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Monday, January 05, 2015

Special Beit Din: Excommunication for Anyone Releasing Degrading Recordings of Rav Ovadia ZT"L

Kikar reports:

Rav Yitzhak Yosef Shlit"a, Rav Shimon Ba'adani Shlit"a, and Rav Eliyahu Bakshi Doron Shlit"a have signed a letter that effectively excommunicates anyone releasing videos of Rav Ovadia ZT"L that are of a derogatory nature.

Here is the letter:

My translation:
13 Tevet 5775

We have gathered here after the grave degradation of the Torah against Maran - the head of all the children of the exile - Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef ZTVK"L - to warn and protest so that no man will dare publicize from now on tapes or recordings of Maran ZT"L that are not according to his honor and high stature.  And we say to all who have publicized [these recordings] in the past and plan to publicize them in the future, [as it says] "Be careful with the coals of the sages, whose bite is the bite of the fox and whose sting is the sting of the scorpion". And [it says] "All who deride the sages will have no cure to his wound."  And this is especially the case when dealing with the greatest of many generations - Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef ZTVK"L.

The Rambam in chapter 7 of Hilchot Talmud Torah writes that in a situation of public derision of a Torah sage, it is forbidden to forgive his honor, and if one does forgive, he is punished for this.

Therefore, we have gathered here to protest over the public derision of a Torah sage - and in the presence of 3 people as one - to place into excommunication anyone who dares from now on to publicize tapes or recordings like these.  And anyone who already publicized them should go to his holy grave and ask forgiveness and remove the post.  And [it says] "Yerushalayim was only destroyed because they derided Torah scholars in it."  And one should remove the harsh judgments from upon himself by requesting forgiveness with all one's heart and therefore love ye truth and peace.

And just as the Beit Din on earth has decreed this so, so too will the Beit Din in Heaven decree it so.

And we have come to sign:

[Rav] Eliyahu Bakshi Doron
[Rav] Yitzhak Yosef
[Rav] Shimon Ba'adani


At Mon Jan 05, 07:30:00 PM 2015, Anonymous shpeez said...

IMHO, Deri is dealing with the consequences of his own actions:

He should have listened to the Rebbe's brocha:

At Mon Jan 05, 08:52:00 PM 2015, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am so happy to read this. the tapes were shocking, (not proven true or otherwise in this era of modern technology) and the kind of behaviour i would expect to find among the non jews (being a noahide and living among the non jews and knowing how they can be or how i was before i became a noahide).

it was very disheartening and heart breaking to see this kind of exposure, just for political reasons. Having studied since around 1994 when the net first came to where i live, with orth rabbis, and works such as the guidance of the chofetz chaim , ramchal and others, i find it so hard to digest that jews can run down jews like the way they do in some blogs, comments, articles. even the greatest of sages walked away to avoid a quarrel or judging a fellow jew at great personal loss, if necessary.

and worse was when HR Ovadia passed away, the remarks about the holy gaon were atrocious.

my own orth r's and friends in ysr and outside, have spoken very well of r deri. and r yishai.
as a gentile i would not use some words in the comments i read on r deri on the results of a court other than the beith din or sanhedrin.

so what are the teachings of the chofetz chaim on loshon hara etc valued today in the eyes of his own people? or the guidance of the great sages on how one jew should behave towards another? as noahides we are taught about loshon hara and how rong it is to judge others, and the great sage chofetz chaim is much quoted to us. The implications are so great that it even puts the fear of G-d in the hearts of us gentiles.

the holy rava wrote: do not judge your enemies as you do not know their merits and do not judge your friends as you do not know their demerits.

non jews too have suffered under wrong leaders. non jews too have been horribly killed for their beliefs. sometimes its hard to face tragedies, but rather than point fingers at others and cry foul all the time, which is the non jewish way of life, we should look within ourselves and ask why Hashem used this particular correction'stick' on us. my rabbis teach me that Hashem has many sticks to use for correction, it can come in any form, but it comes only from Him. so we dont blame the stick. which is just a tool Hashem uses.

i really find it disheartening to read jews being called erev rav etc. do we know who they really are? My rabbis tell me no one knows actually who they are except Hashem. and that its very wrong to call any jew by that name. We must pray for every jew to return to Hashem and not judge him.

in this period of shovavim, atleast lets wisely use our words and perhaps this will bring help bring redemption to the jewish people and G-d willing to the whole world. we non jews look to the jews to be the light to all nations as Hashem promised us.

