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Ovadia Yosef
עובדיה יוסף

Ovadia Yosef, 2007
Born September 23, 1920 (1920-09-23) (age 89)
Nationality Israeli
Ethnicity Mizrahi Jews
Occupation Rabbi, Talmudic scholar and recognized halakhic authority
Title former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel
Political party Spiritual leader of the Shas political party
Religion Haredi Judaism
.Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (Hebrew: עובדיה יוסף‎) (born Abdullah Youssef on September 23 1920, Basra, Iraq and now living in Jerusalem) is a Mizrahi Haredi rabbi, Talmudic scholar, and recognized halakhic authority.^ Ovadia Yosef - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ( Hebrew : עובדיה יוסף ‎) (born Abdullah Youssef, 1920 Basra , Iraq ) is a Sephardic Haredi rabbi , Talmudic scholar, and recognized halakhic authority.

^ Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (born 1920) is a former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel.

^ It is known that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is a "great Torah scholar."

.He is the former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, although he himself is Iraqi, not Sephardi.^ Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (born 1920) is a former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel.

^ He is one of the sons of Shas' spiritual leader, and former Israeli Chief Rabbi , Ovadia Yosef .
  • ClownsFun @ Dikkedeur.dyndns.org - ClownsFun @ Dikkedeur.dyndns.org 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC dikkedeur.dyndns.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ He is the former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel and also the current spiritual leader of the Shas political party in the Israeli Knesset.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

.Yosef is also the current spiritual leader of the Shas political party in the Israeli Knesset.^ He is the former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel and also the current spiritual leader of the Shas political party in the Israeli Knesset.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ In particular, Israeli commentators seized on the connection between several of those arrested and prominent figures in Shas, the ultra-Orthodox Sephardi Torah Guardians Party, founded by the octogenarian Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who remains its spiritual leader.
  • Would you buy a used car from this man? 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC mondoweiss.net [Source type: General]
  • New Jersey's Corruption Scandal: The Israeli Connection - TIME 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.time.com [Source type: News]

^ Lachamnovich said that as a result, the party's spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, decided not to continue coalition talks.
  • Gulfnews: Israel nears early elections as coalition talks fail 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.gulfnews.com [Source type: News]

.He is highly revered in the religious world, especially in the Sephardi and Mizrahi communities, for his erudition and Torah scholarship.^ He is highly revered in the religious world, especially in the Sephardi and Mizrahi communities for his erudition and Torah scholarship...

^ He is highly revered in the religious world, especially in the Sephardi and Mizrahi communities, for his erudition and Torah scholarship.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

.He is among the most important poskim of the past few generations and is regarded by many as the foremost Rabbinical authority and a source of Daat Torah.^ He is among the most important poskim of the past few generations and is regarded by many as the foremost Rabbinical authority and a source of Da’at Torah.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Rabbi Yosef’s halakhic responsa are highly regarded within Orthodox circles and are considered binding in many Mizrahi communities, among whom he is regarded as “the most important living halachic authority.” Rabbi Yosef’s responsa are noted for citing almost every source regarding a specific topic and are often referred to simply as indices of all previous rulings.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The Poskim of the past few decades have addressed the question of whether the requirement of the seven clean days might be waived to permit immersion before ovulation.
  • Halacha File: Orthodox Infertility - Part 1 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC koltorah.org [Source type: Original source]

.He has been referred to as the Posek HaDor ("Posek of the present Generation"), Gadol HaDor ("great/est (one of) the generation"), Maor Yisrael ("The Light of Israel") and Maran.^ He has been referred to as the Posek HaDor (”Posek of the present Generation”), Gadol HaDor (”great/est (one of) the generation”), Maor Yisrael (”The Light of Israel”) and Maran.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

Rabbi Yosef's halakhic responsa are highly regarded within Orthodox circles and are considered binding in many Mizrahi communities, among whom he is regarded as "the most important living halachic authority."[1]. Rabbi Yosef's responsa are noted for citing almost every source regarding a specific topic and are often referred to simply as indices of all previous rulings.
.Rabbi Yosef has two central projects, intertwined with each other, which are embodied in the slogan "Restoring the Crown to its Old State" (Hebrew: להחזיר עטרה ליושנה).^ Ovadia Yosef is no stranger to controversy, but rarely has the 80-year old rabbi offended so many people at the same time.

