Yishai: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is 'in tears' about Carmel fire

Interior minister defends Shas spiritual leader's remarks that the Carmel fires were caused as a result of insufficient Shabbat observance.

December 5, 2010 11:24
1 minute read.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai

Eli Yishai 311 aj. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Sunday defended remarks made Saturday by Shas Spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. "The rabbi preaches morals to all of us in order to gain strength, to do good deeds, and to repent." 

Yishai added, that whoever hears the rabbi understands that "he is in tears and speaks with pain" about the tragedy in the Carmel.

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Yishai's comments come after Rabbi Ovadia Yosef remarks in his weekly sermon on Saturday night in which he claimed that the devastating Carmel fire was a result of insufficient Shabbat observance in the area.

“Fires only happen in a place where Shabbat is desecrated,” he quoted from the Babylonian Talmud Shabbat tractate in his weekly sermon. “Homes were ruined," he continued, "entire neighborhoods wiped out, and it is not arbitrary. It is all divine providence.”

 “We must repent, keep Shabbat appropriately. When the People of Israel repent, God safeguards them with a wall of fire,” but not of the incinerating type, Yosef added.

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