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Monday, August 30, 2010

Whom do You Have in Mind When Saying שיתמו?

Just about everyone in the media is blasting the פאר הדור - Rav Ovadia Yosef, Shlit"a for a statement he said against "Abu Mazen and these Palestinians". Unjustifiably, in my opinion.

(Click here to hear the audio of the "offensive" line.)

Can everyone take a step back for a second and realize what exactly was said?
Rav Ovadia, Shlit"a, was giving a Shiur in Halacha regarding the Simanim on Rosh Hashana.  No less than three of the Simanim on Rosh Hashana deal with getting rid of our enemies:
The Yehi Ratzon for dates is:
יהי רצון...שיתמו אויבינו ושונאינו וכל מבקשי רעתינו
May it be Your will....that our enemies and haters and all those who seek us harm should cease to exist.
The Yehi Ratzon for leek is:
יהי רצון...שיכרתו אויבינו ושונאינו וכל מבקשי רעתינו
May it be Your will....that our enemies and haters and all those who seek us harm should be cut off.
The Yehi Ratzon for "Silka" (beets or spinach) is:
יהי רצון...שיסתלקו אויבינו ושונאינו וכל מבקשי רעתינו
May it be Your will....that our enemies and haters and all those who seek us harm should be removed [from the world].

Now, let me ask you a question:
Who in the world would be considered "our enemies and haters and all those who seek us harm"?
I could think of many nations, but one close one in particular who has been at the forefront of seeking us harm in the past century is the Palestinians and their leadership.

Abu Mazen, an unrepentant Holocaust-denier and unrepentant former terrorist should be near or at the top of the list. His willingness to conduct "peace negotiations" doesn't mean a thing. He has yet to recognize Israel, which should be a sign to all that he still dreams of its destruction, ח"ו.

Back to what Rav Ovadia, Shlit"a, was saying, he was giving us an example of what intent we should have when reciting these Yehi Ratzones. Other examples might include Nasralla, Ahmedinejad, and Meshal ימש"ו. That was Rav Ovadia's point. Is it more PC in G-d's eyes to ask for the destruction of Ahmedinejad than that of Abu Mazen? Hashem knows that the goal of both is the same - one is more open about it than the other in this world, so some people get offended by Rav Ovadia's statement, but in the Olam Ha'emet, Hashem knows that they both share the same goals - the destruction of Israel ל"ע. Rav Ovadia is more connected to the Olam Ha'emet than we are, so he's not worried about what's PC and what's not.

Regarding his asking for the destruction of "these Palestinians", he wasn't, of course, asking for the destruction of all Palestinians. The only nation we want eradicated is Amalek. Rather, he was referring to the Palestinians who were connected to Abu Mazen and his cronies. This is clear from the context for all who actually heard the audio.

There are those who agree with Rav Ovadia, but disagree with the fact that he said it publicly. To these people, I say: he was giving a halachic shiur, and in the course of halachic discourse, examples often need to be used. Would you have been so upset if he used "Ahmedinejad" instead? If not, see what I just wrote above why there is no difference. Perhaps, he was even using Abu Mazen as the bigger Hiddush (לאפוקי those with a PC-bent).

I didn't even mention the fact that the secular media is constantly watching Rav Ovadia "to see what he's going to say next" to try to break the next negative story against him. This is a given. Sometimes, Rav Ovadia gives them what they want to hear. The more PC your mindset is, the more of a shock his words will be to you, but know that his words are always rooted in Torah Hashkafa. If it shocks you, maybe you need a higher dose of Torah.

Update: See also Elder of Ziyon.


At Mon Aug 30, 12:23:00 PM 2010, Anonymous Aboutboul said...

Rav Ovadiah Yosef could be Moshiach ben Yosef. Ever thought of that.

At Mon Aug 30, 02:47:00 PM 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We also ask Hashem to destroy them when we open the door on Pesach.

And also 3 times a day in the Amida


At Mon Aug 30, 05:02:00 PM 2010, Anonymous Miko said...

I am waiting to see the effect of a curse like that from a big Tzaddik like Rav Ovadiah Yosef. If I were in Abbas' shoes, I would be shaking right now. Like they say, "Tzaddik Gozer, Ha-shem Mekayem." This is good news for Bene Yisrael.

At Mon Aug 30, 06:29:00 PM 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I read a post about Rav Ovadia's comment, I was wondering why did it take so long for a gadol to say something against these reshaim. But can someone explain to me why, in a recent article, it stated that Rav Ovadia is supporting direct talks with the PA when Netanyahu comes to US? I seems very hypocritical. Also, on Ynet news, Shas with Ovadia's haskama is willing to give Netanyau breathing space with regard to construction freeze. He demands that a construction must continue in Jerusalem but not in the West Bank. Please, can someone tell me what Rav ovadia is thinking, because as of now I have lost some respect for this rabbi.
Check out:

At Mon Aug 30, 09:33:00 PM 2010, Blogger Moriah said...

Am I wrong for feeling good to hear this news? After all, they have been openly calling for the destruction of Israel and "the Jews" for years. After hearing for years we've stolen their land, their kids have an equivalent to a Master's degree in hate.

At Tue Aug 31, 08:26:00 AM 2010, Anonymous Shmariya said...

It's about time someone spoke out against the enemies of Israel. Too many people close their eyes and are unwilling to speak out against the arabs because it is not politically correct. Israel should stand up to Obama and to the arabs once and for all. We know what peace with the arabs means. We have seen it with Lebanon, we have seen it with Gaza, we have seen it with Turkey, we have seen it with Jordan, and we have seen it with Egypt. So why negotiate with the arabs on something that belongs to us, and why compromise our security. Three cheers for Rav Ovadiah Yosef.

At Tue Aug 31, 10:05:00 AM 2010, Blogger yaak said...


Don't believe that article that comes from YNet. Here's the latest:

At Tue Aug 31, 02:47:00 PM 2010, Anonymous Benamou said...

Two men and two women shot and killed in Hebron by Palestinians on Tuesday. One of the women was pregnant. Rav Ovadiah Yosef was so right about these murderous animals. Netanyahu has just arrived in Washington for direct talks with Abbas. Netanyahu should fly back to Israel immediately. Hasn't he got the message yet? What's it going to take to get the message across to these fools?


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