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Rabbi Nagari: ‘Jewish State’ beat ‘State of Tel Aviv’

Maaleh Adumim rabbi says Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s funeral proves Torah and Judaism are victorious.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/9/2013, 2:43 AM

The scene at Rabbi Yosef's funeral
The scene at Rabbi Yosef's funeral
Flash90

The massive funeral Monday for Rabbi Ovadia Yosef – the largest funeral in Israel’s history – proves that Judaism has won, Rabbi Mordechai Nagari declared Tuesday, speaking to Arutz Sheva.

“The funeral was a sanctification of G-d’s name on a historic scale,” he said. “The ‘Jewish state’ defeated the ‘state of Tel Aviv.’”

“Not the media, not the politicians, not the ‘cool crowd’ in Tel Aviv or the academics. Yesterday I met irreligious people form my city, they were all at the funeral,” said Rabbi Nagari, who serves as rabbi of the city of Maaleh Adumim.

“The Torah ultimately won, and in its purity, will continue to win,” he said.

The nation connects to its true leaders regardless of politics, he continued. “We don’t need to examine people’s personality through political eyes, but rather, by looking at the details of daily life. Yes, there are disputes… one believes in withdrawal, while the other thinks it is dangerous. But here there is a Jew who made constant effort, who poured himself into Torah, in purity, and that is a tremendous thing.

“He wasn’t just shut up in a beit medrash [hall of Torah study – ed.], he was ‘in the field,’ connected to the people. The millions in Israel and abroad who followed the funeral, the media that rose above itself – they understood that there was something special here,” he said.

Rabbi Nagari clarified that he differentiates between “pure Torah,” and “all kinds of academic Torah study halls."

He noted the massive turnout at the funeral among Jews of Middle Eastern descent who observe Jewish traditions, but are not fully observant of Jewish law. “There is a revolution here, and unfortunately, the political leadership of the religious-Zionist world does not understand it,” he said.

“They are not sufficiently in touch with Jews of Middle Eastern descent, ninety percent of whom are Zionists and love the land of Israel… Instead of connecting with that Torah, of connecting Torah and love of the land of Israel, they adopted the priorities of academic rabbis, and thought that if they connect to the ‘state of Tel Aviv,’ to Lapid and Livni and the bleeding hearts who run the media, things would be better – and it blew up in their faces,” he lamented.

He expressed hope that the religious-Zionist leadership will “learn from this.”