"This man is dangerous to Judaism, the Torah and the rabbinate. Rabbi Amar is an upright and righteous man, but they are using his name to elect an evil man who is unfitting to be anything. Suddenly everyone is shouting that they want Stav [as chief rabbi]; if he was a Talmud Hacham [learned Torah Scholar] they would hate him.…So may all your enemies perish, Lord!"
Updated at 12:48 pm CDT
Candidate For Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi An “Evil Man,” Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Says
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
During his weekly Saturday night public lecture, the Jerusalem Post reports that Sefardi haredi leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef bitterly attacked the Ashkenazi Zionist Orthodox head of the Tzohar Movement, Rabbi David Stav, who is a candidate for Ashkenazi chief rabbi.
"This man is dangerous to Judaism, the Torah and the rabbinate. Rabbi Amar is an upright and righteous man, but they are using his name to elect an evil man who is unfitting to be anything…Suddenly everyone is shouting that they want Stav [as chief rabbi]; if he was a Talmud Hacham [learned Torah Scholar] they would hate him," Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said.
"I don't know Stav, I don't know this man, I haven't seen him, but all his friends the National Religious Party leaders come to me and say: 'Beware, this man is a danger to Judaism…' People in his party testified that this man is a danger to Judaism, a danger to the Rabbinate, a danger to Torah – and I should keep silent? They want to make him a chief rabbi? This man unworthy of anything! Can they do such a thing?" Yosef exclaimed.
Yosef also called Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett (who is Orthodox) “Torah haters [who] want to remove yeshiva students from their Torah.” Stav, Yosef said, “is one of them."
Yosef concluded with invective that approached incitement.
"So may all your enemies perish, Lord!" Yosef cursed.
Yosef, a former Sefardi chief rabbi, had previously decried a deal made by his Shas Party to back Stav for Ashkenazi chief rabbi in return for the HaBayit HaYehudi Party backing a change in the law that bans chief rabbis from holding the office for more than one 10 year term. That change would have allowed current Sefardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, a Yosef favorite, to remain in office. But that was torpedoed by by Yosef, who ordered Shas to block the change in the law several days ago.
Stav’s Tzohar group is dedicated to making secular Israelis contact with the rabbinate a positive experience. He backs radical changes in the rabbinate to it user friendly and to block abuses common during the time the rabbinate has been in haredi hands.