shas ovadia yosef 248 88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
In a video-taped message Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef lashed out at the Supreme Court on Wednesday for rejecting former minister Shlomo Benizri's appeal to shorten his four-year prison sentence for corruption charges.
"An injustice was done to our friend Shlomo Benizri, who devoted his life to spreading Torah and helping people," Yosef said in the video-taped sermon. "The courts are twisted and the judges don't believe in anything. They are apostates."
Yosef was filmed in his home in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood on Wednesday.
The rabbi's anti-Supreme Court message will be screened at a rally to be held at Rabbi Reuven Elbaz's Or Hachaim Yeshiva in Jerusalem on Thursday in support of Benizri, who is set to enter prison to start serving his sentence on September 1.
Elbaz, Benizri's mentor, who was also suspected of wrongdoing, sat next to Yosef during the video. Toward the end Elbaz got up and kissed Yosef's hand.
During the rally, Benizri is expected to give a speech similar to the one given by Aryeh Deri, former Shas chairman, who was also imprisoned for committing illegalities while serving in public office.
In the video tape Yosef comes out in defense of Benizri. "My brothers, the House of Israel, hear. We are very sorry about the court case, the terrible injustice done to our friend, a multi-talented man who worked all his days to teach Torah. His thoughts are occupied with Torah and the fear of God and loving kindness for the Jewish people.
"They judged him as they did, oh my! We have such an unjust court, distorted so. They have no intelligence and no lawfulness. They do not believe in anything."
Yosef made the comments as a special appointment committee prepared to choose three new Supreme Court justices on Friday.
"When rabbis judge in court God sits and directs them 'do this and don't do this', but them [supreme court judges] they are apostates," shouted Yosef. "Does a kohen belong in a cemetery?" asked Yosef rhetorically, referring to the prohibition in Jewish law against a kohen coming in contact with the dead.
"I turn to you, all of you listen to me, as one person," said Yosef turning to his audience.
"Let us support our friend Rabbi Shlomo who caused the Torah to be respected and was kind to his fellow Jews. This is how they repay him? This is the Torah and this is it's reward? May God protect him and save him."