^ Last Saturday night Rabbi Ovadia Yosef stated the following in his weekly televised "sermon" in Israel: "Is it any wonder if, heaven forbid, soldiers are killed in a war?"

^ In 2005, he was arrested after co-conspiring with others to assassinate Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
  • France to Israel: Free man who plotted attack on Ovadia Yosef - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

.The first, a Halakhic project, is an attempt to create a unified Halakhic codex subject to the rulings of Rabbi Yosef Karo.^ When Yosef and his entourage finally managed to enter the arena, at 10:45 P.M., young men pushed forward in an attempt to kiss the hem of the aging rabbi’s garment.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Rabbi Ovadia Yosef delivered the ruling Saturday night in a sermon relayed by satellite to his followers in Israel and abroad.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, referred to President Barack Obama as a “slave’ with plans to rule the world and monopolize affairs in Tel Aviv.
  • Would you buy a used car from this man? 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC mondoweiss.net [Source type: General]

.This project is essentially innovative, in that its attempt to unify the various Halakhic traditions in light of the rulings of Yosef Karo does not constitute a return to the traditionally accepted Sephardic approach (nor, indeed, to the traditional approach of the Jews of Baghdad, where Rabbi Yosef was born).^ Ovadia Yosef - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ( Hebrew : עובדיה יוסף ‎) (born Abdullah Youssef, 1920 Basra , Iraq ) is a Sephardic Haredi rabbi , Talmudic scholar, and recognized halakhic authority.

^ You are bank-rolling Jews like the honorable Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, allowing him to wile away his days making important halakhic rulings which are binding on Jewry, such as whether or not it’s permitted to pick your nose on the sabbath.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ "Whoever votes for Lieberman gives strength to Satan," offered the spiritual leader of Sephardic Jewry, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, in his weekly sermon last Saturday.
  • Israel on starboard tack 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.canada.com [Source type: News]

.As part of this project Rabbi Yosef aims to unify the minhagim of the various Jewish groups in Israel by calling upon them to relinquish minhagim and traditions (often rooted in the Kabbalah) which they practiced in the lands where they resided prior to their immigration to the Land of Israel.^ Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Pray for soldiers' well-being in synagogue - Haaretz - Israel News .
  • Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Pray for soldiers' well-being in synagogue - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

^ The rabbi stressed his commitment to peace and condemned incitement against Israel in schools located in various Arab countries.
  • FailedMessiah.com: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Meets With Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson And Jimmy Carter 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC failedmessiah.typepad.com [Source type: General]

^ Rabbi Ovadia Yosef delivered the ruling Saturday night in a sermon relayed by satellite to his followers in Israel and abroad.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

.His second project, a social one, is to improve the status of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews in light of the hegemony of Ashkenazi Jews in the Torah world.^ He is highly revered in the religious world, especially in the Sephardi and Mizrahi communities, for his erudition and Torah scholarship.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

.This hegemony has somewhat diminished over the past few decades, in no small part because of his own political and religious activities.^ The Poskim of the past few decades have addressed the question of whether the requirement of the seven clean days might be waived to permit immersion before ovulation.
  • Halacha File: Orthodox Infertility - Part 1 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC koltorah.org [Source type: Original source]

.As spiritual leader of the Shas political party, Rabbi Yosef is seen as a prime mover in improving the status of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in the State of Israel.^ Similarly, the Shas party in Israel is not a marginal political entity either.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ He is the former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel and also the current spiritual leader of the Shas political party in the Israeli Knesset.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The spiritual leader of Shas is Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, pictured in his colorful outfit.
  • Would you buy a used car from this man? 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC mondoweiss.net [Source type: General]

He believes that voting in parliamentary elections and participating in Israeli politics is the key to such improvements. .Through his position with Shas, he has become a significant — and controversial — figure in Israeli politics.^ He is the former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel and also the current spiritual leader of the Shas political party in the Israeli Knesset.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

Contents

Biography

Early life

.Ovadia Yosef was born in Basra, Iraq, but moved to Jerusalem with his family in 1924, when he was four years old.^ Ovadia Yosef condemned US President Barack Obama and other western leaders for pressuring Israel to freeze construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Another 194,000 live in the disputed area of East Jerusalem, where, according to Ovadia Yosef’s dream, no Arabs—and no foreigners at all—should reside.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Posted in politics • Tags: Israel , Jerusalem , Jewish , Jewish Supremacism , Obama , Ovadia Yosef , Pierce , politics , Tel Aviv • Top Of Page Write a comment .
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

