Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Pray for the destruction of Iran

Shas spiritual leader calls on followers to ask God to wipe out "evil ones who threaten Israel," in their Rosh Hashana prayers.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef implored God to “wipe out and destroy” Iran and Hezbollah during his weekly sermon on Saturday night.
This is the second time in a row in which Yosef has spoken about the threat of Iran’s nuclear program during his post-Shabbat Torah lesson.
It follows a briefing he was given by National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror on the Iranian issue 10 days ago, which was seen as part of an effort from the Prime Minister’s Office to obtain the rabbi’s support for the government’s position on the matter.
Speaking on Saturday night, Yosef talked about the tradition on the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, of eating various fruits and vegetables as positive portents for the year ahead.
“When we make the blessing on the dates that ‘our enemies and haters should be ended’ we should have in mind the Iranian regime, those evil people who threaten Israel,” the rabbi said.
“Do good, God, wipe them out, kill them,” he entreated, to which the assembled crowd answered “amen.”
“When eating the leek,” also traditionally eaten as part of the symbolic service for a good coming year, “and when we say that our enemies, foes and anyone who desires to do evil to us should be cut off, we should have in mind Hezbollah and Iran,” Yosef said.
“Destroy them God, obliterate them from the face of the earth,” he said, adding a verse from the Book of Psalms: “Some call on chariots and horses, but we will invoke the name of God our Lord, they collapse and fall down but are risen and gather strength.”
Shas political leader and Interior Minister Eli Yishai has been thought until now to be opposed to a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, a stance most likely dictated by Yosef, who determines all major policy positions for the party.
It is thought that the meeting between Amidror and Yosef at the rabbi’s house, attended by Yishai, was part of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s efforts to gain Shas support for a strike.
Yishai is a member of the inner security cabinet of nine ministers, which, it is believed, is split down the middle on whether or not to attack.
Four members are supposedly in favor, including Netanyahu, and four against, including Yishai.
Newly appointed Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter is believed to be undecided.
Last Saturday night, in reference to a Persian enemy of the Jewish people recorded in the Book of Esther,Yosef said that “a second Haman, also from Persia, intends to do evil to us.”
“We are in danger, all of us are in danger. We have no one to rely on apart from our Father in heaven,” said Yosef.