Police on Tuesday arrested an individual who is suspected of burning books authored by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in Yehud over the weekend. The individual is being charged with “insulting a religion,” a charge that could carry jail time.
The set of the Yalkut Yosef books, written by Ovadia Yosef and his son Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, were found outside of a synagogue that is also used by Shas as a meeting place for party members. Members of the congregation who found the books buried them, as is traditional for holy books that have been destroyed.
Shas MK and party spokesperson Ariel Attias expressed shock over the book burning, saying that “this act is the result of incitement during the election campaign against Shas and against Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and what both represent. We have seen in the past how words can turn into deeds,” Attias said, echoing a slogan used by the Left in regards to comments by the Right against the Oslo Accords and Yitzchak Rabin, Prime Minister when they were signed.
“Now we are seeing the process taking place again. This is a dishonor to the Torah and to Rabbi Yosef. This act reminds us of scenes in Jewish history we would prefer to forget,” Attias said, adding that “this sick act will not prevent us from leading the charge to increase Jewish identity and prevent assimilation in Israel.”
The donor of the books, an officer in the IDF, expressed shock at the act and filed a police complaint. Police did not discuss the motivation of the suspect.