Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Photo: Guy Assayag
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Shas' spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, slammed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his weekly sermon Saturday evening, referring to the Iranian president as "Haman of our generation" and saying that he "can go to hell".
The rabbi, who dedicated his address to Jewish laws related to the holiday of Purim, spoke about the followers of Haman, the grand vizier of Persia. "In every generation we have Hamans," he said. "Now we have a new Haman in Persia, threatening us with his nukes."
He went on to curse the Iranian leader, using verses from the Bible.
In weekly Saturday evening sermon, Shas rabbi says those who do not observe Jewish day of rest are foolish
In the halachic part of his sermon, Rabbi Yosef ruled that Sephardic students in Ashkenazi yeshivot should not take part in the prayer quorum on the Saturday before Purim in order to read the "Zachor" Torah portion separately, according to their custom.
He explained that listening to the verses, which discuss Amalek's war on Israel, is a Torah mitzvah and therefore each person must do it according to the common pronunciation in their own community.
Rabbi Yosef did not miss an opportunity to tease the Ashkenazim. After imitating the way they read that Torah portion, he said, "The Sephardim's pronunciation is the real one. Their accent is wrong. But they insist. They're stubborn… They don't want to change. Even their Ashkenazim testify that our pronunciation is the right one, the truth."