His utterances are enough to convert a person to Atheism overnight
Ovadia Yosef ( age 91) is an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi, recognised by his followers as an authority on Talmud ( Jewish Law). A former Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, he is now spiritual head of Shas . This is a political party, founded in 1984, to represent the interests of Sephardic Jews. Currently it has 11 Knesset seats, 4 cabinet members, and holds the balance of power in a multi-party coalition government.
Although nominally under the leadership of Eli Yishai, the true power of decision rests with the Rabbi.
Something like the relationship between Iranian President Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Ruler, Ali Khameni.
Given the Islamic religious basis of the Iran regime and the strict interpretations of Jewish law promoted by Shas, my claim about the similarities may not be so outrageous.
Since 1999, seven Shas Members of the Knesset have been convicted of major crimes involving fraud, bribery and conspiracy.
This resulted in jail time and/or fines. I haven’t yet understood the connection between their piety, and their superior sanctimonious attitudes on the morality of lesser mortals i.e. the secular,Athiest and, even, Liberal, Conservative or Reform Jews that are just not Jewish enough for them.
Unquestionably their worldview is influenced and dominated by the public utterances of their revered sage, the honourable Rabbi. So, I have selected a few pearls of wisdom from the lips of the person to whom they turn for spiritual guidance.
” You must not lean on a tree on Shabbat, if that tree might be dependent on you for support.”
” Fires only happen in a place where Shabbat is desecrated. Entire neighbourhoods wiped out…. it is all divine providence.” (1)
” It is permissible to hear a recording of a woman singing, provided that the listener has never seen the woman in person.”
” A married woman who covers her hair, may expose one or two strands of hair.”
” There was a tsunami and there are terrible natural disasters, all of this because of too little Torah study.” (2)
” They’re stupid! Their religion is as ugly as they are.” (3)
” Reform Jews should be vomited up – and thrown out of the country.”
” Who says the nation wants such judges? They have no religion and no law. They are all men who have intercourse with menstruating women.’ (4)
” Goyim (non-Jews) were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel.”
” Six million who were killed in the Holocaust were reincarnations of people who had sinned in a previous life.”
” Should it come as a surprise when soldiers are killed in war? When they do not adhere to the laws of Shabbat, do not pray every day, do not put on phylacteries every day. God have mercy on them and make them newly religious.”(5)
(1) The Carmel Forest fire of December 2010 in which 44 people were burned to death.
(2) Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans 2005.
(3) Referring to Muslims in a weekly radio broadcast.
(4) His attitude to the Israeli Supreme court. This same court rejected an application from the Movement for Quality in government demanding that Yosef be tried for incitement. They stated that the comments were within his right to freedom of speech.
(5) This referred to the deaths of 119 IDF soldiers killed in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Although I have singled out this particular Rabbi, there are many other Rabbis who make similar, or even more outrageous or ridiculous statements. But, to be fair, they are only doing what any God fearing religious leader does. Interpreting and expressing what their God demands. Each religion targeting it’s own niche market.
Mullahs, Imams. Priests and clergy of all faiths, tell the rest of us what we need to do to live a better and more fulfilling spiritual life.
Of course, we must put to one side any reservations that we might have about the downsides of religion. And turn a blind eye to the actions of God’s messengers in ensuring that we do not deviate from the chosen path. Actions that encourage stoning to death, or lashing with whips or disfiguring with acid. The death penalty (or honour killings) for extramarital sex, or homosexuality.
On a less violent level, discrimination against women (who are not allowed to drive a car in Saudi Arabia if not accompanied by a close relative). And then there are unbelievable restrictions placed upon Jewish women by the Orthodox Jews. The list is simply too long for this article; but you can think about segregation on public transport for starters (women in the back, men in the front).
“For men and women in ultra-conservative religious traditions, keeping the sexes separate is still fairly routine. Women often sit behind men or a barrier in mosques. The Amish also require different seating areas in worship services. And Hasidic Jews similarly require men to sit or walk in front of women since even seeing them would violate purity
Sprinkle all this with a smattering of priestly sexual abuse and child molestation and you get a pretty
good idea of how man has manipulated religion to satisfy his needs.
The hypocrisy associated with religious beliefs and practices is there for all who wish to see.
Must be hard to face up to these realities in a country that has “In God We Trust” printed on its currency.
Andyboy – Telling it as it is!
- Increased Security for Rabbi Ovadia Yoseph (israelnationalnews.com)
- Arrest of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef sparks haredi Orthodox protests (jta.org)