Israeli Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef
Israeli Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak YosefFlash 90

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, strongly criticized Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai on Satuday over Huldai's insistence that construction on the Yehudit Bridge continue to take place on the Shabbat.

Huldai had slammed Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz for halting work on the bridge on the Ayalon Highway on Shabbat and threatened to petition the Supreme Court to force Katz o have the construction take place on Shabbat.

"We cannot build the Yehudit Bridge during the night. This was a professional decision that was made after a thorough examination of Netivei Ayalon, a company that is entirely owned by the Ministry of Transportation, and which examined all the possibilities and reached the conclusion that such work at night would not only disrupt the Ayalon Highway but also Israel Railways and will, in essence, bring about a traffic catastrophe,” said Huldai.

"Furthermore, it is impossible to carry out the work within the hours of a night shift. The placing of the three levers itself is an action that takes hours. Therefore, since this was a decision that was made professionally and approved by the Israel Police, the Ministry of Transportation and the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Haim Katz, one must understand that the decision of Minister [Yisrael] Katz is purely political in nature and its consequences cause tremendous harm to the citizens of the country in general and Tel Aviv-Jaffa in particular,” he added.

Without naming Huldai, Chief Rabbi Yosef spoke of "the one who ate a dog in Tel Aviv" during his weekly Saturday night class, Kikar HaShabbat reported.

"When a person publicly declares that he has eaten a dog, what nerve does he have? It is not for nothing that he petitions the High Court of Justice to complete the work on the Shabbat. He has eaten a dog, what will become of his heart?"

Rabbi Yosef referred to an incident in January where Huldai boasted about having eaten dog meat which was served to him during a visit to Vietnam.

When faced with criticism over his meal, Huldai asked: "Why is it okay to eat shellfish as well as chickens, but not a dog?"

Animals rights groups in Israel strongly criticized Huldai for eating what he called a"very tasty" dog.