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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Shas Confusion

I was going to write a post about how if I were Israeli, I would vote for the Shas party. There are very good reasons for voting for the Shas party - the best being that it is headed by a Gadol BeYisrael - Hacham Ovadiah Yosef, Shlit"a.

However, articles like this irk me to no end.

I'm still a Shas supporter, but hope Teshuva by some of its leadership is done quickly.


At Wed Feb 15, 12:50:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rav Ovadia indeed never changed his opinion. A true Gadol B'Yisrael would be able to acknowledge an abundantly clear mistake. I am glad you did not write the post you were going to write. Pray that Rav Ovadia will do Teshuva.

At Wed Feb 15, 01:48:00 PM 2006, Blogger yaak said...


1)Rav Ovadia didn't make a halachic mistake. The halacha is clear - Pikuah Nefesh pushes off everything else. I believe his assessment of the situation via IDF generals was mistaken. I believe that giving land to Palestinians is more of a Sakana than not doing so - even via a peace deal - since it's hard to trust those who yesterday wanted your head on a platter. Rav Ovadia was misled by IDF generals, and it could be that he still is being so misled.

2) I don't need to pray that Rav Ovadia will do Teshuva. First of all, as I said in #1, Rav Ovadia did not make a halachic mistake - just misinformed. Secondly, even if he erred, I wouldn't be Meharher Aharei Talmidei Hachamim. Thirdly, when I said I hope that some of their leadership does Teshuva, I was referring to their political leadership - not Has Veshalom, their rabbinical leadership.

3) Your implication that Rav Ovadia is not a Gadol BeYisrael is a)untrue b)disrespectful c)not wanted on this forum.

At Wed Feb 15, 07:38:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Wed Feb 15, 10:00:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First anonymous here. Let me say it more harshly. In my eyes, you do not really believe that the Torah is true. You seem to think Torah is a game of formalities.

Ovadia Yosef stepped out of the world of booka and assumed by free choice a national responsibility, to pasken on national matters. He failed utterly. He pasked Torah not according to Halacha, and that destroys the world. It has in fact destroyed many worlds. 1,300 dead and many more lives destroyed. Do not hide behind formalities of giving Kavod. To defend him or Shas is fighting the Truth.

At Wed Feb 15, 11:09:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yishai is a good person. He is just following orders and trapped in idol worship.

At Wed Feb 15, 11:43:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"1)Rav Ovadia didn't make a halachic mistake. The halacha is clear - Pikuah Nefesh pushes off everything else. I believe his assessment of the situation via IDF generals was mistaken."

Halachically, what you write is a smokescreen. The issue is whether halachically, giving away the land can save lives. I am sure you know the arguments, so I do not think you are being honest here.

Even if IDF generals misled Rav Ovadia, he is still responsible. If he did not know the facts, he should not have paskened. He should not have given Rabin his go-ahead.

But I do not believe for a second what you write. It was always clear that Olso was pushed by the haters of Torah, and the haters of those who settle the Land in Faith. Rav Ovadia did either not see this, or he did not want to see this. In either case, he is not a Gadol B'Yisrael. What adds to this is this Chutspa to keep iterating the mantra that the psak is still valid. Is there really no doubt at all, even after all what happened, that perhaps the other rabbanim were right after all? This attitude of refusing to ackowledge a mistake is shivering. To say "the psak is still valid" to a nation that suffered so much from it. I have no words. Such are the Midot of a Gadol B'Yisrael?

Please do not entice us further, Yaak. Leave the subject, or acknowledge, also you. Israeli politics is corrrupt. Avoda is corrupt, Kadima is corrupt, Likud is corrupt. A Chilul HaShem. The worst one is: Shas is corrupt, Aguda is corrupt. It is obvious. If Rav Ovadia were holy, he would not curse so much. If he were holy and only his party leaders need Teshuva, he would replace them.

Yaa, you are living in a dream, or you are part of the corruption.

At Thu Feb 16, 12:28:00 AM 2006, Blogger yaak said...

It's hard for me to even read what I see on the screen.
Such Bizayon of Talmidei Hachamim!

I think I'll leave the argument right there, so as not to further entice your vitriol against the biggest Gadol alive today.

In my eyes, you do not really believe that the Torah is true.

...let alone, saying stupid, idiotic statements like this.

I have Harata for bringing up the subject.

At Thu Feb 16, 01:15:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Relying on the JPOST for what Eli Yishai said is not reliable. All Israeli newspapers (even the JPOST) are biased and take statements out of context to further their agenda or to sell more papers/advertising. I'd wait for a direct word from Chacham Ovadia before making any conclusions/comments.

At Thu Feb 16, 01:24:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps do a mental exercise. Suppose back in 1993 you understood the horrendous mistake. You sent a letter to Rav Ovadia, you went to him, you went on your knees, saying "please, do not do this." And after that, two years in the Oslo war, you lost one of your best friends because an Arab near Tulkarm was shooting at cars. And then, three of you sons had to go into Tulkarm, Sh'chem, Jenin, Gaza, risking their lives, to clean up the mess. Imagine you are me...

At Thu Feb 16, 02:46:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can tell, even from a photo, if a person is holy. If a man is a true Gadol, his spiritual-ness would shine through in any photo.
This is not the case with Rav. Ovadia.
He does not appear to be a true spiritual person, from his photos.
I am always right about these things.
Shalom everyone.