.In his teens, he entered Porat Yosef Yeshiva, where he advanced to the highest shiur taught by the rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Ezra Attiya.^ When Yosef and his entourage finally managed to enter the arena, at 10:45 P.M., young men pushed forward in an attempt to kiss the hem of the aging rabbi’s garment.
  • Ovadia Yosef » Nationalist Coalition Blog 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC ncoal.com [Source type: Original source]

[citation needed]
A famous story retells how Rabbi Attiya was instrumental in keeping the young Ovadia in the Torah world. .At one point, the diligent young scholar suddenly stopped coming to yeshiva for several days.^ Rav Binyamin Forst (The Laws of Niddah p.34) writes, "Many women do not suddenly stop staining on the fifth day.
  • Halacha File: Orthodox Infertility - Part 1 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC koltorah.org [Source type: Original source]

Rabbi Attiya paid a visit to his home and was shocked by the poverty he saw there. Ovadia's father explained that he ran a small grocery and needed the boy to work for him. Rabbi Attiya attempted to convince the father of the importance of Torah learning, to no avail. The next morning, when the father entered his store, he found Rabbi Attiya standing there, wearing a work apron. The rosh yeshiva explained that he had come to the store early that morning when Ovadia was opening up. He had told the youth that he had found a substitute worker who would work without pay, and sent him back to yeshiva. "You said that you needed someone to help and could not afford to pay. I am that someone. Your son's learning is more important than my time!" he told the father, who finally conceded and allowed his son to continue learning in yeshiva.[2]
Ovadia received semicha (rabbinical ordination) at the age of 20. He became long-time friends with Rabbi Ben Zion Abba Shaul, who began his yeshiva career in the same class and who advanced to become rosh yeshiva of Porat Yosef in 1983.[citation needed]

Residing in Egypt

In 1947, Yosef was invited to Cairo by Rabbi Aharon Choueka, the founder of yeshiva 'Ahavah VeAchvah', to teach in this yeshiva.[3] Rabbi Yosef also served, at the request of Rabbi Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel, as head of the Cairo beth din (rabbinical court). Yosef found that religious observance among both the Jewish community at large, and its leadership, including the local Rabbis, was lax. One of the major Halachic issues was the lack of any organised system of Kashrut, which led to conflict between him and other members of the community. Following these events Yosef resigned from his position, two years after having arrived in Cairo. Approximately one year after his resignation, he returned to Israel.[citation needed]

Return to Israel

.After returning to Israel, Yosef studied at midrash "Bnei Zion", then headed by Rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank.^ Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Pray for soldiers' well-being in synagogue - Haaretz - Israel News .
  • Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Pray for soldiers' well-being in synagogue - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

^ The husband, lover, son or daughter will never come home again.  In Israel, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has robbed them of even that solace.
  • Israel News: Ovadia Yosef and the lament of a bereaved parent 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC zionism-israel.com [Source type: Original source]

He also served on the rabbinical court in Petah Tikva. His boldness as a posek was already revealed in his first term as a dayan when, at the age of 30, he wrote a Halachic ruling permitting Yibbum instead of Halitza which contradicted a religious ruling made by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel a year earlier which had forbidden Yibbum.[citation needed]
In 1951-1952 (תשי"ב by the Jewish calendar) he published his book on the laws of Pesach titled 'Chazon Ovadia.' .The book won much praise and received the approval of, among others, the two Chief Rabbis of Israel at that time, Rabbi Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel and Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog.^ Ms Livni, who won by only 431 votes out of 40,000 cast, wasted no time in reaching out to other members of the coalition that has ruled Israel since May 2006.
  • 40 days for Livni, wilderness for Olmert 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.theage.com.au [Source type: News]

Two years later he founded 'Or HaTorah' Yeshiva for gifted Sephardic Yeshiva students. This Yeshiva (which did not remain open for long) was the first of many which he established, later with the help of his sons, in order to facilitate Torah education for Sephardic Jews and establish the leadership of the community for future generations. In 1953-4 (תשי"ד) and 1955-6 (תשט"ז) he published the first two volumes of his major work 'Yabia Omer', which also received much praise. .In a letter which appears in the foreword of the second volume, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach praised Rabbi Yosef as "one of the greatest Torah [scholars] which have risen among Israel in the last [few] generations" - an extraordinary statement given that Yosef was then only in his mid-thirties.^ When Canadian establishment types signed a statement last week supporting Israel's right to self-defence -- it appeared in several newspapers as a full-page ad, including this paper -- some showbiz personalities declined.
  • Israel on starboard tack 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.canada.com [Source type: News]

