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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rav Ovadia Yosef Fights Back

Maran Ateret Rosheinu Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a has acquired many enemies through the years.  His enemies have come from all different camps - Hiloni, Dati Le'umi, Ashkenazi Hareidi, and even Sepharadi camps.  In fact, when Rav Ovadia was younger, defenders of the Ben Ish Hai even burned Rav Ovadia's books when he wrote Halachic decisions against the Ben Ish Hai's Pesakim.  There are many who shame, mock, and humiliate him constantly.  If they only knew the punishment they will receive for doing this...

Rav Ovadia says nary a word about those people.  The gemara Shabbat 88b applies:
 ת"ר עלובין ואינן עולבין שומעין
חרפתן ואינן משיבין עושין מאהבה ושמחין
ביסורין עליהן הכתוב אומר ואוהביו
כצאת השמש בגבורתו 

But now, a certain rabbi has decided to not perform a wedding ceremony because the food was under Badat"z Beit Yosef (the Hechsher under Rav Ovadia Yosef's son, Moshe) - and not another hechsher.  (See the comments there for my own personal history with that rabbi, which is relevant to what's going on.)

It turns out (according to Kikar) that this rabbi is now traveling to Argentina to collect money for his Yeshiva and was scheduled to speak in a synagogue there.  The people in Argentina asked Rav Ovadia himself if they should allow him to speak in that synagogue or if they should donate to his cause.

Normally, Rav Ovadia would give a Pesak Halacha to help out rabbis who need help - even if they have come out against him.  This time, he made an exception, and told the people not to allow him to speak and not to donate to his Yeshiva.  He called this particular rabbi:

שונא תלמידי חכמים על חינם, ומחרף ומגדף על לא כלום
one who hates Torah scholars for nothing, and blasphemes [against them] for nought

Those who were there explained that this rabbi is different than others in that in his Yeshiva, he incites to degrade Torah scholars, and therefore, it is forbidden to donate to his institutions and one may not allow him to speak in the holy congregations.

May this rabbi do complete Teshuva and may we only have Ahdut in Kelal Yisrael, Amen.