At Thu Feb 16, 04:40:00 AM 2006, Blogger yaak said...

Relying on the JPOST for what Eli Yishai said is not reliable. All Israeli newspapers (even the JPOST) are biased and take statements out of context to further their agenda or to sell more papers/advertising. I'd wait for a direct word from Chacham Ovadia before making any conclusions/comments.
You're right. Thank you for being a voice or reason here.

At Thu Feb 16, 04:48:00 AM 2006, Blogger yaak said...

To the commenter who wanted me to do the mental exercise:

I can sympathize with what you're going through. I really can. Just read my original post.

However, to put the blame on Hacham Ovadia for a halachic ruling that he considered to be correct is way beyond the pale.

That said, let's hope the party understands what's at stake in the upcoming elections.

At Thu Feb 16, 09:29:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems a little too easy to shift the blame and say that Rav Yosef was "misled." How was he misled, when many lesser people were not? All that Torah couldn't help him see through the foolishness? Why should anyone need generals to explain the situation anyway? At its core it's not some specific military issue. It's about whether appeasement works, and particularly whether it works when dealing with very hateful and immoral enemies with illegitimate claims. I'm sure Rav Yosef what led up to the Holocaust, and I'm sure he knows the nature of the "Palestinians." It just doesn't add up.

I don't understand exactly what irks you. What Eli Yishai said in the article was agreed upon by Rav Yosef. If the latter doesn't have to do teshuva, why should the former? Couldn't he have also been misled? Furthermore, if you're against giving land to the Arabs, why would you vote for Shas? That wasn't just a slip of the tongue on Yishai's part, that's the party platform. On this immensely major issue, they're holding the same as Kadima and Likud and Labor. They all want to give in the Arabs, just to different degrees and at different paces. They actually think they can continue and encourage the process and then stop it at a certain point, as if there isn't going to be another govt. after them to give away what they were trying to hold on to! Israel's on a roll right now with this appeasement, and we need a govt. that will not just appease differently, but do something really different and halt the process in its tracks and reverse it, and show the Arabs that their terrorism is futile.

At Fri Feb 17, 12:03:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yaak, I saw you started to learn Em HaBanim Smeichah. I bless you that you will learn it very well. The rabbinical support for Oslo and Hitnatkut is a Hemshech of something, Yaak. We have to face it in order to fix it.

At Fri Feb 17, 10:35:00 AM 2006, Blogger yaak said...

Josh R.,
I'm torn between keeping Sheleimut Ha'aretz on the one hand and Yahadut Ha'aretz on the other.
In keeping Yahadut Ha'aretz, there's no one better than Shas. And at that, Eli Yishai is doing a masterful job. You may disagree, but this is where I stand.
I do consider Sheleimut Ha'aretz vitally important, but if the people aren't keeping Judaism the correct way, what good is it? That's why we need a party who will stand up for what's right in Judaism, while at the same time holding dear all of Eretz Yisrael. Shas has some improvement to do in the latter, but I believe it's doing what it thinks is right.

You are way wrong to say that "they're holding the same as Kadima, Likud, and Labor". The rabbis of Shas have a deep deep love of Eretz Yisrael - much more than those in the other parties mentioned. They have a different philosophy of how to deal with the Arabs which is sometimes at odds with my own. (It's more of a Hareidi non-zionist philosophy which doesn't believe the state of Israel is the precursor towards redemption, which definitely has Torah-based backing, albeit not my way of looking at it) However, you cannot equate them with Kadima et al. Not in the slightest.

At Sat Feb 18, 10:51:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There can be no opposition between Torah and Shleimut HaAretz. If there seems to be, look for the error.

Who did not correct his mistake will repeat it. Shas is obviously lining up with Kadima.

At Sat Feb 18, 06:26:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps you misunderstood me. In equating the parties I was referring only to what I mentioned, i.e., wanting to give the Arabs land. I was not equating the philosophies or feelings behind it, which I know vary considerably. Unfortunately though, it really doesn't make a difference to the Arabs if you feel good or bad when you appease them, if you're doing it for religious or secular purposes, or if you love the land or hate it. Whatever the motivation, the message in the end is "Kill Jews, get land!"

I understand your conflict of interests with who to vote for. No party is ever perfect. I wouldn't know who to vote for either.

At Sat Feb 18, 07:07:00 PM 2006, Blogger yaak said...

Josh, we agree more than we disagree. The main focus of our disagreement is whether or not to blame Rav Ovadia. See what I wrote as a comment to the next post.

At Sat Feb 18, 10:13:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not just the blame issue. Even though it is very hard for me, I am willing to consider the assumption that Rav Ovadia at the time really thought his psak was correct. What bothers me to the extreme, and also indicates that the assumption is not true, is the lack of remorse. This "we are always right" attitude. Despite such horrendous facts. It is shivering.

At Thu Feb 23, 01:48:00 PM 2006, Blogger Monarchist said...

"Pikuach Nefesh" does not push off everything else. In a war, people's lives are at risk, but there is such a thing as milchemet mitzvah. There are even cases when we are required to give up our lives rather than sin. Pikuach nefesh does not figure into that either. Please be accurate with these things.

Just a reminder. Everybody thinks his "gadol" is the greatest "gadol" of all, but keep in mind that there is no consensus today on who is or is not and respect all opinions, even those that disagree with you.

According to the Hebrew prophets, Am Israel will not accept one leader over them until Ben David comes. Til then...


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