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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. 'Every person must love and honor his wife' Photo: Gil Yohanan
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. 'Every person must love and honor his wife' Photo: Gil Yohanan

Shas rabbi: Zealots desecrate God's name

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef issues manifesto slamming haredi extremists, warning of 'war between brothers'

Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 01.05.12, 14:29 / Israel Jewish Scene

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is once against criticizing ultra-Orthodox zealots: In a manifesto published Thursday in the Shas journal, the movement's spiritual leader slams those trying to "damage the Torah's reputation with forbidden acts while openly desecrating God's name, without considering the results of their actions."


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Yosef notes in his letter that he could no longer remain silent after seeing extremists "humiliating and insulting people in public, despising and cursing, and causing discomforts among the late Torah sages."


He noted that the Torah promotes graciousness and peace and that there is no forgiveness on Yom Kippur for offenses between man and man.


As for the exclusion of women phenomenon, the rabbi presented halachic rulings made by our Sages of Blessed Memory that every person must love and honor his wife just like he loves and honors himself and even more, and vice versa.


'Beware of unfounded hatred'

The rabbi warned of attempts by different elements to take advantage of the situation "in order to incite and intensify the disagreement within our nation, and create a rift between brothers."


He noted that "our Temple was destroyed dye to unfounded hatred, and will only be built with unfounded love.


"I beg you my brothers, do not let the dignity of Torah and Judaism be mocked and humiliated, as this is out life and longevity, the secret of our existence throughout our years of exile, and we must respect each other and bring people's hearts closer to their Heavenly Father."


Yosef concluded his call with a prayer, "May the Lord give strength to his people; may the Lord bless his people with peace."


During his weekly sermon last week, the rabbi also attacked haredi zealots, saying: We do not hate seculars. On the contrary – we love them and bring them closer.


"'Love your neighbor as yourself' is the entire essence of the Torah. We are one people, we're all fellow creatures, the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."


Yosef also conveyed a message to the media, saying that "every journalist has spark of Judaism inside, and it is journalists' duty to bring people together and promote unfounded love."



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