Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's son attacks MK Struck on discrimination law

Rabbi Avraham Yosef rejected claims that his father said a Jew shouldn't treat a non-Jew on Shabbat.

 Rabbi Avraham Yosef speaks during the weekly lesson at  the home of his father, spiritual leader of Israel's ultra-orthodox Shas party Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in Jerusalem, July 13, 2013. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Rabbi Avraham Yosef speaks during the weekly lesson at the home of his father, spiritual leader of Israel's ultra-orthodox Shas party Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in Jerusalem, July 13, 2013.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Former chief rabbi of Holon Avraham Yosef, the son of former Sephardi chief rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, expressed outrage on Friday at MK Orit Struck's call to allow doctors to refuse treatment on a religious basis, rejecting attempts to use his father's writings to justify such a law .

In an interview with KAN Reshet Bet on Sunday, Struck stated that doctors should be able to refuse treatment on the basis of religious beliefs as long as there are alternatives available.

In the interview itself Struck did not mention Ovadiah Yosef's opinion on the matter, although her words were tied by media reports to a statement by Yosef from 2012 where he stated that to provide treatment to a non-Jew on Shabbat was violating the laws of Shabbat.

"This week, there was a very, very dangerous awakening in the media, all because of a tasteless woman who is also an MK," said Yosef to Kol Hai radio on Friday. "She quoted very incorrect words in the name of my father and in all the media outlets, as is the way of journalists, they don't check to see the trustworthiness of the report, they broadcast. They don't care about anything.

"This same stupid woman quoted my father, my teacher, as if he said that a Jewish doctor shouldn't treat a non-Jew, I don't know for what reason she said this, although I'm guessing it was about Shabbat. Stupid, greatly stupid woman. No one ever taught such a thing," added Yosef, stressing that his father wrote very long responsa on the matter in a number of books.

 MK's Simcha Rotman and Orit Struck in the opening of the Knesset summer session at the assembly hall of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on May 9, 2022.  (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) MK's Simcha Rotman and Orit Struck in the opening of the Knesset summer session at the assembly hall of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on May 9, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

"[He wrote] very, very simple and clear words...If these things are so clear and accessible, why garble them? Why blame my father, my teacher, and say he wrote things when it's not true? Are they always disciplined according to my father, my teacher, or only when they feel like it for their murky and ugly politics?"

"Do they have faith? Are my father's words in front of their eyes? The words of my father, my teacher, are so clear and simple. To mix them up for their stupid and despicable politics, to stir up wars, to separate the close ones, we are one people, as one person with one heart," continued the son of the former Sephardi chief rabbi.

"We will listen to the words of our rabbis even when we don't like it. Not like the way of people who do what they desire and say 'yes this is what this rabbi said, this is what that rabbi said.' About them it is said 'the wicked one within the realm of the Torah' (a phrase referring to a person who follows the letter of the law but goes against the spirit of the law) I haven't seen anyone protest in full force against this stupid woman who is now going to be a minister of spirit without knowledge. I protest in full force on the inclusion of the words of my father as if he said these things and they are lies and never existed."

Yosef called on those listening not to follow blindly "after all sorts of slogans, which, to our sorrow, often are heartbreaking and incite quarrel and strife between the creations."

Netanyahu signs agreement to amend law to allow discrimination based on religion

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed agreements with both the Religious Zionist Party and the United Torah Judaism party promising to amend the law against discrimination in Israel to allow discrimination based on religious belief.