August 19. "They let women testify". This is one of the charges Ovadiah Yoseph, head of Israel's powerful Shas Party, let fly against Israeli judges (source: Haaretz). At his Saturday "lesson" he declared Israeli judges "wicked" and unfit to even witness a marriage.
He's Outraged, "They Let Women Testify"
Traditionally women are not allowed to testify in court proceedings in Orthodox Judaism. (This has only slightly changed in cases of sexual harassment where no other witnesses are present.) Though Orthodox Judaism controls family law in Israel other law operates by Western principles.
Shas is the fourth biggest party in Israel, ultra-Orthodox. Ovadiah Yoseph founded and dominates Shas. For ten years he was the Chief Rabbi of Israel. The leader of Shas in the Knesset is Eli Yeshai who is Israel's Interior Minister and who leads calls for arresting and expelling African migrants.
Yoseph has condemned Israeli judges before. In 1999 he said, " They have no religion and no law. All of them have sex with prostitutes. All of them desecrate the Sabbath. " Haaretz suggests that Yoseph is angry that the Israeli Supreme Court overthrew the Tal Law which allowed ultra-Orthodox men to avoid the draft.
Comment1: Yoseph is infamous for a long string of hateful, and racist remarks.
After Hurricane Katrina Yoseph declared about U. S. blacks in New Orleans. "Tens of thousands have been killed. All of this because they have no God..."
In 2010 he said "The sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews". He said that Gentiles served a divine purpose: "Why are Gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat. That is why Gentiles were created"
Then there are his genocidal remarks about Palestinians. In 2010 he said Palestinians are "evil and bitter enemies of Israel" "who should perish from this world". In 2001 he called for the "annihilation" of Arabs.
It would be interesting if any Iranian cleric could be found who has made such a series of bigoted and murderous statements.
BTW in 2005 he was voted the 23rd-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet.
Comment3: In religious matters his followers consider Yoseph as being "lenient". Here are four rulings from a list of his "lenient" rulings from Wikipedia.
-- That it is permissible to hear a recording of a woman singing (e.g. through a radio or recording), provided that the listener has never seen the woman in person. Seeing a photograph of the singer does not constitute having seen her in person.
-- That it is permissible for boys and girls to study together up to the age of 9.
-- That a married woman who covers her hair may expose one or two strands of hair from beneath the covering.
-- That it is permissible for unmarried women to leave their hair loose and untied.
So really the man is a marshmallow pushover.
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