Thursday, January 07, 2016

Reassessing Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi

Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi
I admit my error. My description of Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi has fallen short. I had no clue that this fellow was such an arrogant fool. 

I of course realized  the stupidity of his comments doubting the Halachic status as Jews - the 6 million that were slaughtered by Hitler. There is no doubt that the vast majority of them were indeed Jewish.  

That was not my error. My error was not doing more research about him. I was duly chastised by some of my readership who pointed out some of his other ridiculous - even dangerous comments. Had I known, I would not have been so shocked by his Holocaust denying comments. And considered the source. The man is an unrepentant fool who thinks he knows the mind of God - kind of like the prophets of old.

But there is no prophecy today. If someone tells you that God literally talks to him and he means it, you can be assured that he is very likely a paranoid type schizophrenic. This is corroborated in the Gemara (Bava Basra -12b). Which tells us that prophecy in the post Temple era has been given over to the insane and to little children (LeShotim V’LeTinkos). I don’t think Rabbi Mizrachi is a child. Any claims therefore attributing various tragic outcomes to God’s displeasure with a particular act - should be seen in that light.

While I have been remiss in not researching Rabbi Mizrachi, fortunately one astute reader went to the trouble for me. I was forwarded some of his lectures on YouTube and accompnied with comments about the ridiculous claims he made in them. Here is the list, links, and comments:

1) In this video he opens up explaining that if a woman has a shirt too open or too many colors in her wig, she will have no z'chus before Hashem when she dies (even if she is doing everything else perfectly!). Later on in the video, he says that women are in Tanach for one reason and one reason only - to teach tnzius.

2) Here the Forward shows a clip of him praising muslim terrorists for keeping their women in line with modesty by killing them! 

3) Here is him threatening one of his anonymous critics. 

4) Scroll down for this one - "mamzers and blind people are suffering from mistakes from past lives and deserve no sympathy". 

5) In this one he criticizes secular Jewish women for walking to THE GAS CHAMBERS immodestly. 

6)  (Here is) the time the holy rabbi compared non-virgin women to open bottles of coke. 

 7) (Here are) false, dangerous statements about mental health, claiming once that clinical anxiety and depression stem from lack of emunah and if left untreated can turn into schizophrenia. 

I have been told that Rabbi Mizrachi is so arrogant that in the many times he was asked - he refused to tell people where he was ordained. Which in my mind questions whether he has any Semicha at all. Nor does he even say who his own Rabbonim are.

This man is not only a fool, he is a dangerous one. He has influenced an enormous amount of Jews with little or no background. Not to mention influencing all the students he once taught in a Monsey Yeshiva.. A lot of Frum Jews respect him and his so-called Kiruv work. Adding to his prestige is a recent Charedi magazine cover story on the wonderful work he does in Kiruv.

Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi obviously has a lot of talent reaching out to non observant Jews. But his messages are so poor, I’m not sure how much value that outreach really has.

As I said in my original post, anyone can do Teshuva. Even someone so misguided as Rabbi Mizrachi is. If he does and changes his stupid  and in some cases repulsive messages - he might one day become the asset he has the potential to be. But I wouldn’t hold my breath. His ‘know-it-all’ arrogance will certainly get in the way.