Chief Rabbi Rav Yitzchak Yosef Offered Israel Prize

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Journalist Amit Segal revealed last night that Sephardi Chief Rabbi Rav Yitzchak Yosef, a prolific mechaber seforim and brilliant talmid chochom, has been selected as the recipient of the Israel Prize in the category of Torah Literature.

However, the award’s bestowal hinges on the occurrence of the prize ceremony this year, as Education Minister Yoav Kisch has postponed it until the next year due to the ongoing conflict.

Segal pointed out the irony of potentially awarding the highest honor of the State of Israel to someone who has previously urged the chareidi community to depart the country.

Responding to the news, Rav Yosef’s office emphasized that while they appreciate the recognition of his 50 years of halachic contributions, the current circumstances do not warrant celebratory events.  “As much as there is in the publication about the intention to award the Rishon Letzion the ‘Israel Prize’ for his Torah work and even though it is a decision expressing 50 years of halachic creation, this is not the time.”

The office further conveyed Rav Yosef’s stance that had he been aware of his nomination for the Israel Prize, he would have taken measures to oppose it. “If he had known about his submission as a candidate for the ‘Israel Prize’ he would have worked to prevent it. This is not a year where it is appropriate to have ceremonies and celebrations. The only appreciation the country should have for its citizens is maintaining their safety and honoring the soldiers who sacrifice their lives on the battlefield for it, and therefore we must praise the decision to cancel the award this year.”

In response to Minister Kisch’s decision to defer the Israel Prize ceremony, the Supreme Court issued a conditional order demanding an explanation.

Minister Kisch has been given until March 21 to justify his choice to cancel this year’s Israel Awards ceremony.

{ Israel}


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