Rav Shmuel Eliyahu Shlita on Pope Francis’ Visit

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eliyahuTzfas Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu Shlita spoke out about the ongoing papal visit by Pope Francis to Israel. Rabbi Eliyahu commented on statements by rabbonim who instruct us not to look at the pope, citing he is tamei. Rabbi Eliyahu feels there is no need to argue with him, calling it a waste of time and energy. “We have good reason to be angry but it is difficult to build amid feelings of frustration and revenge”.

Rabbi Eliyahu made his comments to the dati leumi Kippa website. He added “We are talking about a religion that is fading. 6,000 priests in Italy alone have abandoned their posts to become non religious. Among us we do not find rabbis who

Rabbi Eliyahu adds that “one cannot erase thousands of years of repression, killing and robbery as they have done to us and it is difficult to forget what occurred during the Holocaust but we must adopt the teaching of Rabbi Akiva – to look ahead with courage and happiness and build. Not with feelings of frustration and revenge for it is difficult to build with those feelings’.

The rav speaks of the visit of Pope Paul III in 1994 and how his uncle, the brother of HaGaon HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu ZT”L accompanied him and looked out for him.

“They climbed the summit of Mount Tabor and looked at all the Jezreel Valley. The pope asked who built the towns and fields and when they told him ‘Jews’ he got angry. He sent away the deputy who told him ‘Jews’ and asked the commander of the Druse patrol who was there. When he said the same thing is also asked my uncle and as he too had said ‘the Jews’. That goy, that Bilam began to speak to God and said ‘you probably forgave your people. Renew the covenant with them’. “His secretary distanced the photographers but the fact that it was impossible to erase. That individual just completely changed”.

“That’s what happens this pope,” said Rabbi Eliyahu. “He will come to Jerusalem to see the beauty and size and realize there’s no point to fight the people of Israel. I believe he will see the blessing of G-d is in everything and realize there’s no point to war.”

When asked if one may look at the pope, from a Halachic perspective, he said “Christians claim they are like Yeshu and he was the embodiment of God. It sounds bizarre but this is what they say. Therefore one may not bow before him for he is like idolatry. It is so bizarre that I have a hunch that even Christians cannot believe this story even though they receipt this mantra. One should know one may not bow down before him and one should not get carried away with it. We have no reason to confront him.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)




15 COMMENTS

  1. Its very interesting to hear that the pope was angry being that he was friendly to the Jews.
    Btw, Pope Paul III died in 1549, the pope he is referring to is Pope John Paul II…………….

  2. you missed a sentence in the article

    “”חבל לריב איתו, זה בזבוז אנרגיה. מדובר בדת שהולכת ודועכת. 6000 כמרים באיטליה לבד זנחו את הכמורה שלהם והפכו לדתל”שים. אצלנו לא תמצא רבנים שיוצאים מהדת. הציבור שאמור להיות מוביל הדרך מבין שזה לא רלוונטי לומר שאלוקים מאס בעם ישראל ובחר בעם אחר. חבל על האנרגיה”.”

  3. thanks for translating this article this is important to me..

    i want to make it clear to the readers.. i hope we share the same basic core values and motivations.. but in the short blunt version

    when i have a shayla on issur v’heter i have a rav if i need a rosh kollel i know who is a rosh kollel and who is a rosh kehilla or mashgiach yeshiva… or even a steward of an eida or even a goan posek badoir

    but thats not why i follow up on rav eliyahu…
    he has a quality that he posseses which is neccesarry today and all the previous qualities are not neccesarry and that is LEADERSHIP.. you do not need to be a rosh kolell or a posek adir to provide LEADERSHIP

  4. “הרב אליהו סיפר על ביקורו של האפיפיור הקודם, פאולוס השלישי, ב-1964 ועל דודו, אחיו של הרב מרדכי אליהו, אשר ליווה אותו ‘כמורה דרך וכדי להשגיח עליו’. “הם עלו לפסגת הר תבור והשקיפו על כל עמק יזרעאל. האפיפיור שאל מי בנה את היישובים והשדות וכשאמרו לו שאלו יהודים הוא התרגז. הוא שלח מעליו את סגנו שאמר לו שאלו יהודים ושאל את מפקד חיל המשמר הדרוזי שהיה במקום. כשהוא אמר את אותו הדבר הוא שאל גם את דוד שלי וכשגם הוא אמר שאלו יהודים, החל הגוי, הבלעם הזה לדבר עם אלוקים ואמר ‘כנראה שסלחת לעם שלך. חידשת את הברית איתם’. המזכיר שלו הרחיק מיד את הצלמים מהמקום אבל את העובדה שהדבר קרה אי אפשר היה למחוק. האדם פשוט השתנה לחלוטין”.

    its 1964 and look at the hebrew and re-translate… its this goy this bilam and he does not say please renew coventant he says you have renewed the covenant with them

  5. It’s actually funny. In Christianity, you don’t need to actually believe. It’s like religious dogma goes by one set of rules, and actual life go by another set of rules. You can say yeshu did this and that when history specifically says otherwise, but that doesn’t matter.

    If Judaism was anything like that, I would never accept it. Ashreinu that we have been chosen to serve G-d in a way where you are encouraged to ask questions. Where our beliefs can be challenged and we are not afraid of asking why we follow Halakha. We are encouraged to ask, because when the word of G-d was given on Har Sinai and passed down via the Chachamim for generations, every question has an answer.

  6. He must be talking about Pope Paul VI ‘s visit in 1964. Paul III lived in the 15th century and Pope John Paul II came in 2000. In 1964 the Vatican had not yet recognized the State of Israel. Alot has changed since then.

  7. ע”פ ציווי ד’ we went to war with amelikim and the שבעה עממין plus many others would the rabbi suggest that they have a legitimate right to hate us now, or let bygons be bygons .

  8. In 1994 It was Pope John II not Pope Paul III.

    Also I dont think Pope John Paul II visited Israel in 1994 although the Vatican recognized Israel in 1994. I think he came in 2000.

  9. “one cannot erase thousands of years of repression, killing and robbery as they have done to us and it is difficult to forget what occurred during the Holocaust but we must adopt the teaching of Rabbi Akiva – to look ahead with courage and happiness and build”

    And this is precisely what this Pope and his five immediate predecessors have been doing. The Catholic Church is not what it was 60 years ago.

  10. fading. 6,000 priests in Italy alone have abandoned their posts to become non religious.

    Really, can he support that comment? Can anyone on YWN provide any detail to back this up? Does Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu Shlita realize that the Pope has over 1 billion followers?

    Or mayve I can not even ask about the 6000 leaving because he said it and he is a gadol?

  11. peakman he is not a godol. no godol has been chief rabbi since rav herzog being a chief rabbi does not make you a godol. and yes as fara s our gedolim we do not question them even if they make a mistake they remain a godol. ein lecha elah kohein shebiyameckkkkka