Rabbi Yosef “didn’t want this ridiculous song to influence him.”

That shows the difference between Rav Ovadia – who had the good sense not to insult the majority of Israelis, religious as well as secular – and Rabbi Cohen, who does not have the sense to shut up.

Rabbi Shimon Baadnie, a member of the Shas Council of Sages, tried to explain that Rabbi Cohen really did not intend to say that HaTikvah is stupid but that it simply “is sung in a stupid way.”

However, there was no explanation to justify or rationalize Rabbi Cohen’s vicious attack on the national religious community. The good rabbi compared the “knitted kippa” Jewish community with the influence of Amalek, Israel’s eternal enemy.

Shas is stinging from the desertion the influential Sephardi Rabbi Yoram Abergil, who has announced he is supporting the Yachad party led by former Shas leader Eli Yishai.

Here are the words from HaTikvah that Jews all over the world sing and with which Rabbi Baadnie has a problem:

As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,

With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,

Then our hope – the two-thousand-year-old hope – will not be lost:

To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem

Rabbi Baadnie said, “People say words and don’t understand what they mean.’Free in our land.’? Where is our freedom when we have sorrow from Arabs. The People of Israel are not free because Arabs, Americans and Europeans drive us crazy.”

It would have been more impressive if Rabbi Cohen had said something like, “We are not free because the Third Temple has not been built” but how could he think of such a thing with politics on his brain?

Nevertheless, the rabbi is  right to a certain extent, but being “right” often is being stupid, even more so than the song may seem to Rabbi Cohen.

That is exactly what Shmira Imber, daughter of HaTikvah composer Naftali Herz Imber, told Walla! in response to Rabbi Cohen’s remarks:

“It is stupid to say that,” she said.

Below is a Barbara Streisand’s rendition of HaTikvah, stupid or not.

Deri Returns to the Sound of One Hand Clapping [election]

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Aryeh Deri is pulling down the curtain on his third-grade political acrobatic stunt and will play the part of the most humble man on the planet Monday when he accepts a rabbi’s order to return to head whatever remains of the Shas Sephardi Haredi party.

Deri quit last month, vowing never to return, after a leaked video showed the party’s founder and spiritual leader, the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, praising Deri’s political enemy Eli Yishai and calling Deri “evil” because of the bribery scandal that landed him in the slammer for three years.

Deri performed a splendid act of saying he could not possibly return to the Shas party after a still-unknown instigator exposed the video and supposedly disgraced the holiness of Rabbi Yosef.

It is not clear why so many people think that the video shamed the late rabbi. His image actually should have been considered more holy for his having stated a politician caught for bribery is not exactly the figure who should lead Shas.

The fact that people think the opposite says a lot about the Shas political party, where the sheepish followers of Rabbi Yosef and his family worship and embalm his image,

Deri set the stage for Rabbi Shalom Cohen, head of Shas’ so-called Council of Sages, to order Deri to come back in his black hat on his white horse and head the party.

“You have no permission to leave, I order you to come back and lead the holy movement,” Rabbi Cohen commanded him.

The holy Deri will lead the holy Shas to attract the holy voters to serve in the unholy Knesset where Shas has the holy mission to cut holy deals for its holy institutions.

Deri played out the soap opera of the video leak for every vote he could.

Pre-election polls have shown that Deri will draw around seven seats in the Knesset elections March 17.  Yishai’s new party is teetering on the edge of drawing enough support for the minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset.

Bombshell Video of Rav Ovadia Trashing Deri Spells Doom for Shas [video]

Monday, December 29th, 2014

A leaked video showing the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef castigating Aryeh Deri, now the leader of the Shas party, has set off an earthquake in the Sephardi religious community, already split into at least three factions.

Among other epithets, Rav Ovadia, as he was affectionately known, called Deri “evil, “too independent,” and the rabbi said he cannot be a “traitor” to Eli Yishai, who succeeded Deri, Shas’ political leader after the 1999 elections. One year later, Deri was convicted for bribery and was sentenced to three years in jail.

Ever since Rav Ovadia, the founder and spiritual leader of Shas, died in October 2013, the party began to fall apart without his monolithic leadership.

Whatever Rav Ovadia said was gospel to hundreds of thousands of Sephardi Jews, even those not considerably religious.

No one is taking “credit” for leaking the video, which was shown on Channel 2, but the damage to Shas, Deri, the memory of Rav Ovadia, and Deri’s arch enemy Eli Yishai is immeasurable.

In the 76-second video of Rav Ovadia talking to family members and an aide in 2008, he said:

If we place [Deri] at the top of the [party] list, 20 to 40 percent will leave us. Why? Because he was judged as a thief. For what? So they should try me in court? Why take a bribe?

