Shas' rabbi once again comes out against seculars. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef verbally accosted those who desecrate the Sabbath during his weekly Saturday evening sermon. He claimed that those who do not keep Shabbat are "foolish people" who are "worse than beasts."
Among the halachic deliberations he discussed – including a combat soldier who comes home only on weekends and wants to launder his uniform and on listening to answering machine messages as they are being recorded on the holy day – Rabbi Yosef spiced up his sermon with a story:
An ox owned by a Jew was sold to a gentile. The gentile was shocked to find out that the ox refused to work on the Sabbath. The buyer claimed that he received "a worthless beast," and asked that the deal be nullified. Only when the seller whispered in the ox's ear that now it will be allowed to work seven days a week did the animal obey.
The rabbi described the gentile's subsequent insight as follows: "This is a clever ox, and I am worse than an ox. I, who was created in the image of G-d – why do I work on the Sabbath? He went and converted because of the ox. He studied Torah and became a great wise man. About this, it is said: 'An ox knew his buyer, and Israel did not know.' There are foolish people who desecrate the Sabbath and are worse than beasts."