Jerusalem: Rabbi Ovadiah Yoseph: Religious Extremists Desecrating The Name Of ‘Hashem’

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    The letter was posted by Israeli news site KikarJerusalem – In light of the horrific behavior that had transpired recently from certain extremist religious elements and subsequent inflammatory media coverage, Rabbi Ovadiah Yoseph, one of the leading sages of Israel and Torah luminaries in our generation, released the following statement:

    To our fellow Jewish brethren in every city, May Hashem be upon you to live,

    Regarding that which recently transpired in our land, where, to the consternation of the heart various elements have attempted to sully the reputation of the Torah of Israel with actions that may never be done, causing a public desecration of the Name of Heaven, with no heed paid to the consequences of their actions, they have had the audacity to knock down and embarrass people in public, to abuse, vilify and curse them, and the spirit of the sages are discomfited from them, therefore I have said,

    “This is not the time to be silent. I cannot abide to be silent of words.”

    Therefore, I hereby reveal my opinion, and to promulgate them in the public forum that this is not the way of the Holy Torah, for “her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace.”

    Our Rabbis have already warned of the severity of matters that lie between man and his fellow man, to the point where they have said that even Yom Kippur does not atone for sins between man and his fellow man. Our sages have already taught that it is preferable for a person to fling himself into a cauldron of fire rather than embarrass his friend publically.

    Go out and see what the Rambam has written (Hilchos Deos 6:3): It is incumbent upon each person to love each and every member of Klal Yisroel like his own flesh, as the verse states, “And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    He should honor his fellow the way he desires to be honored, and the wise person should hear and take a lesson.

    Our sages have warned (Yevamos 62b), that it is incumbent upon every person to love his wife like himself and to accord her greater honor than himself. He should speak to her gently and with a pleasant countenance (Rambam Hilchos Ishus 15:19). Similarly, it is upon a woman to honor her husband properly, he should be in her eyes like an honorable nobleman (Rambam Ishus 15:20). They should live together with love, brotherhood, peace, and friendship. Through this the Divine Presence will rest among them. Blessing and joy will be in their home. They will merit to raise their sons and daughters to Torah, to the wedding canopy, to Mitzvos and to good deeds.

    And in this I come to warn and caution, to all who are called by the name of Israel, not to attempt to test or take advantage of this difficult period, to stir and convince and to multiply disputes within our nation, to sow dissent and to split up brothers, for who who knows where it will lead? Behold, it was in the sin of baseless hatred that the Holy Temple was destroyed, and only with unbound love will it be rebuilt.

    My brethren, I ask of you, do not do evil, to disparage and knock down the honor of Torah and Judaism, for it is our life and the length of our days. It is the secret of our existence throughout all the years of our exile. It is upon us to honor each other, and to bring ever closer the hearts of mankind to our Father in heaven, and we must love truth and peace.

    May it be [His] will that peace and brotherhood return to dwell within our borders, ith abundant good, and the destructive Satan within and the verse shall be fulfilled within us, “Hashem will give strength to His nation, Hashem shall bless His nation with peace.”

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    54 COMMENTS

      • Boruch Hashem we such Gedolim like Harav Yosef! Unfortunately there are some people on this forum who think that they are holier than Harav Yosef, and have no problem just disparaging him as if he were their little brother.

        As I have mentioned in another post, I highly doubt that this letter will have any affect on the “zealots”, since they don’t listen to ANY Rabbonim, and for sure not to Harav Yosef, since he is….Sepharadi, but I guess that this letter was worth it so that at least we can improve in our own Ahavas Yisroel.

        • While you’re right, the “kanoim” (I hate to even sully the awesome actions of Pinchas by calling these hoodlums by the same title) will probably be unmoved by HaRav Yosef’s words, his words remind you and me to remain vigilant against sinas chinam wherever it dwells. Also, IY”H, it will help the non-chareidi world understand that the Sikrikim or any other “religious” thugs do not represent Torah Yiddishkeit.

          May those who rightly and courageously speak out against such chillul H’ be strengthened and may we all increase in ahavas Yisroel so we may merit the coming of Moshiach bimheirah b’yameinu!

      • Uh oh, he used the word “wife”, a reference to a female! How could he? Tzinus! Bas melech! Now holy innocent men will read that dread word and …

        Oh, wait, the word “husband” was used first, “wife” is at the back, so I guess it is ok.