At Tue Jan 06, 12:58:00 AM 2015, Blogger Cosmic X said...

I saw the tape several times and I don't remember seeing anything that degrades Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef zt"l in particular or Torah scholars in general.

(Verify code was 770!)

At Tue Jan 06, 01:12:00 AM 2015, Blogger yaak said...

I also saw the video. The content of the video may not have been degrading to Rav Ovadia ZT"L - rather, it was the mere concept of using a candid moment of Rav Ovadia's life and displaying it for political purposes that is being protested here.

No matter whether one is in the Deri camp or in the Yishai camp (like I am), the use of Rav Ovadia in this manner should be protested.

I probably should have made that clear in the post.

At Tue Jan 06, 01:17:00 AM 2015, Blogger yaak said...

To add to the previous comment, it makes no difference whether or not Rav Ovadia knew he was being taped. It's possible he did. That's irrelevant.

We live in the Internet age and the posting of videos for "Gotcha!" purposes is part of our society - for better or for worse. If it catches criminals, it's for better. We seem to have lost the concept of appropriateness when it comes to showing videos of Gedolei Yisrael in certain situations.

If Rav Ovadia would have wanted that video to be aired, it would have come out when he was alive. This type of use is grossly inappropriate.

At Tue Jan 06, 02:03:00 AM 2015, Blogger Devorah Chayah said...

10rainbow - It really offends me how you feel you have the right to make such comments and to castigate those Jews whom you perceive as committing errors based on your own knowledge and learning. I really feel it is a chutzpah.

Despite what your rabbis tell you and they should be telling you that matters of Jews vs Erev Rav really don't apply to you, so don't worry about it, Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna already told us that if we don't fight the Erev Rav, it would be better for us if we had not been born. We have sources which explain how to identify them. I guarantee you that some of your "rabbis" are Erev Rav rabbis and I would not expect any other kind of comment from such as they.

There have been hints that Deri released the tapes himself in order to wrongfuly smear Yishai.

This ruling would have had more strength if it had been issued by other than those who support the mobster Deri and who benefit from the status quo.

At Tue Jan 06, 03:30:00 AM 2015, Blogger madaral said...

Devash, I agree.

At Tue Jan 06, 03:35:00 AM 2015, Blogger Neshama said...

Devash, because of the modus operandi, that was what came to my mind, that it was Deri.
Besides, this video was many years ago and I don't know why it wasn't deemed irrelevant, because opinions and situations changed in the ensuing years. I realize most people are inclined to believe damaging intentions rather than really think it through.

The decision of the Rabbis reminds me of the incident when Yaakov Avinu uttered a 'fate' for the concealer of Terach's idols, and it backfired on Rachel Imeinu, I.e. those who support Deri have just issued a damaging decree on the guilty person, who just might be the one they supported after all.

Time will reveal all.

At Tue Jan 06, 09:52:00 AM 2015, Blogger yaak said...

Devash, Madaral, et al,

Please don't harp on 10rainbow. What she says, I agree with 100%.

We really don't know who the erev rav are and it would be folly to start calling people by that name purely based on our own political leanings.

The truth is that as much as you hate the guts of Aryeh Deri, and believe me - I understand why, nevertheless, he has done a lot of good over the years to help the underprivileged, Torah institutions, and Sepharadim in general. He was chosen by Rav Ovadia ZT"L to lead the Sephardic Torah-based political party and deserves enough respect that you don't call him the erev rav.

Now, you can call me "part of the problem" and "part of the erev rav for not identifying the erev rav" or any name in the book you want, but it doesn't change the fact that it is wrong to spread this Motzi Shem Ra. 10Rainbow is correct that not enough people on the Internet follow the laws of the Hafetz Hayim. There's a lot of what Deri did that I vehemently disagree with, but the name-calling is just wrong. We'll find out soon enough who the Erev Rav really are and then we will fight them. Until then, let's be respectful.

