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HaGaon HaRav Shalom Cohen Shlita has elicited the ire of many as he said the national anthem, Hatikvah, “is foolish”. It is reported the head of Shas’ Torah Council made his remark during an election kenos held in Sderot in the presence of party leader Aryeh Deri and rabbonim of the Torah council, HaRav Shimon Ba’adani Shlita and HaRav Reuven Elbaz Shlita.
Rav Cohen explained he was by Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef’s ZT”L side for 60 years, and for him there was nothing other than Torah. He explained at events that were seated at one another’s side, and at the coronation of Rav Yitzchak Nissim was they began singing Hatikvah and thought to himself “what fools”. He added that the rav stood but he remained seated. He stated it was strange for him to see Rav Ovadia stood, and when he asked, Rav Ovadia told him that he recited עלינו לשבח. Rav Cohen added “A genuine person who did not wish to have that foolish song influence him in any way”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)