^ "Whoever votes for Lieberman gives strength to Satan," offered the spiritual leader of Sephardic Jewry, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, in his weekly sermon last Saturday.
  • Israel on starboard tack 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.canada.com [Source type: News]

^ My only doubt is that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is reportedly unwell and he may want to force early elections for reasons associated with that," Professor Galnoor said.
  • 40 days for Livni, wilderness for Olmert 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.theage.com.au [Source type: News]

.In 1970, by which time 5 volumes had been published, Rabbi Yosef was awarded the Israel Prize for Torah literature for this work.^ Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Pray for soldiers' well-being in synagogue - Haaretz - Israel News .
  • Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Pray for soldiers' well-being in synagogue - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

[citation needed]
Between 1958 and 1965 Yosef served as a dayan in the Jerusalem district Beth Din. He was then appointed to the Supreme Rabbinical Court of Appeals in Jerusalem, eventually becoming the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Tel Aviv in 1968, a position which he held until his election as Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel in 1973.[citation needed]

Chief Rabbi of Israel

.In 1973 Yosef was elected the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel by a majority of 81 to 68 votes, replacing Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim.^ "Whoever votes for Lieberman gives strength to Satan," offered the spiritual leader of Sephardic Jewry, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, in his weekly sermon last Saturday.
  • Israel on starboard tack 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.canada.com [Source type: News]

His candidacy was criticised by some as he was competing against an incumbent Chief Rabbi. The election process was characterised by tension and political controversy because of the Psak Din of the Brother and Sister and tense relations between Rabbi Yosef and Rabbi Nissim. The tension between the two Rabbis began in the 1940s, when Rabbi Yosef came out openly against the Halachic rulings of the Ben Ish Chai. In the same election, Rabbi Shlomo Goren was chosen as the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel. The relationship between the two Rabbis was difficult. .The Council of the Chief Rabbinate was controlled by Rabbi Goren, and for some time Rabbi Yosef decided that, as a consequence, there was no point in attending its sessions.^ Lachamnovich said that as a result, the party's spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, decided not to continue coalition talks.
  • Gulfnews: Israel nears early elections as coalition talks fail 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.gulfnews.com [Source type: News]

During his years as Chief Rabbi, Yosef dealt with a variety of important social and Halachic issues (See: Halakhic Authority below).[citation needed]
He currently lives in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Har Nof.[citation needed]

Halakhic authority

Rabbi Yosef is generally considered one of the leading living halakhic authorities, particularly for Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews ("Maran").
Some of his more famous legal rulings include:
  • That it is legitimate and permissible to give territory from the Land of Israel in order to achieve a genuine peace. When the Oslo Accords were followed by an intifada, this opinion was later retracted.[4]
  • .
  • That it is permissible for a Jew to marry a Karaite.
  • That a woman should not wear a wig (sheitel) as a form of head covering, but should wear headscarves instead.^ The unusual request was made after pro-Palestinian groups in France lobbied for the release of the Palestinian, whose imprisonment has been likened there to the captivity of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.
    • France to Israel: Free man who plotted attack on Ovadia Yosef - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

    (According to Jewish Law, Jewish married women must cover their hair in public for reasons of modesty). Many Ashkenazi Jews have the practice of wearing sheitels, while some wear a covering on top of the sheitel.

Political activity

Government influence

Ovadia Yosef, 2007
In 1990, Rabbi Yosef used his position as Shas spiritual leader to pressure Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir into agreeing to hold negotiations with Arab states for a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Shamir, a member of the Likud Party, refused to make any commitments.
According to one biography of the rabbi, Ben Porat Yosef, the relationship between the two had never been comfortable because of Shamir's unstudious personality. As a way of gaining a character analysis of politicians, Rabbi Yosef had invited both Shamir and Shimon Peres to learn Talmud with him. While Peres proved an engaging and fluid learner, Shamir was stoic toward the material, a trait that led Rabbi Yosef to instead use one of Shamir's cabinet members, Housing and Construction Minister David Levy, as his key partner in dealing with the Likud. Levy had a relatively warm relationship with the rabbi due to his moderate approach to Israel's security and foreign affairs policies, his charismatic personality, and his connection with Sephardi traditions (Levy, a Moroccan, was the highest ranking Sephardi politician in the 1980s).
In 1990, Rav Yosef pulled Shas out of the coalition with the Likud and attempted to form a partnership with Peres's left-centre Labour Party. .The bold move, engineered but opposed by Shas chairman Aryeh Deri, backfired when the highly respected Ashkenazi rosh yeshiva (dean) of the Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, Rabbi Elazar Shach (who subsequently founded the Degel HaTorah party) fiercely commanded Rabbi Yosef to return Shas to the coalition with the Likud.^ French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner appealed to Israel for clemency for a French-Palestinian who was jailed for his role in plotting the assassination of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
  • France to Israel: Free man who plotted attack on Ovadia Yosef - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

