During a special prayer service at the Kotel (Western Wall) featuring the recitation of psalms on behalf of IDF soldiers, Rabbi Shalom Cohen announced to shocked worshippers that “Israel does not need an army!"
Above: Rabbi Shalom Cohen
Spiritual Head Of Sefardi Haredi Shas Party Refuses To Bless IDF Soldiers, Insists “Israel Does Not Need An Army”
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The spiritual leader of the Sefardi haredi Shas Party told his followers yesterday that Israel does not need the IDF.
During a special prayer service at the Kotel (Western Wall) on behalf of IDF soldiers that featured the recitation of psalms, Rabbi Shalom Cohen announced to shocked worshippers that “Israel does not need an army!…Do you think that the People of Israel need an army?! It is God Almighty who fights for Israel!” Cohen thundered.
The Jerusalem Post reports that when “stunned worshipers” responded by asking Cohen to offer a blessing for IDF soldiers, Cohen refused to do so and caustically replied, “Do you think you are fighting?! I am fighting for you. We [already] screamed out to God: ‘Save us without inflicting any more sorrow on the people of Israel!’”
Cohen succeeded the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who passed away in October, as Shas’ spiritual head.
The head of Hiddush, a nonprofit that fights for freedom of and from religion in Israel, lashed out at Cohen.
“If the country doesn’t need an army, then there’s no doubt that the yeshivas and Torah students don’t need budgets from the treasury. From now on, they can put their faith in the Lord when it comes to asking for money to fund their education systems. We will help the ultra-Orthodox in saying earnest prayers for money to start growing on trees. At the end of the day, most of us believe that we do need an army, but we are quite uncertain as to whether we need Shas,” the head of Hiddush, Reform Rabbi Uri Regev, reportedly said.