Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Rest in Peace, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

News from Israel:  Within the past hour, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has passed away.  The news headlines will, no doubt, be full of biographicals and eulogies for him.

I am saddened by his passing, although, at age 93, his demise can hardly be characterized as untimely.

Most of what he did was very salutary to the State of Israel and to the Jewish people as a whole.  But he was not perfect or infallible.  Specifically, he did, figuratively speaking, manage to get his tallit soiled from his entanglement with the Shas political party, which, for all of its positive works, had and has more than its fair share of corruption.

More problematic is that the Shas party in Israel, with the implicit approval if not at the explicit direction of Rabbi Yosef as its spiritual leader, officially abstained but unofficially gave occasional support for the Oslo Agreements which have resulted in too, too many Jewish lives lost to terrorists.

In short, Rabbi Yosef played the political game, to the benefit -- and occasionally, to the detriment -- of the Jewish people.  In such regard, his batting average was, on the whole, far better than most.  But he did not bat 1000.

Rest in Peace, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

[The tallit is a garment worn during prayer, "prayer shawl" is a common English term for it.  The tallit is also sometimes used as a canopy under which a bride and groom do the marriage ceremony, and, even for unreligious Jewish males, is draped around the body of the deceased at burial.  Rabbi Yosef will obviously be buried in his.  Until I am buried in mine, I shall use it during prayer.

            The sun is rising.  Time for me to go put on my tallit and pray!].

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