Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef first halachic authority translated to Amharic

The Ethiopian Jewish community has over 144,000 members, approximately 25% of which belong to the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) and national-religious streams.

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December 9, 2018 17:58
1 minute read.
Rabbi Yosef, Rabbi Wobst and additional rabbis of the Ethiopian community, 2018.

Rabbi Yosef, Rabbi Wobst and additional rabbis of the Ethiopian community, 2018.. (photo credit: MINISTRY OF RELIGIOUS SERVICES)

 
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Yalkut Yosef, the halachic work based on the rulings of former Sephardic Chief Rabbi and spiritual leader of the Shas political movement Ovadia Yosef, will be "the first halachic work written in the Amharic language" for the members of the Ethiopian community.

The translation was initiated by the Ministry of Religious Services and is aimed at making halachic rulings available to a wider audience,ab including Amharic-speaking Jews.

The collection is comprised of 40 volumes written by Yosef's son and current Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel (Rishon LeZion) Yitzhak Yosef. The translation, covering the first portion of Yalkut Yosef, was written by Rabbi Israel Belachau under the careful supervision of the Chief Rabbi of Ethiopian Jewry, Rabbi Reuven Wobst.

The Ethiopian Jewish community has over 144,000 members, approximately 25% of which belong to the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) and national-religious streams.


The translation is just one of the "intense activities of the Ministry of Religious Services for Ethiopian Jews," according to the ministry website.

"Special heritage events are being held for members of the community," the ministry said. "In the coming weeks, another meeting will take place between rabbis of the Ethiopian community and the Rishon LeZion to promote the publication of the next portions [of Yalkut Yosef] for the benefit of the communities."

Over 8,000 Jews who wish to make aliyah are still living in Ethiopia; 70% have first-degree relatives already living in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in September that 1,000 will be brought to Israel.

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