Shall we do a brief recap of Ovidia Yosef “greatest hits” before we move onto the latest one?
We’ve already had:
“It is forbidden to be merciful to [arabs]. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.”
(Apparently, he only meant “Arab terrorists“. Uh huh.)
“the holocaust was G!D’s retaliation aginst the reincarnated souls of jewish sinners”
“The sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews. Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat. That is why gentiles were created.”
Oh, just bugger off.
You could, of course, predict his explanation for the deaths in the Carmel fires. This is why Jewish soldiers are killed:
“They don’t observe the Sabbath, they don’t observe the Torah, they don’t pray, they don’t put on phylacteries every day. Is it any wonder that they’re killed? It’s no wonder. May the Almighty have mercy on them and bring them back to religion.”
and so naturally, it follows that the same factors caused the present tragedy:
“Fires only happen in a place where Shabbat is desecrated,” he quoted from the Babylonian Talmud Shabbat tractate in his weekly sermon. “Homes were ruined,” he continued, “entire neighborhoods wiped out, and it is not arbitrary. It is all divine providence.”
“We must repent, keep Shabbat appropriately. When the People of Israel repent, God safeguards them with a wall of fire,” but not of the incinerating type, Yosef added.
Yosef was immediately defended by the Interior Minister, Shas’ Eli Yishai:
Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Sunday defended remarks made Saturday by Shas Spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. “The rabbi preaches morals to all of us in order to gain strength, to do good deeds, and to repent.”
Yishai, himself, is in trouble for ending a programme of donations of fire engines, from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. He has countered by accusing his critics of anti-Mizrahi racism. Of course.