Aryeh won’t listen to me. He is too independent. He is not a bad person?…He can go to another party…. What do I care? …

I cannot be a traitor to Eli Yishai.

The video, seen below is complete with Hebrew sub-titles.

Yishai and his aides, of course, deny they leaked the video.

Deri and his camp, of course, accuse Yishai of leaking it and said it will cause a backlash against Yishai because voters will blame Yishai for leaking the video that (somehow) defames the memory Rav Ovadia.

Deri said after the video was aired on television:

 In these days when the public expects unity, the man who calls himself ‘faithful’ chose to release tapes in which he recorded [Rav Ovadia] in the darkness like the worst of the subversives, and exploited the trust placed in him. Yishai is trampling the honor of [Rav Ovadia] only for his petty personal interests….Even in his lifetime he betrayed the trust the rabbi placed in him.

It does not matter now who leaked the video. The damage is done and there is more on the way.

“The real black box is hidden and still is in the safe, and we hope we won’t have to bring it out because if they are published, they will cause an earthquake. Our aim is to retain the honor of Rav Ovadia,” said Rav Ovadia’s family

When the family heard that the video of Rav Ovadia trashing Deri had been exposed, they said, “We were in shock. We didn’t want this to be exposed… This video is tiny compared with the material we have.”

Will the black box be opened? And who will it make an earthquake for?

“Only is there is no choice,” the family said.

Either way, the once mighty Shas is puny.

It was doomed from the  start to becoming a comatose party like every other political party that evolves around one person and only one person.

Remember Shinui, the fiercely secular party headed by Tomy Lapid? It won 17 seats in 1977, split into factions and won only two seats in the next elections. It  came roaring back with 15 Knesset Members in 2003 and then died after splitting up again not several useless factions.

Ditto with Rafi Eitan’s Pensioners’ party, which won a stunning seven seas in the 2006 elections and then fell apart.

Shas Politicians Fight It Out to Destroy the Party

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Shas Haredi Sephardi party leader and ex-con Aryeh Deri has demanded that former party chairman Eli Yishai deposit a resignation letter just in case he decides to work against the party, the Haredi Kikar Shabbat website reported Thursday morning.

Yishai met with a rabbi from the “Council of Torah Sages” and was presented with Deri’s letter of conditions for unity between him and Deri.

Yishai saw the condition for the letter and refused, setting the groundwork for Deri and Yishai to call off their “unity peace talks” that were scheduled this morning.

“Why does Deri think that Yishai has to submit this kind of letter,” an aide to Yishai told Kikar Shabbat. “Yishai doesn’t believe Deri and is sure he will use the letter to chase him out of the party. Deri tells the media he will be number two [on the party election list], but the public knows that Deri is making conditions he cannot accept and wants to make Yishai leave the party in a move that will appear, in principle as if he does not want unity.”

A spokesman for Deri did not deny the report of conditions.

A poll published on Wednesday shows that Yishai as Shas party chairman would attract enough voters to elect nine Knesset Members, two more than with Deri as leader.

The Shas party lost its founder and spiritual leader, former Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, last year. Ever since, Deri and Yishai have been at each other’s throats, the way politicians act out of “good for the country.”

The Deri-Yishai feud could split up the party into two factions.

That could leave Netanyahu, or Herzog-Livni, playing Deri and Yishai off each other to bait them into a coalition.

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.

Photos: More than 150,000 Mark End of Shiva for Rav Ovadia

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

More than 150,000 people crowded Jerusalem Sunday to mark the last day of the seven-day shiva mourning period for Rav Ovadia Yosef, who died last week at the age of 93.

The spontaneous outpour of mourners stood in stark contrast to the annual rally on the Saturday night before the anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin in Tel Aviv, as reported here. Leftists rounded up 30,000 people to blame Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the failure to make peace not only with the Palestinian Authority but also with Iran.

The scene in Jerusalem was a smaller but just as impressive copy of last week, when 800,000 crammed Jerusalem for the funeral. Police learned their lesson form not being prepared last  week to handle the flood of people, and thousands of police officers patrolling the event and closing main arteries. The cemetery was closed to the public in mid-afternoon.

Medics treated approximately three dozen people.

Rav Ovadia’s greatness as a Torah sage was marked by the words of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, who said that the late rabbi will be “remembered for generations” and “belonged to all of the People of Israel.”

Religious officials and family members barred Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from speaking inside the funeral home because he does not observe the Sabbath, and his had to settle for eulogizing Rav Ovadia the building.

Photos by Flash 90:

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Rav Ovadia's chair remains empty next to his sons in the mourning tent in Jerusalem.

Rav Ovadia’s chair remains empty next to his sons in the mourning tent in Jerusalem.

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rav ovadia woman crying flash i90.jpg

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos-more-than-150000-mark-end-of-shiva-for-rav-ovadia/2013/10/13/

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