.During this time, Rabbi Yosef was severely criticised by other major members of the Haredi religious community in Israel, particular the Ashkenazic Jews who generally sided with the Likud and the right in opposition to the perceived secularist tendencies of Labour and the left.^ French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner appealed to Israel for clemency for a French-Palestinian who was jailed for his role in plotting the assassination of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
  • France to Israel: Free man who plotted attack on Ovadia Yosef - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

^ In 2005, he was arrested after co-conspiring with others to assassinate Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
  • France to Israel: Free man who plotted attack on Ovadia Yosef - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

The failure of the scheme, today called the "the dirty trick", or maneuver,[5] was responsible for Peres' downfall as leader of Labour, and his 1991 defeat in internal elections to former Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Since the 1980s, Rabbi Yosef has approved the participation by Shas in most Israeli governments, except for the last two governments of Ariel Sharon since January 2003. In the last Knesset, Shas was one of the few parties to have been in the opposition for the duration of that Knesset's term, along with the leftist Meretz party and the Arab factions Ra'am (United Arab List), Hadash, and Balad. This was largely because of the rise of Shinui to the powerful third party position, a position that was previously held by Shas. Shinui demanded to create a government without Shas.
.In the 2007 Israeli Presidential election, Rabbi Yosef endorsed his long-time friend Shimon Peres, who ultimately won the election due in part to the support of Shas's 12 MKs.^ French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner appealed to Israel for clemency for a French-Palestinian who was jailed for his role in plotting the assassination of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
  • France to Israel: Free man who plotted attack on Ovadia Yosef - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

[6]

Cultural influence

In a 2004 article by Maariv,[7] Rabbi Yosef was mentioned as one of the most influential rabbis in Israel. He was described as:
.The spiritual leader of Shas.^ The spiritual leader of Shas is Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, pictured in his colorful outfit.
  • Would you buy a used car from this man? 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC mondoweiss.net [Source type: General]

The man most identified with the honorific title maran. He has considerable political strength, mainly because he controls the Knesset members of Shas.
However, the key influence of Rabbi Yossef is in the arena of Judaism, specifically in halakha.
In addition, he has great influence in teaching and endowing of his halakhic way. Jewish prayers according to Yosef's verdicts are the most common in Sephardic synagogues, and his halakhic books gained circulation beyond compare. Almost no one disputes the fact he is a Torah phenomenon, one of a kind. Despite this, he is "field rabbi" and goes down to the common people with countless sermons.

Position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Despite his controversial public comments, Rabbi Yosef has long been a distinguished rabbinical authority advocating peace negotiations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and has done so since the late 1980s. His main justification is the halakhic principle of Pikuach Nefesh, in which all the Jewish commandments (excluding adultery, idolatry, and murder) are put on hold if a life is put in danger. .Using an argument first articulated by the late American rabbinical leader Joseph Soloveitchik, Rabbi Yosef claims that the Arab-Israeli conflict endangers human lives, thereby meeting the above criteria and overruling the priority of commandments pertaining to settling the land of Israel.^ French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner appealed to Israel for clemency for a French-Palestinian who was jailed for his role in plotting the assassination of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
  • France to Israel: Free man who plotted attack on Ovadia Yosef - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

