Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef: 'We must remove the rioters and distance ourselves from them'

Sephardic Chief Rabbi responds to Bnei Brak violence, urges authorities to take cation. 'No justification for such serious acts.'

Hezki Baruch ,

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef
Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef
Yoni Kempinski

Israel's Sephardic Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, on Monday morning responded to the Sunday night violence in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem, calling on authorities to handle the issue.

"I heard, with much pain and horror, about the serious violence and desecration of G-d's Name which have occurred in recent days in several locations around Israel, and about the violent behavior of a handful of youths who are detached from Torah, decency, and good character and who recently have carried out acts of violence," he said.

"Certainly there is no justification for such serious acts, and those who do such acts in the name of Torah are desecrating G-d's Name in public."

He added that the Talmud (Yoma 86:1) explains that desecrating G-d's Name is the most serious sin of all, and neither trials nor the Day of Atonement and repentance can atone for it.

"Therefore," he added, "we must remove those rioters and distance ourselves from them. Our way is the way of the Torah, and basic decency which comes before Torah. The mayors and welfare authorities in the city of Bnei Brak have a holy obligation to work to immediately take care of these youths, who after all are part of our flesh, and obviously they are a minority and do not reflect the population. This minority stains the image of the entire haredi population, the vast majority of whom are very far from behaviors such as these."

"I urgently call on these youth to cease all acts of violence and to know that there is no justification in the world for acting in a violent manner," he emphasized, adding that "we are brothers, we are all the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and our Torah's ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are of peace. And we are all commanded to 'love your fellow as yourself.'"

"In addition, I call on Israel Police's officers to act with restraint, because we are all brothers; we are all the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and our Torah's ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are of peace. And we are all commanded to 'love your fellow as yourself.'

"Educators in educational institutions in each and every place, I urge you to remain in constant contact with all the students throughout this difficult period which we are going through; teach them Torah, good character, and decency.

"And may it be His will that we will see the fulfillment of what is written in Talmud Yoma there: 'And you will love Hashem your G-d, that the Name of Heaven will become beloved through you,' and may we merit to increase the sanctification of G-d's Name, and not, G-d forbid, the opposite.

"I pray that the Holy One, Blessed be He, will hear our prayers and remove this destructive plague from the entire world and from His people Israel in each and every place. And may G-d send a complete recovery to all those who are ill, amen."



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