Never one to shy away from controversy, spiritual leader of the Shas movement Rabbi Ovadia Yosef delivered a broadside Saturday night against secular schools and the secular courts system.Where he fails, I'm afraid, is in making a clearer case that it's the leftists in this country - the ones whom he and Shas practically helped with building up dhimmitude - who have no love for Torah.
While giving his weekly Torah lesson from his home in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof, Yosef said that anyone who sends their children to a secular school or turns to the civil courts system instead of the religious courts for legal redress cannot lead prayers services in synagogue.
Yosef denounced anyone who goes to state courts rather than religious ones, to resolve legal disputes – something that is forbidden by Torah law – as “evil,” and explained that the secular courts do not rule in accordance with Jewish law and are hostile to it.
To underline his point, he alluded to the ruling of the High Court of Justice in February that yeshiva students can no longer indefinitely defer their military service.
“A Jew who goes to the courts of non-Jews in order that it should judge a case, and not to a rabbinical court, is forbidden from leading prayer services,” Yosef said. “Today this [principle] is cheapened [and] people go to the secular courts, which rule against the Torah... We see [the courts’] behavior against the Torah, against yeshiva students; they have no love for Torah, they hate the Torah,” Yosef said.
He also criticized anyone who works with the state justice system as a judge and said that such a person is invalid as a witness in a rabbinical court and cannot lead prayers in synagogue.All he's doing is painting everybody he deems "secular" with the same brush, and since when did ever law expert in this country plan on getting a career as a synagogue prayer leader or a cantor anyway?
But here's where Yosef really fouls up big time:
Expounding on the principle, Yosef said that someone who “presides in the court system of non-Jews which rule on the basis of non-Jewish law, lifts up his hands against the Torah of Moses our teacher and is called an evil person. They rule according to the laws of the nations of the world, not the Torah, and they accept the testimony of women.”Excuse me? Just what is that supposed to mean? That if even a female relative of Yosef's is asked to testify in any kind of a legal case where she might have worthy info to provide, that's illegal? If the biblical Deborah, one of the earliest female judges of remote times, knew what he was saying, she'd surely be spinning in her grave. What has female witnesses in legal affairs got to do with any of this? All Yosef is doing is spewing out a whole lot of garbled blather with some things having nothing to do with the other.
Rabbi Yosef, besides having the gall to condone actions that were dangerous to this country, is abusing just about everything he claims to stand for, and his foul statements would be more at home in Islamic regimes. No wonder the Labor and Meretz parties were so eager for Shas to be part of the government back in the 1990s. Yosef doesn't even genuinely slam the left, but with the way he drones on and on, pandering to leftist press that's only so eager to lap up whatever he says, it shouldn't be too surprising. He's an embarrassment to Israel and the Torah research industry to boot.