The Kulturkampf is returning after a short break, and in addition to being the general harbinger of this news, I have my own indication. Purim, it is true, has passed, but only this week did I become apprised of the matter at hand, and I apologize for being late with the update.
A report was posted prominently on the NRG Web site about a rabbi's sermon in honor of the holiday, and the person who brought the issue to print was Avishai Ben-Haim, Maariv's correspondent for the ultra-Orthodox community. He bestowed on the speaker the title of "the most influential of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's sons and one of the most important rabbis in Israel."
And thus spake the important rabbi: "After completion of the megillah, the names of the wicked and the righteous are mentioned; the righteous - Esther and Mordechai - are mentioned favorably, and the wicked are mentioned and cursed: Damned be Haman, damned be Yossi Sarid. That is what we say every year and we repeat this three times."
I was surprised. I was not aware that my memory was mentioned every year in synagogues as a custom of the Israeli people, and that this had already become a tradition. Even though I have left politics - I am a tent dweller, after all - this did not help me, and I am still hanged from a tree to this day. We shall not bless those who curse us, and every curse for a curse shall face its own fate. Shulamit Aloni, for example, celebrated her 80th birthday this month; her health, thank God, is good. So once again it turns out that Ovadia Yosef is wasting his breath when he curses someone with the evil eye, and that this is perhaps even a talisman that brings longevity.
Ten measures of abuse and insults were given to the world; nine of them were deposited with the Yosef family and only one with the rest of the world, and the world has not yet collapsed.
This rotten apple, vinegar born of vinegar, did not fall far from the tree. Just before Purim nine years ago, Yaakov's father, the genius, gave a similar instruction after I refused, as minister of education, to pay coalition prostitution fees to the Shas party. That was when the Lord opened Ovadia's mouth and he said: "When reading the Scroll of Esther, and when you say 'cursed be Haman,' say also 'cursed be Yossi Sarid' .... God will let his blood be on his own head, and will impose on him the vengeance that was wreaked on Haman."
"The vengeance that was wreaked on Haman?" As everybody knows, they hanged his 10 sons on trees even though they had done no wrong. But, oy! I do not have so many children for a lynching - or for child allowances.
These are your shepherds, Israel - Ovadia [Yosef] for Shas and Yaakov [Yosef] for national unity, as he is one of the heads of "the Council of Rabbis of the Torah and the Land" to which the National Union party pays allegiance.
The two parties of these two spiritual leaders will now be the mainstays on which Benjamin Netanyahu's government is based, and they are even preparing an independent education ministry for them. Only a chosen people can permit itself such cuckoos in the nest of government.
Do not the beasts go after the shepherd; is that not the acceptable order? But here the order of things has been mixed up, and the beasts lead the way and make the creatures who follow them beastly.
Yaakov Yosef is a teacher for many people, and he hands down to them religious rulings about what is forbidden and what is permitted. However, his latest remarks must sound an alarm for the majority, secular public in particular. If after such a prolonged period, yours truly is still such a deadly foe and no new deadly foe has risen from the ranks of the secular public to replace him, this can only mean that that generation is diminishing.
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