A protest against Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi
We are concerned that Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi is a practitioner of a cultish, disreputable and often racist variety of kiruv which seeks to scare people into becoming more observant, with threats of "hellfire", disease, natural disasters and the like, as well as traducing kabbalistic sources to attribute suffering to the sins of past lives. He claims a wide following, principally in the United States. His output is typically in the form of video lectures hosted on his divineinformation.com internet site.
Some documented examples of his views:
A. That Downs Syndrome children and those with autism are being punished for their sins in a previous life for gossiping, "measure for measure" and are here to suffer.
B. That due to not being correctly religious, secular Jewish women acted without concern for their modesty at the gas chambers during the Holocaust.
C. Engaging in a [racist] form of Holocaust denial by challenging the Jewish status of five million souls who perished.
D. That Sephardic Jews were spared much of the Holocaust because Reform started in Germany, a demonstrably false claim in view of the decimation of the Sephardic population of the Balkans.
E. That children who are born with blindness are being punished for watching pornography in previous lives.
F. That women contract breast and cervix cancers as a result of sexual licentiousness.
G. That men contract prostate and brain cancers as a result of sexual licentiousness and what he calls "dirty thoughts".
H. The racist accusation that crime has increased in America as the result of the emancipation of African-Americans.
I. That homosexuals are being punished for having chosen to be gay in a previous life.
J. That people cease to be religious because they are influenced by gay university professors.
K. That totalitarian laws should be imposed as a result of terrorism.
L. That the problem with the European far right is not their views, but that they detest Jews as well as Muslims.
M. The racist view that all Chinese people look the same.
R. Mizrachi typically dismisses all criticism of his views in two ways:
1. That his critics are Reform, gay, or otherwise some variety of heretics and sinners and, therefore, not worthy of answer.
2. That any specific controversial statement that he is forced to justify in public was "taken out of context", due to an "ongoing campaign of lashon hara" against him, with "wicked people" supposedly editing his video clips.
He also personally attacks his critics in the most intemperate language, describing them as "Amalek", "Korach", "Haman", "worse than Hitler" or "evil wicked enem[y] of hashem and the torah" (sic). Videos of his more controversial statements are routinely removed in order to enable claims that they were "taken out of context".
His last visit to the UK in 2014 was covered by the JC and led to criticism of his views by two leading London rabbis, concerned at invitations to allow him to speak in a local synagogue and to school children.
His remarks on the Holocaust and other matters provoked strong condemnation from the Novominsker Rebbe, the president of Agudath Israel of America, resulting in a rare apology. This was reported in HaModia and Yeshiva World News.
He was also forced to publicly disavow remarks he made about the "hypocrisy" of Chabad, alleging that they would call a man a tzaddik if they donated $1,000, despite being thief, a murder, incestuous, a rapist and a drug dealer.
Rabbi Mizrachi intends to visit the UK again on the 16th-19th of September. This man's views are a gift to our enemies, to those who seek to ridicule us as backward and portray us as extremists, racists and criminals. With current controversies such as illegal schools, children needing to be rescued from danger on poorly organised trips and the ever-present threat to brit milah and shehitah, it is incumbent upon us to show that the observant Jewish community can distance itself from charlatans and those who bring Judaism and our holy Torah into disrepute.
We are contacting rabbis that are prepared to support the statement of protest.
Sources can be viewed here
Sources can be viewed here