Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party, had a go at Mahmous Ahmadinejad, during his weekly Saturday evening sermon. He called the Iranian president the “Haman of our generation” referring to the upcoming Purim holiday, and added the he “can go to hell”.
The rabbi, whose address was centered on the laws of Purim, spoke about the followers of Haman, the grand vizier of Persia.
“In every generation we have Hamans,”
“Now we have a new Haman in Persia, threatening us with his nukes.”
He went on to further curse the Iranian leader, using verses from the Bible.
In the halachic part of his sermon, Rabbi Yosef made the ruling that Sephardic students in Ashkenazi yeshivot should not take part in the prayer quorum on the Saturday before Purim in order to read the “Zachor” Torah portion separately, in keeping with their custom.
He explained that listening to the verses, which discuss Amalek’s war on Israel, is a Torah mitzvah and therefore each person must do it according to the common pronunciation of their own community.
Rabbi Yosef did not miss an opportunity to tease the Ashkenazim. After imitating the way they read that Torah portion, he said,
“The Sephardim’s pronunciation is the real one. Their accent is wrong. But they insist. They’re stubbornâ€¦ They don’t want to change. Even their Ashkenazim testify that our pronunciation is the right one, the truth.”