[8] Therefore, Israel is permitted — even obligated if saving lives is a definitive outcome — to make serious efforts to reach a peace settlement as well as to make arrangements to properly protect its citizens.[9][10] Rabbi Yosef first applied the Pikuach Nefesh principle to Israel's conflicts with its neighbors in 1979, when he ruled that this argument granted Israel authority to return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. Some claimed, however, that the ruling was also motivated by Rabbi Yosef's desire to oppose his Ashkenazi colleague, Rabbi Shlomo Goren.[11]
.Using this precedent, Rabbi Yosef instructed Shas to join Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's government coalition, and later that of Ehud Barak as well.^ Sarkozy's letter was delivered to the prime minister's bureau in Jerusalem on July 30 by way of the Israeli embassy in Paris just a few days after a similar letter was sent by Kouchner to Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
  • France to Israel: Free man who plotted attack on Ovadia Yosef - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

^ French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner appealed to Israel for clemency for a French-Palestinian who was jailed for his role in plotting the assassination of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
  • France to Israel: Free man who plotted attack on Ovadia Yosef - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

However, Shas abstained on Oslo I and voted against the Oslo II agreement. Furthermore, as Oslo stalled and relations between Israelis and Palestinians began to deteriorate, and particularly following the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Rabbi Yosef and the party pulled "rightward", supporting the Likud.
In 2005, Rabbi Yosef repeatedly condemned the Gaza Disengagement. He argued that he was opposed to any unilateral action that occurred outside the framework of a peace agreement. Rabbi Yosef again cited the principle of Pikuach Nefesh, saying that empowering the Palestinians without a commitment to end terror would result in threatening Jewish lives, particularly in areas near Gaza in range of Qassam rocket attacks.[12] In contrast to some of his rabbinical colleagues, such as Rabbi Yosef Sholom Eliashiv, Rabbi Yosef refused to entertain the idea of holding a referendum on the disengagement, and instructed his MKs to vote against the plan when it came up in the Knesset.
Rabbi Yosef still maintains that Pikuach Nefesh applies to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and supports negotiations with the Palestinians. However, he no longer appears totally convinced that diplomacy with the present leadership can necessarily end the violence. Some media analysts have suggested that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may be able to convince the rabbi to sign on to further unilateral actions by the government if concerted efforts toward negotiation fail.[13]

Criticism and Controversy

.Both during and after his term as Chief Rabbi, and continuing today, there is much criticism of Ovadia Yosef.^ In 2005, he was arrested after co-conspiring with others to assassinate Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
  • France to Israel: Free man who plotted attack on Ovadia Yosef - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

^ Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Rabbi Ovadia Yosef .
  • France to Israel: Free man who plotted attack on Ovadia Yosef - Haaretz - Israel News 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.haaretz.co.il [Source type: News]

Critics have questioned his theodicy, his halakhic rulings, and actions as spiritual leader of Shas.

Assassination attempt

In April 2005, Israeli security services arrested three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who had been observing Rabbi Yosef in public and were held on the suspicion of intended murder.[14] One, Musa Darwish, was convicted on 15 December 2005 of Yossef's attempted murder and of throwing firebombs at vehicles on the Jerusalem-Ma'aleh Adumim road. He was sentenced to twelve years in prison and three years probation.[15]

Awards

In 1970, Rabbi Yosef was awarded the Israel Prize, for Rabbinical literature.[16]

Published works

Among Rabbi Yosef's earliest works was a detailed commentary on the Ben Ish Chai titled Halikhot Olam. He was asked to finish the commentary Kaf Ha'Chaim by Rabbi Yaakov Chaim Sofer after the author's death. Two sets of Rabbi Yosef's responsa have been published, Yabbia Omer and Yechaveh Da'at (both titles are references to Psalm 19). His responsa are noted for citing almost every source regarding a specific topic and are often referred to simply as indices of rulings. There is also another series of books under the title of Chazon Ovadia (not to be mistaken with the original books which were responsa on Passover), which he has written laws concerning the sabbath, holidays and other topics.
Rabbi Yosef has printed a commentary on the Mishnah tractate Pirkei Avot ("Ethics of the Fathers") under the title, Anaf Etz Avot, and Maor Israel, a commentary on various parts of the Talmud. His son, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, has published a widely-read codification of Rabbi Yosef's rulings entitled Yalkut Yosef. Another son, Rabbi David Yosef, has printed various siddurim and liturgy according to Rabbi Yosef's rulings, and another halachic compendium entitled Halachah Berurah.

