A Disturbing Dream 30 Yrs. After He Denigrated HaRav Ovadia Yosef

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Photo: Issac Maimon

Harav Shomo Levinstein spoke on Motzei Shabbos prior to the weekly shiur of Harav Yitzchak Yosef, which takes place every week in Yerushalayim, and told an amazing story about an American Jew who denigrated HaRav Ovadia Yosef 30 years ago one Purim when he was intoxicated.

“I received a letter last week from America from my friend Harav Ben-Tzion Sneh of Monsey,” Harav Levenstein began. “He sent me a letter that he received from someone who suffered from a terrible intestinal disease to the point that he fainted from the pain. Even the doctors couldn’t explain it and there were no medical findings. He reached a point of being in a worrisome emotional state.”

“He made a wedding for one of his children before Purim last year and he was worried that he would suffer an attack of pain in the middle of the wedding. Sure enough, he had an attack during the Kabbalas Panim and they had to push off the chuppah for an hour until he could stand on his feet. At the chuppah, he cried to Hashem: ‘Ribbono Shel Olam, what You do want from me? Tell me!'”

“A few days later, on Purim, he davened before he went to sleep that in the zechus of Mordechai and Esther and the great salvation that occurred on Purim, Hashem should tell him what He wants from him.”

“That night he dreamed that the word ‘מעיים’ (intestines) is the acronym for ‘Maran Ovadia Yosef Macheh Timcheh.’ The dream brought him back 30 years prior when he belonged to an extreme sect that opposes Zionism. He had gone to Eretz Yisrael to learn and was surrounded by friends with similar strident views about Zionism. When Purim came, they drank and danced and when they were quite drunk, they sang the song: ‘Macheh Timcheh es zecher Amalek‘ and in place of the name Amalek, rachmana litztlan, they said the name of Maran.”

“When the man woke up in the morning he felt extremely disturbed although he coud not recall the incident. He called one of his Rabbanim to find out what to do. The Rav instructed him to go to the kever with ten men, like the halacha says, and ask for mechila.

“However, due to the coronavirus, the man couldn’t travel to Israel so the Rav told him to pay ten men to daven at the kever for him. Meanwhile, the man connected to the tefillah via phone. He took off his shoes, sat on the floor, and accompanied by copious weeping, davened for mechila.”

“The Rav also instructed him to buy Rav Ovadia’s sefarim for shuls and batei midrashim where it was needed and when people will learn them, it will be a kapara for him.”

The Rishon L’Tzion Hagaon Rav Yitzchak Yosef remarked on the story at the beginning of his shiur: “This is a wonderful story. We see that Hakadosh Baruch Hu is Erech Apayim. He waited 30 years for the man to do teshuvah. When he didn’t do teshuvah he had terrible pains until he asked mechila and everything passed.”

“How careful we need to be regarding Kavod Chachamim. There’s no refuah for someone who denigrates a Talmid Chacham. How horrible for there to be a choleh and there’s no refuah for him. We must be extremely careful in these matters.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)




6 COMMENTS

  1. I have a stronger such story in my mailbox:
    We just reread Pirkei Avos Chapter 5 just before The 3 Weeks commemorating the Destruction of the Holy Temples began.
    Covid-19 is on the rise again in Israel and in the USA. We of course must not rely on miracles and must take normal preventive safety measures. Yet that does not negate the need to see the spiritual, metaphysical Torah aspects of the pestilence encompassing the world.
    דֶּבֶר בָּא לָעוֹלָם עַל מִיתוֹת הָאֲמוּרוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁלֹּא נִמְסְרוּ לְבֵית דִּין
    “Pestilence comes to the world for death penalties according to the Torah, that are not administered by Bais Din”. (Pirkei Avos 5:11 or 5:8 in Metsudah edition)
    The only explicit death penalty I can find that G-d specifically says He will administer it is in Sefer Shemos Parshas Mishpatim:
    כָּל־אַלְמָנָ֥ה וְיָת֖וֹם לֹ֥א תְעַנּֽוּן
    You shall not mistreat any widow or orphan
    אִם־עַנֵּ֥ה תְעַנֶּ֖ה אֹת֑וֹ כִּ֣י אִם־צָעֹ֤ק יִצְעַק֙ אֵלַ֔י שָׁמֹ֥עַ אֶשְׁמַ֖ע צַעֲקָתֽוֹ
    If you do mistreat them, I will heed their outcry when they cry out to Me!
    וְחָרָ֣ה אַפִּ֔י וְהָרַגְתִּ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם בֶּחָ֑רֶב וְהָי֤וּ נְשֵׁיכֶם֙ אַלְמָנ֔וֹת וּבְנֵיכֶ֖ם יְתֹמִֽים
    and My anger shall blaze forth and I will put you to death by the sword, and your own wives shall become widows and your children orphans!
    I personally know of widows who have been severely mistreated by supposedly “frum” Jews in Las Vegas by Young Israel and in Monsey by wicked Ramapo Town officials acting like Jezebel did to Naboth for builders who are like Ahab.
    I dread to think how many more widows there are who have been ill-treated as Mrs. Susan Shalov and the widow of my teacher, Rabbi Kasriel Baruch Kaufman, zt’l, have been that G-d finally unleashed that which was written in Pirkei Avos.

  2. Its a clear Gemara – שבת דף קיט עמוד ב – אמר רב יהודה אמר רב: כל המבזה תלמידי חכמים אין לו רפואה למכתו.

  3. Personal Experience
    As a young kid growing up in Yeshiva I heard over and over and over that how Harav Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Zatazal was a bad person and …. Because he was in the government. As a person who always wanted to be attached to Gedolim, I often visited on the regular basis the entire list of our sages, but not Harav, The Gaon, The light of Sepharadic Community.
    After his passing I heard a certain Rabbi elegizes the Rav. I started reading about the Gaon and his works and I am sorry to this day that I never went for a Bracha.
    Do you know that he was the only Gaon who tried to find Halachic Heter so that Almana of 9/11 could remarry?
    This space is not long enough to encapsulate the sadik of our generation.
    So to the Rabeim, Rosh Hayeshiva’s who perpetrated this Anti Sephardic degrading, (AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, BECAUSE YOU ARE IN ALL THE YESHIVOS ), go ahead and sit on the floor and mourn and ask for forgiveness.
    You dont have to put a Yod and change the word of Torah to TOYRAH. Wearing a Black hat and pretending to be frum but not emulating the 13 midot dont make you frum.
    Ask Mechila out loud.
    The story mentioned above is a good story for these days and specifically days leading to Tisha B’Av and Sinat Chinam.
    Thank you YW