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article imageRabbi Ovadia Yosef States That Unbelieving Soldiers Die

By KJ Mullins     Aug 28, 2007 in World
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's harsh words are once again having an effect in Israel. Outraged citizens are reacting to the rabbi's latest comments that soldiers that died in battle because they were not ritually observant Jews.
The Washington Post reported that the scholar rabbi has angered the Israeli community with his speeches.
"Is it any wonder if, heaven forbid, soldiers are killed in a war?" he said, "when they don't observe the Sabbath, they don't observe the Torah, they don't pray every day, they don't put on phylacteries every day. Is it any wonder that they're killed? It's no wonder."
After listening to his speech both parents and lawmakers have denounced his words. Israel is a Jewish country but Yosef's words were too harsh for the parents who grieve for their soldier children.
"I think all the citizens of the country understand that these words are outrageous," said Zevulun Orlev, a lawmaker from an Orthodox Jewish hardline National Religious Party. "Any attempt to harm the bereaved families and the soldiers of Israel is unacceptable and unforgivable."
Ran Cohen, a lawmaker from the dovish Meretz party called Yosef's speech "foolish words" by a "primitive man."
The 86 year old rabbi is no stranger to controversy. He has frequently angered those in his wake. No one is safe from his angry words, not even the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Yosef also called Hurricane Katrina "God's retribution" against President Bush for supporting Israel's withdrawal of settlers from Gaza.
More about Ovadia yosef, Israel, Soldiers
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