Secondary Works

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1239710806422&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
  2. ^ Frand, Yissocher. "Internet Parsha Sheet on Vayechi," 23 December 2004.
  3. ^ Minhat Aharon, Y. Choueka and Haym Sabato (Eds.), Jerusalem, 1980, pp. 15-32.
  4. ^ Settlement Timeline, Foundation for Middle East Peace
  5. ^ Rabbi Schach - a man of wars and battles by Haaretz, 2001
  6. ^ Yishai tells Peres: Rabbi Ovadia has decided to support you for president Haaretz, 4 June 2007
  7. ^ Israel's most influential Rabbis by Maariv 12 August 2004 (Hebrew)
  8. ^ Interpretations of Jewish Tradition on Democracy, Land and Peace by Jerusalem Letter/Viewpoints October 2, 2000
  9. ^ Rav Ovadia Yossef. "Ceding Territory of the Land of Israel in Order to Save Lives", Tehumim Vol. 10, 1989
  10. ^ Rav Ovadia Yossef. "Ceding Territory of the Land of Israel in Order to Save Lives", Crossroads: Halacha and the Modern World Vol. 3, 1990
  11. ^ Shas: The Haredi-Dovish Image in a Changing Reality by Israel Studies Vol. 5, issue 2 2000
  12. ^ Engaging Disengagement- Knesset Faction Positions on the Disengagement by the Jewish Agency
  13. ^ Planning for Jerusalem in a Changing Political World by Foundation for Middle East Peace April 5, 2006
  14. ^ PFLP members held in plot to assassinate Rabbi Ovadia Yossef Haaretz 18 April 2005 (English)
  15. ^ East J'lem man gets 12 years in jail for plotting to kill Shas spiritual leader by Haaretz December 15, 2005
  16. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1970 (in Hebrew)". http://cms.education.gov.il/EducationCMS/Units/PrasIsrael/Tashkag/Tashlab_Tashkag_Rikuz.htm?DictionaryKey=Tashal. 

External links

Preceded by
Yitzhak Nissim
Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel
Ovadia Yosef

1973–1983
Succeeded by
Mordechai Eliyahu

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The neutrality of this article is disputed.
Please see discussion on the talk page.
.Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (born 1920) is a former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel.^ Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (born 1920) is a former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel.

^ Rabbi Ovadia Yosef 's racist remarks .

^ Shas Rabbi Ovadia Yosef 17 Sephardi ultra-Orthodox.

.He is highly revered in the religious world, especially in the Sephardi and Mizrahi communities for his erudition and Torah scholarship.^ At the rally, Shas officials unveiled several new slogans connecting the party to the Torah, the Sephardi world, helping the poor, and identifying with communities in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip.
  • The JPost Special - ELECTIONS 2003 : ISRAEL DECIDES 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC info.jpost.com [Source type: Original source]

Sourced

.
  • Saving a life overrides territories.^ All Ovadia Yosef Quotations: Saving a life overrides territories.

    ^ Saving a life overrides territories.

  • It is forbidden to be merciful to them. .You must send missiles to them and annihilate them.^ You must send missiles to them and annihilate them.
    • Letters: Obama v. the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran - Salon 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC letters.salon.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
    • Rabbi calls for annihilation of Arabs! [Archive] - Forums of Pravda.Ru 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC engforum.pravda.ru [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    .They are evil and damnable.^ They are evil and damnable."
    • Letters: Obama v. the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran - Salon 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC letters.salon.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    ^ They are evil and damnable," he was quoted as saying in a sermon delivered on Monday to mark the Jewish festival of Passover.
    • Rabbi Yosef and Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC shariati.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
    • Rabbi calls for annihilation of Arabs! [Archive] - Forums of Pravda.Ru 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC engforum.pravda.ru [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    ^ They are evil and damnable,” ~ Rabbi Ovadia Yosef .
    • Quote: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Incites Against Arabs | Islam And The West 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC islam-west.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    .[…] The Lord shall return the Arabs' deeds on their own heads, waste their seed and exterminate them, devastate them and vanish them from this world.^ The Lord shall return the Arabs’ deeds on their own heads, waste their seed and exterminate them, devastate them and banish them from this world.
    • Quote: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Incites Against Arabs | Islam And The West 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC islam-west.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    ^ The Lord shall return the Arabs' deeds on their own heads, waste their seed and exterminate them Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Rabbi Yosef is one of the most powerful religious figures in Israel, He is known for his outspoken comments and has in the past referred to the Arabs as "vipers".
    • Rabbi Yosef and Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC shariati.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
    • Rabbi calls for annihilation of Arabs! [Archive] - Forums of Pravda.Ru 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC engforum.pravda.ru [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    ^ A person of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's stature must refrain from acrid remarks such as these Israeli Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit "The Lord shall return the Arabs' deeds on their own heads, waste their seed and exterminate them, devastate them and vanish them from this world," he said.
    • Rabbi Yosef and Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC shariati.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
    • Rabbi calls for annihilation of Arabs! [Archive] - Forums of Pravda.Ru 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC engforum.pravda.ru [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    .
    • Undated sermon calling for the annihilation of Arabs; a Shas spokesman stated Yosef only meant "Arab murderers and terrorists"
    • "Rabbi calls for annihilation of Arabs", news.bbc.co.uk, BBC News, 10 April 2001.^ Rabbi calls for annihilation of Arabs!
      • Rabbi calls for annihilation of Arabs! [Archive] - Forums of Pravda.Ru 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC engforum.pravda.ru [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

