The Messiah Comes From the East
Sephardic rabbi predicts Sephardic savior
Moses Maimonides famously believed that the Messiah will come, “though he may tarry.” But Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of Israel’s ultra-religious Shas political party, has gone the Rambam one better: the Messiah, it turns out, not only will come, but will be Sephardic. “We cannot determine that we were correct until the Messiah comes and will make us one people,” Yosef told his weekly Saturday night class. “Only the Messiah can do this.… When Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will rise up in the revival of the dead, what will they say? They will start to say they were from Halabim, from Aleppo.” (Yosef, who once was Israel’s Chief Sephardi Rabbi, himself hails from Basra, Iraq.) Once the Messiah comes, Yosef went on to predict, Ashkenazim will adopt Sephardic customs—which is good news for those who have always wanted to eat rice during Passover.
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