Tuesday, October 8, 2013
The authentic "Chabad perspective" on הגאון הרב עובדי' יוסף זצ"ל
(photo credit: Walla News)
Such was the request made to me. "Give us the authentic Chabad perspective on Harav Ovadia Yosef." What an undeserved honor! Who am I to speak in the name of Chabad? Not to speak ill of שוכני עפר, but it's a tricky question. It's also not a question that gets a straight answer throughout the ages. ROY's opinion changed on many issues, some of them concerning Chabad, and some issues that Chabad sees as "their own," such as "Land for Peace." Some opinions changed due to political reasons, such as whether or not his Shas party stays in the Government and continues to enjoy those perks. And some changed maybe because he was having a bad day... Many Chabad'niks will never forgive him for allowing the Oslo accords to pass; without him there would be no Oslo, were his Shas party leave the coalition the Government would fall and Rabin would not have his way. Yes, Aryeh Deri vehemently denies that too, but, he'll deny his name is Aryeh Deri if the situation calls for it. Even many who have forgiven him still distrust Shas and are afraid that given another chance they'd do it again - in a heartbeat! Some will never forgive him because of disparaging remarks he made in the past, which he also seemed to regret... I guess you might say that a Lubavitcher's opinion is in line with his general personality. If he's the forgiving type he'll forgive ROY as well, and if not - not. After all, he didn't make it his life's mission to knock Chabad and the Rebbe every chance he got. So, in short: We all base our opinions of others on what we like and how we think! Having said that, his knowledge of Torah is beyond dispute. His התמדה is beyond dispute. He built a network of Yeshivos and schools that were מחזיר עטרה ליושנה - to a degree. Living a long life is always beneficial. It's all good. זאל ער האבען א ליכטיג'ן גן עדן. ער האט גאר אסאך געשוויצט פאר'ן אייבערשטענ'ס וועגן.
So that leaves us with two general sorts of people who did not attend the levaya: 1) The Kanoyi from Meah Shearim, or from anywhere, or the Brisker, to whom all Chief Rabbis - anybody who doesn't follow the shittah - is treyf chazir. No matter how old they are, how many seforim they wrote, and how many millions attended. The fact that he lead a second class group of people doesn't help either. 2) The Chazon Ish'nik, who is upset that ROY did not give the CI the proper respect, which is to be mevatel his daas. OK, so maybe that's an understatement, maybe he was downright disrespectful to the CI, just like he was to any Ashkenazi, including the holy רמ"א. But that was years ago, he learned not to do that. As much. The Steipler referred to him by his first name, without as much as a "Reb," or "Rav," and his son Reb Chaim did NOT attend the levaya, although they say he wasn't feeling well.
חבל מאוד that his true successor - and then some - his בכור HaRav Yaakov Yosef predeceased him. He had his father's ידיעות התורה yet was not swayed by money or power. He served as an MK but sat there learning... He left the Knesset because of the time being wasted, as well as the corruption. And he also would not be מבטל his דעת to his father, so for 20+ years he was PNG in that house. Rabi Yaakov Yosef would've been the perfect "successor." Now it'll be chaos there, chalilah. Having said that, I am NOT the official Chabad spokesman, so you're all most welcome to disagree.