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Nov 29, 2010

The Yosef Rabbis Lash Out

There is just so much in this article about what Rav Avraham Yosef said yesterday in an interview on the radio, I am going to translate the different quotes:

The drought has been caused by someone who expresses invalid ideas about religious issues, such as his opinion regarding the importance of those who learn Torah.

After stressing again that the RAMBAM said that to stop a drought we must do teshuva, but not just of our actions, but of our hashkafa as well. When asked why he doesn't name Rav Amsalem by name, Rav Yosef responded that he does not want to deal with politics.

Whoever says that learning Torah is just to produce gedolei torah and poskim is an apikores. The learners of Torah are the soldiers on the front lines.. without them we have no basis for our sustenance.

Regarding the former Chief Rabbi of the Army, Rabbi Weiss, and that which he wrote in his book that Rav Ovadiah wanted him to appoint certain rabbonim (i.e. relatives of his) to positions in the rabbinate to advance them but he refused to give preference to them, Rav Yosef said "this person - I don't know what happened to him.He was a ben-bayit in my father's house, and [my father] gave him all his attention... because he was not such a talmid chacham, [Rav Yosef] asked to appoint one of the best of the rabbonim of the army. Is there anything wrong with that?"

The Chief Rabbi of the Army is an appointment by the Defense Minister, but frequently the appointment is made without consulting with talmidei chachomim. Unfortunately, the results we see now...

I don't know right or wrong in these fights, and am not commenting on whether the Yosef family is right in their fighting against Ravs Amsalem and Weiss, or if Ravs Amsalem and Weiss are right despite the Ravs Yosef opinions. I will comment on the style of the fight - the Yosef family is coming off in this fight looking like the mafia - they attack everyone who does not follow the line set by them.

Yes, Rav Ovadia is one of the gedolei ha'dor, and Rav Avraham Yosef is a very well respected rav and talmid chacham (whom I like as well) by his own virtue. The way they, and other, have recently been relentlessly attacking all those who don't follow instructions, rubs many the wrong way. They really seem to come off like a gang of mafia pulling their weight.


  1. There is a real problem in the dati leumi world as well. Many of the so called community "leaders" make decisions based upon their own self-interest. When was the last time (or the first time!) the Rav of my community ever invited my family (or any of the other ordinary folks) over to his house for a seuda? Never! But he does invite the "key" supporters and machers all the time. I guess he likes his 10,000 NIS monthly salary. Its more important to invite them than new olim or people with no family here. Olim without families and are all alone on Shabbat and Chagim are of little or no concern to him. The Rav's own self-interest is more important than inviting new families and others over.
    Also, many of these Rabbonim will take a particular side in a dispute which fits into their self-interest. Hmmm 2 neighbors fighting I'll take side A because that family can help me and side B are nothings here. Or let me call someone in the community and get their oral agreement that I can sign for them in a divorce case. I dont have to mention the facts just get their oral agreement since that side's family can help me.
    I am sorry to say I just dont have much respect for the pulpit Rav as I used to when I was naive and thought they cared about their communities. So friends, when self-interest and getting ahead matter more than doing the right thing well, dear friends, we are in a bit of a problem. If you cant trust Rabbinic leadership...who can you trust?

  2. Fed up,

    I think you should find out what "real problem" means. Even if your feelings about this Rav are legit, it's still just one guy. It hardly constitutes a "real problem".

  3. May his Master forgive him.
    It is amazing how such great talmidei chachamim could be so foolish.

  4. Rav Amsalem has not said anything different than Rav Ovadia.

    Here's what Rav Ovadia had to say on תורה עם דרך ארץ
    "ואילו שיטת רבי שמעון לשקוד אך ורק בתורה, אינה ראויה באופן כללי, אלא ליחידים אשר אדיר חפצם להתעלות במעלות התורה ויראת ה' טהורה, ובפרט לאלה אשר חננם ה' בכשרונות מבורכים, בתפיסה מהירה וזכרון מופלא, אשר נשקף להם עתיד מזהיר להיות מורי הוראות בישראל, ולדון דין אמת לאמיתו, ולקרב את ישראל לאביהם שבשמים


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