Israel, Politics, Religion

Reb Ovadia: Vote For Me or God Will Smite You

In a stunning abuse of rabbinic authority, Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef says if you vote for Shas, you’ll go to heaven. Yosef has also allegedly placed a curse on those who do not support his party, proclaiming that it is halakha (Jewish law) to vote for Shas. Some may recall Reb Ovadia as the rabbi who proclaims that secular Jews who die in terror attacks have it coming because they break Shabbos. A true tzaddik if ever there was one…
[Update] A recent teaching of Reb Ovadia’s, by word of mouth — òîì÷ (Amalek) stands for Avodah (Labor), Meretz, Likud, Kadima.

6 thoughts on “Reb Ovadia: Vote For Me or God Will Smite You

  1. I think Ovadia Yosef has actually figured out something kind of interesting. This is, namely, that the type of political situation in which Jews live can make it either easier or harder for them to fulfill mitzvot. Now, I disagree with him because I think his political analysis is completely skewed, but he’s not inconsistent. It is similar to when he proclaimed that *IF* it could be shown that negotiating to give the Palestinians land would save Jewish lives, it was permissible, but because he thought it would not, it was impermissible. What is interesting in both cases is that his political analysis comes first. And lo and behold, it is right-wing.
    But how does one ensure that one’s political analysis is grounded in the Torah? Seems more or less impossible.

  2. Hopefully I can be corrected, but I thought promises such as Rabbi Yosef’s, of heaven, blessings, whatever, were strictly forbidden in Israeli politics? Something about the practice getting out of control several years ago?

  3. The àíì÷ thing – are you sure that was Reb Ovadia? Because I heard the same thing from a rabbi who teaches some of your friends, Mobius, here in Jerusalem. Then again, great minds, eh…?

  4. But how does one ensure that one’s political analysis is grounded in the Torah? Seems more or less impossible.
    The opposite, I’d think — after all, halacha, which is said to be grounded in the Torah, is merely a system of law. Any argument can be developed according to legal principles, which bar very few argument but do narrow the reasons available for them considerably. In other words, it provides a basis on which to judge competing arguments. Just like the laws of countries.
    No, Jewish law does not provide the definite answer to any particular issue, but that’s exactly because it is a mature enough system of law as to be complex, and to allow for argument. Just like Western systems of law, which is why we have courts and not computers. See, for instance, this discussion about this new journal. Or books like this or these or these or this.

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