Culture, Global, Israel, Mishegas, Religion

Reb Ovadia: Katrina is God's punishment for disengagement

Ha’aretz reports:

Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said this week that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for U.S. President George W. Bush’s support for Israel’s disengagement from Gaza. [Note: inexplicably, he also blamed New Orleans’ black residents failure to study Torah] “It was God’s retribution – God does not short-change anyone,” Yosef said during his weekly sermon on Tuesday. His comments were carried yesterday on the Yedioth Ahronoth news Web site, Y-net. Shas official Tzvika Yaacobson did not deny Ovadia made the comments, but said they had been taken out of context.

Full story.

25 thoughts on “Reb Ovadia: Katrina is God's punishment for disengagement

  1. Hitler’s Mein Kompf suffers the same kind of P.R. problems as Ovadia Yosef’s. Their words are always “taken out of context”. Shame on the unfair media!

  2. his comments were stupid, not venal; he didn’t advocate harm to anyone, just ascribed existing harm to a nonconnected cause. Ridiculous, yes; hitlerlike, no. Lets not misuse the hitler analogy, hitler loses his evilness when we do that

  3. This from the guy who said similar things about the Holocaust’s destruction of Ashkenazi Jewry… Are we really surprised? At least he sticks to his theological guns.

  4. right. ovadia yosef is far too stupid to be compared to hitler. this jackass in a dress and a dickhead hat is nonetheless revered be legions of stupid jews. it’s tragic, and yet mildly hilarious.

  5. I think the Rabbi’s statements are wrong and foolish. Regardless, they definitely should not be said at a time when bodies are still floating.
    This aside, he is in many circles, a very well respected rabbi, considered by some (not me) as on of our greatest Gedolim.
    Yes, this is also his view on the Holocaust (HIS not all religious Jews)
    BUT – what is eerie is the “forced evacuation” of resident from their homes in New Orleans . . . where have we seen this recently (although not for the benefit of the residents)

  6. Obviously.
    His comments really are absurd and racist. I want to see legitimate Orthodox rabbis condemn this.
    “black people reside there (in New Orleans). Blacks will study the Torah?” WHAT!? Are you freakin insane?! If they did study Torah there would not have been a Hurricane? If you want to blame it on the Blacks what about G-d’s revenge against Bush for the Gaza pull-out?
    What about Sharon who initiated the pullout? Will he be hurricaned? What about John Brown’s friends, our extremist muslim militants a.k.a. terrorists who randomly murder innocent Jews, why hasnt G-d hurricaned them? Are they not worse than Bush? Or maybe its because Allah is better than devil worship.
    If it really was Bush-Revenge at least G-d could have flooded D.C. or Texas not a couple of blue states.
    Seems like the good rabbi has been paying way to much attention to our liberal media – its Bush’s fault!
    On a more serious note, this is the same man who broke ranks with great rabbis, the Lubavitcher Rebbe included, and supported Oslo AND the giving of Jewish land to Palestinians 12 years ago!

  7. i’ve never bothered to say this about anyone, but ovadia yosef is bad for the jews. if i weren’t so lazy, i’d drum up a pulsa denura on this dope.

  8. As a religious person, I makes me sad to hear these comments coming from someone as well-regarded as Ovadia Yosef.
    I think we have a real crisis when it comes to gedolim today. Do we even know to recognize a gadol?
    Who are the real gadolim today, and why?

  9. I think Ovadia should go join al sadr in najaf he’s almost as loony
    If Ovadia would just stay in his cave of the pre enlightenment hatred

  10. Merliner: “Seems like the good rabbi has been paying way to much attention to our liberal media – its Bush’s fault!”
    Bush sure isn’t to blame for the hurricane. But why is holding the chief executive responsible for mismanaging distaster relief such a bad idea?… : “And to lead this nation to a responsibility era, a president himself must be responsible” (George W. Bush, Aug. 3, 2000).

  11. fyi,
    the Gaonic Rabbi, who most ppl unfamiliar with his or other holy works don’t seem to follow his basic fundemental Torah ideological statements, was saying that since there is not a Torah community over in nola, and the black majority or any of the other average citizen over in them parts doesn’t (obviously) learn Torah, there was not enough merit in them parts to save the town, et al Sodom& Gemorrah.
    It is highly likely that the Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, with his lifetime of wisdom, and his connection and interaction with many great sages of the last generation, and who has a strong foundation of historical and spiritual wisdom, is right.
    doubt if you like, but can you really say you believe that G-d exists and interacts with this world, or are you just afraid that it may be true.
    what then??

  12. That is one of the most stupid (not to mention inarticulate) comments that it has ever been my misfortune to read on this or on any other blog. Yosef is a shander far de goyim.

  13. christian nutjobs: katrina was a punishment for abortion
    muslim nutjobs: katrina was a punishment for the invasion of iraq
    jewish nutjob: katrina was a punishment for support of disengagement
    anyone else wanna chime in? we sane people really value all your input…

  14. He may have a point except for the fact that the hurricane hit during the peak of the hurricane season. Now if Katrina came and wiped out the Gulf Coast in February we may have a theological discussion on our hands.

  15. “Out of context?”
    Whatever are you talking about? I read the entire article & it’s rubbish from top to bottom. All I can say if this loony tunes is a Gadol, then we’re in a whole heapa trouble as a people.
    You hear trash talk like this from Israeli leaders (religious or otherwise) & is it any wonder that Israel finds itself ostracized & on the outs with much of the outside world?
    I know we’ve got Pat Robertson over hear saying things that are almost as bad…but at least Pat gets chewed out by his evangelical colleagues whenever he crosses the line egregiously. Will anyone else fr. Shas take him to task? I doubt it.

  16. Zionista said:
    “But why is holding the chief executive responsible for mismanaging distaster relief such a bad idea? ‘And to lead this nation to a responsibility era, a president himself must be responsible'”
    Much went wrong in the immediate aftermath of Katrina, some blame likely points at the President. But you have a mayor who neglected to follow his own city’s Emerg. Evac. plan allowing 2,000 busses to mercilessly drown, a Governor who orders the LA National Guard to turn away the Red Cross from the Superdome who were on standby with Water, Food and Medical Packages before the storm even hit.
    In fact the President called the Gov urging her to call a state of emergency 24 hours before she did!
    So, if you want to blame Bush (for FEMA and other Fed help, who are not first responders) fine, but point that finger everywhere else too

  17. To paraphrase Mobious, WE (Jewlicious) were on this a while ago and ours was funnier…
    Just kidding. His words may be taken out of context; or, as the Shas rep claims, he may just have a special style when it comes to telling jokes. However, how many times can your words be taken out of context before you learn to be more careful about what you say? How many jokes can you tell that aren’t funny before you learn that comedy many not be your strong suit?

  18. well in the meantime, ima call my dad and tell him to start studying kaballah. maybe all that torah study he was doing in metairie wasn’t good enough, people, please. there was a lovely torah community in new orleans, and there will be again. watch your mouths.

  19. Maybe Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Pat Robertson could team up for an ecumenical Blame-the-Victims revival tour?
    OK, so the guy’s just another hardliner-jihadist-fund amentalist whack-job (all the same in G-d’s eyes, I’m sure). But how crazy are his apologists? They not only have to invoke an irrational thought — they have to defy reason a second time to defend it.

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