      ^ Shas spokesman, Yitzhaq Suderi defended the rabbi, saying his remarks referred only to "Arab murderers and terrorists" and not the Arab people as a whole.
      • Rabbi Yosef and Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC shariati.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
      • Rabbi calls for annihilation of Arabs! [Archive] - Forums of Pravda.Ru 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC engforum.pravda.ru [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

      ^ Yitzhaq Suderi a spokesperson of the Shas Party claims he only meant Arab murderers and terrorists .
      • Quote: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Incites Against Arabs | Islam And The West 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC islam-west.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

      .URL accessed on 2007-09-23.
  • There was a tsunami and there are terrible natural disasters, all of this because of too little Torah study.^ Yosef also said recent natural disasters were the result of a lack of Torah study and that Katrina's victims suffered "because they have no God," singling out black people.
    • Daimnation!: Beyond disgusting 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.damianpenny.com [Source type: News]

    ^ Fast of the firstborn : According to one opinion cited by R. Yosef Karo, because the fast is postponed, it is postponed altogether and therefore, according to the Sefardic custom, there is no need to fast at all.
    • http://www.sassds.org/5768_Pesach.html 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.sassds.org [Source type: Original source]

    .Where there is Torah it sustains the world.^ One may also ask, “How many times may one be reincarnated?” If limitless times, there is no future world, no reward, and no punishment, clearly against the Torah.
    • Reincarnation 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.mesora.org [Source type: Original source]

    There are negros there [in New Orleans]. Negros will study Torah? Let's bring them a tsunami, drown them. Hundreds of thousands were left without a shelter. Tens of thousands died. .All of this is because they have no God.^ "When I hear all the attacks, I realize that these people can't contend with us because of their fear and panic, so they are resorting to mudslinging," he said.
    • http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3668135,00.html 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.ynet.co.il [Source type: News]

    ^ Fast of the firstborn : According to one opinion cited by R. Yosef Karo, because the fast is postponed, it is postponed altogether and therefore, according to the Sefardic custom, there is no need to fast at all.
    • http://www.sassds.org/5768_Pesach.html 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC www.sassds.org [Source type: Original source]

    .

Jewish law

.
  • They don't observe the Sabbath, they don't observe the Torah, they don't pray, they don't put on phylacteries every day.^ Nobody is spared by the nonsensical bile of this old man, According to him, leftists should be hanged, Arabs are animals, and now he claims that our soldiers were killed because they are sinners:   "Should it come as a surprise that soldiers are killed in war," asked the rabbi, "when they do not observe Shabbat or the Torah, when they do not pray each day, or put on tefillin?
    • Israel News: Ovadia Yosef and the lament of a bereaved parent 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC zionism-israel.com [Source type: Original source]

    ^ Some women think that every one of these is a prohibited stain and thus do not begin the seven clean days when they are in fact permitted to do so”.
    • Halacha File: Orthodox Infertility - Part 1 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC koltorah.org [Source type: Original source]

    ^ "Should it come as a surprise that soldiers are killed in war," asked the rabbi, "when they do not observe Shabbat or the Torah, when they do not pray each day, or put on tefillin?
    • Israel News: Ovadia Yosef and the lament of a bereaved parent 16 September 2009 0:00 UTC zionism-israel.com [Source type: Original source]

    Is it any wonder that they're killed? It's no wonder. May the Almighty have mercy on them and bring them back to religion.

External links

Wikipedia
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Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 14, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Ovadia Yosef, which are similar to those in the above article.








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