A New York-based ultra-Orthodox rabbi who has posted thousands of popular outreach lectures online said in a lecture on Tuesday only about 1 million halachic Jews, meaning people born of a Jewish mother, perished in the Holocaust.
In a video on his YouTube channel filmed at a lecture in Queens, New York, Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi cited high assimilation rates in Europe before World War II to make his claim that 80 percent of those identified as Jews killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust were not Jewish according to halakha, or Jewish law.
“If you look at the percent of assimilation that there was in Europe, which already reached 80 percent, it’s reasonable to assume that 80 percent of the 6 million were not Jews,” said Mizrachi, who teaches at a yeshiva in Monsey.
“The truth is that not even 1 million Jews were killed. Not that this is, God forbid, an insignificant number, it’s massive, but there is a difference between 1 million and 6 million.”
"To the non-Jews, everyone who has a little bit of Jewish blood is Jewish," Mizrachi explained. "For example, according to secular law, Howard Stern, the impure, despicable man, is a Jew."
But, Mizrachi contends, his mother is not Jewish, so "it is forbidden for a [Jewish] woman to marry him." Someone in the audience can be heard asking who is Howard Stern.
"There are thousands of people in the U.S. named Cohen and Levy who are total non-Jews...That's how it was in Europe."
Mizrachi also posts his videos on Divineinformation.com, his outreach website launched in 2004.
“These lectures and videos have created an enormous amount of followers in more than 50 countries, mainly in the USA, Israel, Canada, England,” the website says.
Mizrachi has over 6,000 YouTube subscribers and over 18, 400 Facebook followers, where he posts his videos and other guidelines on how to live like a Torah Jew.
In his most recent post entitled 'Divine Laws about Women's clothing,' he delineates to the centimeter the way women must dress at all times, even in their own home. Guidelines include rules like "a woman can show her feet up to 8 feet cm from the heel," and "a woman does not have to wear stockings at home with her husband. But if her husband learns Torah or prays or makes blessings she has to wear stockings in front of him."
After April's devastating earthquake the decimated Nepal, Mizrachi posted a before and after photo of Kathmandu with the caption "all the idol worshiping places in Nepal are now destroyed." The post sparked outrage on social media, but many of his supporters defended the post.
Mizrachi was born in Israel and moved to the United States in his 20s, where he received ordination.
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