Wednesday, September 07, 2005

R' Ovadya Yosef - Katrina is punishment for the disengagement

גלי צה"ל this morning played on the radio an excerpt of a shiur that R' Ovadya Yosef gave last night where he blamed Hurricane Katrina on Bush's support for the disengagement.


Here is a link to what R' Ovadya said Shas rabbi: Hurricane is Bush's punishment for pullout support

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, a former chief rabbi and the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas movement, said on Wednesday that Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for U.S. President George W. Bush's support for Israel's Gaza pullout.

"It was God's retribution. God does not shortchange anyone," Yosef said during his weekly sermon on Tuesday. His comments were broadcast on Channel 10 TV on Wednesday.

Yosef also said recent natural disasters were the result of a lack of Torah study and that Katrina's victims suffered "because they have no God," singling out black people.

"He (Bush) perpetrated the expulsion (of Jews from Gaza). Now everyone is mad at him. This is his punishment for what he did to Gush Katif, and everyone else who did as he told them, their time will come, too," Yosef said.


Anonymous said...

I was wathing the news yesterday and heard someone say, "This is my home. I don't want to leave my home. What's the army going to do? Forcibly remove me from my home of 40 years." If I didn't know better I would have thought it was a Gaza resident making that comment. I am not saying I totally agree with Rav Ovadia, but some of the similarities are eerie.

Anonymous said...

Guess we can now add Ovadya Yosef to the list of navis. He's certainly in illustrious company with Lazer Brody and Heshey!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

:א"ר אלעזר בר אבינא

אין פורענות באה לעולם אלא בשביל ישראל

שנאמר (צפניה ג) הכרתי גוים נשמו פנותם החרבתי חוצותם וכתיב (צפניה ג) אמרתי אך תיראי אותי תקחי מוסר

מסכת יבמות דף ס"ג ע"א

I would rather believe the Gemara, than Rav Ovadia, whose party, Shas, paved the way for the death over a thousand Jews from the cursed Oslo accords, allowed tens of thousands of rotzchei yisrael to enter our land, giving them tens of thousands of weapons...which led to the catastrophe of the giving away of parts of Eretz Yisrael to our sworn enemies and the destruction of thousands of Jewish homes.

All this for what? "Lehchzir Atara L'Yoshna" -- money for Sephardi Shas schools. Baruch Hashem. Klal Yisrael really won out big on that decision.

Anonymous said...

I think that this is terrible say of R' Ovadya, is this the way of the Tora?
My thought was that the Tora way is based on love and respect.

Anonymous said...


Please forgive me for the comment, but I don't think you should have publicized R' Ovadya's statement. I know there's a machlokes whether it's lashon horah to repeat well known information, but as shown by Agala's above reaction, the only comments you're going to see are those that criticize this gadol b'torah. Please consider erasing this post of yours on this topic.

Anonymous said...

I neglected to mention that besides agala, the other comments left for this post also denigrate R' Ovadya.

Critically Observant Jew said...

The question is, however, if R. Ovadia Yosef's statement was indeed intended in the way we interpret it, can we consider him a gadol, even if he knows the whole Shas by heart?

Anonymous said...

I really don't see why we wouldn't still consider Rav Ovadia a Gadol. I may disagree with him on this point, find his comment a little foolish, but I still think that Rabbis on the whole should stay out of politics. Nonetheless, he didn't do anything or say anything that would change his Gadol status.

Anonymous said...

It's not lashon hara.It's bigtime public.It's also important for discussiion I'm suggesting that sephardim in general have more of a personal relationship with hashem.,and how God effects the world .The comments of R.Ovadia carry it over the boundary.

Anonymous said...

No one can question R. Ovadia's breadth of Torah. But that one is a Talmud Chacham does not necessarily imply that one has chachmah in other areas. And it especially doesn't imply - as ROY's Katrina claim suggests - that one posesses ruach hakodesh!

Anonymous said...

People here are concerned about lashon hara. From what I understand when chofets chaim was published other gedolim were concerned that the chumras that the chofets chaim chose to adopt in his sefer might aid the rich and powerful and might undercut the poor and downtroden in klal yisroel. Has any other acharon published another complete sefer on hilchos lashon horah this is more mekel?

I am also stuck by a paradox. It appears obvious that there have been some very serious scandels and other public events that in recent years have been aired. They no doubt have been properly classified as lashon horah. However their being aired has helped eliminate actions that obviosuly are very dangerous to klal yisroel. I see this time and time again. It used to be that I would find out about some terrible event that had or was going on. And everyone was hush hush. It continued or its exampled allowed others to perpetuate it. However now with the advent of blogs when scandels break out they cause such an uproar as to be mesakain the situation. What is so strange is that publicising these scandels has helped to prevent major misuses of funds, prevent corruption and prevent some terrible aveiros from occuring.

The types of situations are most often very serious. They involve communual institutions and public figures. They are very often the sort of thing that has festered and that are not able to be addresesed internaly within the institutions. I remember a certain Rabbi of a certain institution who was acting in a mannor that clearly was undercutting the instution. Many people there agreed. But it was ossur for people to publicise the situation. So the rot continued until the rabbi died. By that time the spiritual damage was extensive. The other leaders of the institution were unwilling or unable to do anything. However I am 100% sure that had the outside olum known of the situtation - expecially the donors - the problem would have been sorted out very quickly indeed.

I normally would not complain about the effect of a halachah. If it assors something then however hard it is - we have to live with it. But when the torah seems to undercut itself, when following the torah causes huge ruchnios problems for the klal - I am astonished.

Does anyone here have any ideas?

Anonymous said...

They no doubt have been properly classified as lashon horah.
This mistaken assumption, when removed, explains your paradox.