Recently, there have been a number of posts where Christians on LJ have indicated they’ve been embarrassed to be Christian because of the statements being made about the reasons for Katrina. A good example of this is klellingson‘s post where he talks about how the position of Repent America that Katrina was the result of Southern Decedance is distinctly non-Christian.
Alas, I regret to say I must join Kevin in his statement.
No, I haven’t become Christian. But a post on weirdjews about a recent article in the Jerusalem Post about the statements of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the leading spiritual mentor of Sephardi Jewry make me say: “This isn’t Judaism as I was taught”.
What did Rabbi Yosef say? Here are some quotes:
He [Bush] brought about the expulsion [from Gaza], now he has his own expulsion…
There was a tsunami and there were horrible natural disasters. It’s all a result of too little Torah study. Where there is Torah, the world has sustenance.
Over there [Louisiana] is where black people live. Do blacks learn Torah? ‘All right,’ said God, ‘let’s bring a tsunami and drown them.’ Hundreds of thousands are homeless, tens of thousands are dead. All that because there is no God there.”
I said it before, I’ll said it again: This is not Judaism.
Judaism teaches us that there are many ways to God. Christianity is just as valid a path as is Judaism; in fact, it is an easier path (for there are fewer obligations). The hurricane was a natural disaster.
Me thinks folks trying to rationalize the reason for the hurricane need to read the book When Bad Things Happen To Good People by Rabbi Harold Kusher. We need to speak out against such idocy whenever we see it.
P.S. To Rabbi Yosef: Blacks do indeed learn Torah. I know quite a few who are proud Jews (even some likely reading this article). I was very proud the day I was able to stand and be a witness at the conversion of my best friend, a black lady who died far too young, to Judaism.