      • This relates to what the Lubavitcher Rebbe said re increasing in acts of goodness and kindness so that we can bring Moshiach more quickly. He said all we have to do is be makebel pnei Moshiach. This is the avodah of our times. If we do what is ours to do, Hashem will do what is His to do, as the Rebbe said.

      • If a person is a “true chacham and tzadik” only due to a non religous poster in a forum, or indeed, due to public opinion, it does not say very much good about a godol or tzadik or manhig.

      • “so called extremists”? So they’re really NOT extremists, just simple Yidden trying to make Hashem happy?

        Wow, to think that I have been mistaken all this time!

    1. Bravo to This Rabbi because he also speaks up when the secular eat chazir and they are Mechalel Shabbos and they have gay parades IN Jerusalem and they force frum soldiers to hear women singing. So who really is making the Chillul Hashem I ask?????

      It seems to me that everyone is starting up with these Charaidim only because they are an easy target ( not that I agree with anything they are doing).

      How about all these hot shots start talking up where the real ongoing Chilul Hashem is taking place???

      • You are using the term chilul Hashem incorrectly. Only someone who is perceived as a shomer mitzvos can create a chillul Hashem. When a frum person does something wrong, he gives the Torah a bad name. When a chiloni does something wrong, it may be a crime, but it’s not a chilul Hashem.

      • Those transgressions are very bad, but they are not Chillul Hashem in its real sense. The secular jews’ behavior that you speak of is no more Chillul Hashem than it is Oina’ah, Hasagas Gvul or Loi sachroish shor vachamor, if you get my drift. Chareidim spitting at 8 year old girls, harassing and beating other nekeives, stoning cars, burning tires/garbage, shaking down businesses (the list goes on, unfortunately) in the name of Hashem – THAT is Chillul Hashem.

        I hope that by knocking down publicly posted comments such as our silly brother pipk11’s we make a Kiddush Hashem.

      • I try it slowly for you. Bein Odom L’Makom issues, such are eating chazir, can be forgiven by Hashem directly.

        Bein Odom L’Chaveiro CANNOT be forgiven by Hashem. One must ask mechilla. It’s a halacha m’fureshes.

        The real chillul Hashem is being addressed by Gedolim like Rav Yosef. However, I can tell that with your sarcasm toward Rav Yosef, you also denigrate talmidei chachomim. There is very little left to say to people with your crazy ideas.

        • Let ME try this real slowly for YOU. Selling chazer in Israel publicly and being mechalel Shabbos Publicly in a medinah that claims to be Jewish and connected with the Bible and publicly making of all things a parade to flaunt deviant behavior, according to the Torah demands public protestation that this behavior is unbecoming to a people who are a light unto the nations. At the very least to the same degree anyone would protest the behavior of these kitzoinim.

          Now was that slow enough for you??

          • Everything you say is correct. May I ask you – when in Jewish history was this not the case – where a segment of the Jewish population acted inappropriately? First Bais Hamikdush?, second bais hamikdush? in der alta heim? There was always chilonim albeit they had different labels. Yet we as a nation, we never reacted to that segment as these fanatic are reacting. Unfortunately, sad to say. If you look into the lives of these individual you will discover skeletons. There is a strong likelihood that the person who spat on the girl or the person who called and the female IDF soldier a whore behave the same toward the women in their lives. Don’t you think that the mothers of these children who were dressed up with yellow stars did not cry that their husbands were making them dress their children this way? Is this not abuse?
            In my opinion, the irrational behavior of these people is their way of crying out loud for help. They are unhappy with their lives and we need to actually help & support those who are willing to listen.

            • Unhappy with their lives??

              Free medical care, free dental care, government stipends for not even trying to support yourself, no responsibility to your country in exchange for the protection of the army, the navy, the air force, the fire department, the emergency health service, even the -shock – the police!, topped with the right to riot and spit (literally and figuratively) on and bite the hand that feeds you!

              Why should they be unhappy? They’ve got the entire country acting like an over indulgent rich shver! You and I and all of klal yisroel should have such tsaros!

      • To Mr. Pipk11, “seculars eating chazir”, being mechalel shabbos and forcing “frum soldiers to hear women singing” doesnt get nearly as much media as this has because and the world isn’t looking at those actions and saying “oh those Jews…”. Now you may wonder why it has gotten so much media. It’s not because theyre an easy target, but rather because they claim to be ultra-religious, but are acting in an irreligious and disrespectful manner. You have misused the term “Chilul Hashem” This statement is as much as it is for us as it is for goyim. Hopefully some more Rabbanim will come out with similar statements and then the media will get wind of it. When goyim hear that what these individuals are doing is not in line with the Torah, from respected religious Jewish leaders and Rabbanim, maybe they won’t be so quick to throw us ALL under the bus.

