Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rav Ovadia Prays for Mubarak and Explains Why

As a follow-up to the previous post, I've mentioned in the past how Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a had great respect for former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.  In a clip of a recent Shiur that can be read and heard on Kikar HaShabbat, Rav Ovadia explains why he respects him.

According to the Shiur, 28 years ago, the Egyptians wanted to build a road that passed through a Jewish cemetery, which included graves of great rabbis.  Rav Ovadia was then the Sephardic Chief Rabbi and wanted to stop this, so he went with R' Aryeh Deri to Cairo to see President Mubarak.  Rav Ovadia was greeted with tremendous respect and honor, he said.  He pleaded his case to President Mubarak, who granted his request to move the road despite it costing a lot more money.  There were some other secret requests that were granted as well.  Everything that was requested was granted, and he kept his promise in the end.

When they were done, President Mubarak had everyone leave the room and asked Rav Ovadia for a blessing.  Rav Ovadia blessed him with long days over his government.  The blessing was fulfilled as he ruled over 30 years.

Rav Ovadia continued and said that Mubarak brought honor to Egypt, prevented wars from occurring, and was an Oheiv Yisrael.  He concluded with a prayer for him to be found innocent in his trial and a Refuah Sheleima.

I'll just add that we now have a new interpretation of:

ויקם מלך חדש על מצרים אשר לא ידע את יוסף

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