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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Photo: Gil Yohanan
'Pray for Iran, Hezbollah's destruction'
Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef says we must use Rosh Hashanah prayers to ask God to destroy Israel's enemies
Speaking at his weekly lesson on Saturday night Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said that we must pray and ask on Rosh Hashanah that God destroy Israel's enemies – mainly Iran and Hezbollah.

 

With the Jewish new year just around the corner, the rabbi said that when we eat the holiday symbols – food that symbolizes various requests made for the new year – special thoughts should be given to the threats aimed at Israel: "When making the blessing on the dates 'that our enemies be consumed' – aim our thoughts at Iran, the evil that threatens Israel."

 

When eating the leek and saying "may all our enemies and those who seek to do us evil be cut down," the rabbi says we should aim our thoughts at Iran and the Hezbollah.

 

"May God cut them down and destroy them off the face of the earth," the rabbi said and quoted psalms: "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will make mention of the name of the lord our God. They are bowed down and fallen; but we are risen, and stand upright."

 

Last week Head of Israel's National Security Council Major-General (Res.) Yaakov Amidror met with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and briefed him on the Iranian threat, according to the haredi website Kikar Hashabat.

 

Political sources said that it is likely that the meeting was part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's efforts to rally ministers' support in the event that the government will need to vote on an independent strike against the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities.

 

Shas Chairman Eli Yishai is a member of the nine-minister security forum. He, as many others in the forum and the defense establishment, oppose a strike at this time.

 

Nevertheless, should Rabbi Yosef declares his support for such a move, his decree will spell a shift in the party's decision.

 

Two years ago the Shas spiritual leader courted controversy with similar statements – aimed at the Palestinians.

 

During his weekly lesson, also on Rosh Hashanah the rabbi noted: "Abu Mazen (Abbas) and all those evil men – may they perish from this world. May God Almighty strike them and these Palestinians."

 

His statements received a harsh reaction from Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, who said that Yosef's comments were tantamount to calling for "genocide against Palestinians" and demanded a firm response from the Israeli government.

 

According to Erekat, "Ovadia called for the assassination of President Abbas, who in several days will sit face-to-face with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Is this the way the Israeli government is preparing its public for a peace agreement?" he asked.

 

 

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