      • Herein lies the problem. It’s not a matter of hearing both sides and coming to a decision, When one sees Mechalel Shem Shomayim B’Farhesia (pictures don’t lie), it is incumbent upon ALL of us to repudiate it!
        I know that I don’t have to “understand” their point or see where they’re coming from to know a Bizayon when I see it.

      • Obviously!
        This is the way things work these days!
        This is truly horrific, however.
        People write letters and make an old Rabbi sign it. People threaten gedolim too!

    2. Good point!

      It is difficult to convey the beauty of this paragraph in English because its greatness lies in how it quotes from pessukim and tefillos, linking seemingly unconnected phrases to form a wonderful piece of prose.In English, it comes out as rather disjointed.

      Here is my attempt at its translation (I hope that the Rav will forgive me for its shortcomings):

      “I am looking for my brothers. Please my brothers do not do wrong, to insult and denigrate the glory of the Torah and Judaism, for it is our life and the length of our days, and it is the secret of our survival through all the years of our exile. It is incumbent upon us to respect one another, and to bring the hearts of people closer to our Father in Heaven. Truth and peace shall you love.”

    3. How come our leader and our mentor
      Hagaon hakadosh Reb chaim kanievsky shlita
      Did not come out against this
      What would the chazon ish do
      What would the satmar rav do
      What would the brisker rav do
      What would the chasam sofer do etc….
      They would have yelled at us for believing the media
      That wishes to see all yidiskeit gone

      And the proof is there are pictures of a hurt chareidish boy
      Who was punched and spit at , by the seculars
      But why was this not published with the same flamboyance

      • I will tell you why R’ Chaim Kanievski has not come out against the widespread haredi violence. It’s because he gets his information from askunim who tell him that this violence does not exist. R’ Chaim is a very great man, but he cannot possibly know the truth when everyone around him lies.

        • R.Chaim Kanievski is a TRUE Gadol, who would never say something he has not investigated personally. He knows who and what to believe and how to interpret everything correctly.
          Rav Steinman actually gave a scathing rebuke regarding the chilonim and their way of life in this story. It is a shame that this has not been reported here, or in media outlets.
          What’s it worth if the voice of the true gedolim is hushed up, and only every tom dick and harry who is tricked or misrepresented, or approves of incitement, recieves massive coverage and ceremony?

          • R. Chaim Kanievski is certainly a true gadol, an outstanding talmid chochom and tzadik, and we are fortunate to have him living in this generation.
            However, your assertion that he investigates everything personally is demonstrably false. R. Chaim signed a letter in support of the child molestor, Elior Chen. When Chen’s horrific crimes came to light and R. Chaim was asked about his signature on the letter, he replied that “he signs what his rebbes sign.” He put this response in writing and it can be seen on the web.
            This is why it does not surprise me at all when our gedolim fail to issue any condemnation of haredi hooliganism. The only information they recieve is from the askunim, who do not think that it’s an issue.
            Sad but true.

            • Agree. So does that mean that every communication that is signed by a Godol is really not necessarily from the Godol? Its only what the askonim decide to communicate? So basicly, we are guided by askonim.

    4. in todays Jewish week ,

      the belzer rebbie said or is quoted
      if there are those among us who believe they will spread the light of Judaism through violence they are mistaken”

      page 28

    5. Every Jew should follow in the ways of Rav Hagoan Ovadiah Yosef. He is surely the Gadol Hador and the manhig hador. I know that any statement he makes will have a Hashpaa Tovah on Klal Yisrael and the world.

    6. Unlike the title of this article, Rav Ovadia Yosef did not write: Religious Extremists Desecrating The Name Of ‘Hashem’.

      No where in his letter is there a mention of charedim kitzonim.

      Rav Yoseph condemns criminal ACTIONS, but does not condemn a specific PERSON or GROUP. Big difference. Because condemning religious extremists implies that charedim have a portion in the guilt, as does religioun. That is slander.

    7. This letter although nice words of musar did not in any way specify what is going on. Why do the gedolim hesitate in coming out straight forward and give their opinion as to the “specific” events?

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