Rabbi Ovadia was a giant in Torah and Jewish law and a teacher for tens of thousands. The Jewish people have lost one of the wisest men of this generation.
Copyright: GPO archive photo
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this afternoon (Monday, 7 October 2013), expressed his deep sorrow over the passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
"I heard with profound grief of the passing of [former] Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, among the greatest rabbis of our generation. Rabbi Ovadia was a giant in Torah and Jewish law and a teacher for tens of thousands. He worked greatly to enhance Jewish heritage and at the same time, his rulings took into consideration the times and the realities of renewed life in the State of Israel. He was imbued with love of the Torah and the people.
I very much appreciated his convivial personality and his directness. In my meetings with him, I always learned very much. The Jewish people have lost one of the wisest men of this generation. I send my condolences to his family, his students and his many devoted followers," the Prime Minister said.
* * *
(Communicated by the Office of the President)
President Shimon Peres, today (Monday, 7 October 2013), delivered a eulogy in memory of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef after his return from the funeral home.
"A few hours ago I went to the hospital to say goodbye to my teacher, my rabbi, my friend Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. It was a difficult time. Tears filled my eyes and my throat was choked with emotion. I held his hand which was still warm and kissed his forehead. When I pressed his hand I felt I was touching history and when I kissed his head it was as though I kissed the very greatness of Israel.
Immediately after the fall of the Second Temple there were two greats of the Torah – Yohanan ben Zakai and Yehuda HaNasi. I mention them because they came to the conclusion that for the Jewish people to survive we need to study. Rabbi Yosef symbolized that and acted upon it, he was simply a great man. His greatness wasn’t measured but rather it was felt as a spiritual wind in every corner, lighting up the darkness in unexpected places. When I met him I sensed he was a great man with an unbelievable memory and the wisdom to share his knowledge with others. His contribution was his love for Israel and he solved problems no-one else could solve using his wisdom and spirituality."