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Tuesday, February 24, 2015 

Shalom Cohen calls Hatikva "stupid"

The new Shas guru has opened his big mouth again, attacking a song meant for hope:
Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Shalom Cohen, who is renowned for his divisive and controversial comments, has once again caused consternation over his outspoken views when he called Israel’s national anthem, “Hatikva,” a “stupid song.”

Speaking at a Shas campaign rally in Netivot on Sunday, Cohen disparaged those who sing the anthem when he spoke of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the late legendary rabbinic leader of Shas. Cohen was describing the appointment ceremony of former Sephardi chief rabbi Yitzhak Nissim in 1955, which he attended along with Yosef.

“At the end of the ceremony they began to sing “kol od be’levav [the beginning words of “Hatikva”],” Cohen said. “I thought to myself ‘they’re mad.’ I didn’t stand, everyone stood up like it was the aleinu le’shabayach [prayer] but the rabbi [Yosef] also stood.

“I asked the rabbi ‘why did you stand up?’ He said, ‘I said the aleinu le’shabayach prayer.’ Why did he say aleinu le’shabayach? He didn’t want this stupid song to influence us at all,” said Cohen.

Large parts of the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) world have a long-held animus toward the Israeli national anthem. The words “to be a free nation in our land” that appear in the anthem are generally scorned by the haredi community, who see themselves as servants of God. It is commonly believed in the ultra-Orthodox community that the meaning behind the words “free nation” is free of the religious commandments of the Torah.

“The haredi world is of the opinion that it is intolerable that the national anthem of the Jewish state declares that the hope of the Jewish people is to be a free people,” said Shahar Ilan, the deputy director of the Hiddush religious freedom lobbying group.
In other words, they despise Moses for leading the ancient Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. How can they call themselves God's servants and then denounce what God wanted us to be in our own country? This is just one more reason why Shas does not deserve votes in the next election. Also worth noting:
Cohen was distorting the actions of Yosef on the day of the anointment ceremony, Ilan said, since Yosef stood up so as not cause offence.
And that proves he doesn't respect Yosef either.

Another bit of interesting news:
Shas is stinging from the desertion the influential Sephardi Rabbi Yoram Abergil, who has announced he is supporting the Yachad party led by former Shas leader Eli Yishai.
After Cohen's latest offense, I sincerely hope Yishai's party manages to take away votes from Shas.

Update: in related news, here's why the late Ovadia Yosef caved and let Deri return as party leader.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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