At Tue Jan 06, 10:59:00 AM 2015, Blogger Cosmic X said...


The use of home movies of a Torah sage for political purposes may be improper, but it is far cry from "public derision of a Torah sage".

I have a strange feeling that if the content of the clip was different, we would not be seeing this kind of reaction.

Just my opinion.

At Tue Jan 06, 11:00:00 AM 2015, Blogger madaral said...

Regarding the Erev Rav, I agree. It was Devash"s last sentence which triggered my response.

At Tue Jan 06, 11:44:00 AM 2015, Blogger Devorah Chayah said...

I never said Aryeh Deri was Erev Rav.

At Tue Jan 06, 11:57:00 AM 2015, Blogger Devorah Chayah said...

Feel free to delete my comment if it bothers you, Yaak. It won't hurt my feelings.

At Tue Jan 06, 07:42:00 PM 2015, Anonymous Anonymous said...

everything is confused today !

At Wed Jan 07, 02:04:00 AM 2015, Blogger Neshama said...

I had no objection to 10Rainbow including his/her opinion. My comment was only regarding Deri. No matter how much good one did in the past, if present circumstances reflect otherwise, that speaks for itself.

We all have words/actions we regret, but teshuva means having remorse and aiming to do better in the future.

At Wed Jan 07, 02:08:00 AM 2015, Blogger Neshama said...

PS. I don't know if there ever was a public apology for injuring the trust placed in a person of leadership who failed to live up to that trust. It's not unrealistic to imagine the deep disappointment felt by so many.

At Wed Jan 07, 03:29:00 PM 2015, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

Halakhically, can the son of a sage sit on a Beit Din to repair the "name" of his deceased father? I only ask this question for its halakhic implications since he might be nogea to the Psak.

At Wed Jan 07, 03:34:00 PM 2015, Blogger yaak said...

There is no Din Torah here and doesn't require 3 people at all. It's just a Gezeira that is strengthened by being Bemotav Telata. Therefore, a Rav Yitzhak Yosef being a Karov is irrelevant.

At Thu Jan 08, 03:06:00 AM 2015, Anonymous Dassie said...

Since you brought it up, I thought I'd answer....When Deri came out of prison he released a booklet which contained a comprehensive and beautiful apology to Rav Shach and to everyone in general.

Having said that, I guess we are all well-aware that Eli Yishai has consistently supported Torah values regarding Eretz Yisrael and Am Yisrael. He also seems to work behind the scenes for the good of Am Yisrael and for some reason, rarely gets any credit -- such as using his political position to smuggle the Jewish children and the Jewish woman who'd been abused and tied to a tree by her Arab "husband" out of Gaza.
When my husband and I once passed him on the street, I saw a man of quiet nobility who walks with his eyes to the ground, but who answered my husband's greeting (no, they don't know each other) with a quiet greeting of his own and a soft smile.
I'm not saying that no other politicians are like this, but just my personal impression of Eli Yishai.
I bet ya'll can guess which camp I'm in!

At Sun Jan 11, 03:57:00 PM 2015, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that Eli Yishai is a real mensch, humble and, does not fit the profile of your typical politician. He seems to be in the game for noble reasons, especially at this tumultuous and turbulent time of history. If good men such as he do not reach their proper place in government, it is not they who are at fault but those in power who are in control of who wins or loses. Power play game=politics. In the end, H' is the One who is really in control. Hopefully, Moshiach is around the corner.

At Sun Jan 11, 11:55:00 PM 2015, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

I would go further than that. If Eli Yishai, or others like him, can't reach the minimum percentage to have seats in the Knesset, the Jewish people as a whole are in serious spiritual trouble. Under those circumstances, the ONLY reason why we would be redeemed in any particular Shmittah year is if that Shmittah year is the b'itah year of the Final Redemption. It is painfully obvious with a million Jewish Israelis on the verge of voting for Labor/Livni or Zehava GalOn in order to be popular in the world that the Geulah in this b'itah Shmittah year will not be through the ballot box.


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