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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Gentiles Exist Only to Serve Jews

According to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the lives of non-Jews in Israel are safeguarded by divinity, to prevent losses to Jews.

By Jonah Mandel for the Jerusalem Post

The sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews, according to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the head of Shas’s Council of Torah Sages and a senior Sephardi adjudicator.

“Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel,” he said in his weekly Saturday night sermon on the laws regarding the actions non-Jews are permitted to perform on Shabbat.

According to Yosef, the lives of non-Jews in Israel are safeguarded by divinity, to prevent losses to Jews.

“In Israel, death has no dominion over them… With gentiles, it will be like any person – they need to die, but [God] will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money.

This is his servant… That’s why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew,” Yosef said.

“Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat.

That is why gentiles were created,” he added.

Yosef’s Saturday night sermons have seen many controversial statements from the 90-year-old rabbi. In August, Yosef caused a diplomatic uproar when he wished a plague upon the Palestinian people and their leaders, a curse he retracted a few weeks later, when he blessed them along with all of Israel’s other peace-seeking neighbors.


By Jonah Mandel for the Jerusalem Post


  • 1. Chaim wrote:

    This is a completely backwards viewpoint. The Rebbe never said anything like this and expressed nothing but love for gentiles.

  • 2. go-d-s right hand man wrote:

    Go-d bless rabbi o. yosef i must comment he isn’t seeking a diplomatic position and is a chief rabbi of israel
    So the policital correct business is coming to a close as human beings ( jews included ) are interested in a more purposeful and meaningful existence
    The interpetation of “ I will be light ” Ohr L’goyim “ is simple enough
    The symbiotic relationships of all creation under the same macro rock/light/one go-d is infinite and the prayer va’anachnoo lo nayda applies to jew and non-jew alike.
    I must ask myself ”go-d’s chosen people“ ”chosen for ????“
    No even if the responsibity is the jews, the jews most likely don’t want it as is written in pirkei avos ”sinah es harabonoos“ ”abhor the rabbinate” means it is a job/responsibility no-one should want !!!!!!!!
    The late rabbi Schneerson O’BM was______________!

  • 5. Bill wrote:

    I think it’s good that the rabbi speaks openly. Let’s us lowly Goyim know where we stand in relation to the kind, benevolent Jews.

  • 6. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef makes us look bad wrote:

    Bill, do not paint us all with the same brush. I just read this article and was disgusted at that this “Rabbi” had to say. I’d never want my kids to see him as a role model. I for one HATE the use of the word Goy, regardless of it’s actual meaning it has taken on dergatory tones and has no use in the language of a Jew. If I’m referring to a non-Jew I’ll either use their name or non-Jew.

  • 8. sfarnag wrote:

    abdullah yusuf strikes again.

    he will retract his statements easily if the zionist government threatens to retract shas’ budget.

  • 9. AH wrote:

    He’s obviously talking about Moshiach’s times, as evidenced by this sentence:

    “In Israel, death has no dominion over them.”

    Still, though, what a difference between R’ Yosef and our Rebbe! The Rebbe, as he once said himself, was “crazy for Moshiach” and talked about every aspect of it all the time, but in a way that ennobled us and the wider non-Jewish world, rather than in a way that (at least seems to) degrade them.

  • 10. attn num 5 wrote:

    to number 5
    hey Mr. Bill
    you are so not a goy. But dont worry I agree with you, this is kind of insulting to non Jews.

  • 11. disgusted wrote:

    Just because he’s a rabbi doesn’t mean he’s correct. He’s still a human and as infallible as anybody else. It makes no sense that Mashiach would create a world just to put humans against each other. All will be judged equally and that’s all there is to it.

  • 12. Ocean Breeze wrote:

    Not Such A politically correct statement, I must say… However, he’s got a point.. as we know, when Mashiach comes thats the reality!! Thats there reality. And ours… But,on the flip side the Righteous goyim will have a higher position. Also, as The Tanya explains- when a Yid sins (CH”V) he is lower than a goy. So, in Short lets try our best to beat the Hatzr down, and Hashem and The Rebbe will decide the rest:)

  • 13. Andrea Schonberger wrote:

    Like Bill, I too am glad that the rabbi speaks openly and honestly. Yes, I am a Jew, however I wasn’t brought up to think that I’m better than non-Jews nor does the fact that I am a Jew gives me certain entitlements.

  • 14. Milhouse wrote:

    Chaim, you need to learn some more chassidus, and ask your mashpia what chassidus has to say on this topic. You are 100% incorrect. R Ovadia, as usual, is not diplomatic, but tells the Torah truth.

  • 15. Milhouse wrote:

    #7, Moshiach did not make the world! What religion are you talking about?

    And who *are* all these people commenting; certainly not Lubavitchers! Anyone who has learnt chassidus knows what the Torah teaches about the relative status of Yisroel and Nochrim. This is a Lubavitcher site; if you want to think that “all men are equal”, feel free, but don’t you dare claim that the Rebbe agreed with you. The distinction “bein yisroel lo’amim” is FUNDAMENTAL to yiddishkeit. Go ask your mashpia, or look at any of the Rebbe’s sichos.

    As for Moshiach’s time, the novi says clearly that “strangers will rise and pasture your sheep”, and that “kings will be your nannies, and their ministers’ wives your wetnurses”. We just learnt in chumash last week that Par’oh gave his daughter to be Sarah’s slave, because it was better to be a member of Avrohom’s house, even as a slave, than to be a princess in Egypt.

  • 16. Rebbes Fan wrote:

    Ovadia Yosef wasnt a big friend of the rebbe so am gonna say he shouldnt say that openly… he’s just tryin to gain publicity and be a good politician. What does torah say about this? doesnt matter as long as he gets a crowed.

  • 17. to 7:disgust cannot allow heresy! wrote:

    MOSHIACH does not CREATE
    as a shliach teaching the Jewish conecpt of moshiach
    I was surprised to come accross such a mistake here
    Moshiach is a human who serves hashem

  • 18. Just want peace for all wrote:

    I appreciate the Jewish people who appear to be standing up for the non-Jews here. But didn’t I read on this same site not too long ago about a restaurant that served Jews and non-Jews? Almost all of the comments to that article were very negative about the very thought of dining in the same building as “goyim.” So which one is it? Would any one of you invite me – a “lowly goy” to your home for a cup of tea and a visit? Judging by the anti-goy poasts in general on this site, I would say – sadly – probably not.

  • 19. Posted by ChanaLeah wrote:

    We still haven’t understood that we, the Jews are like the first born son. It is our duty and responsibility to help guide the other children to the table and show them how they can have a place at the table and reach their full potential by teaching them the Sheva Mitzvos Bnai Noach with all of their numerous ramifications and in the light of Chassidus. This was one of the Rebbe’s most ardent expectations and wishes that his Chassidim would take this work to the next level. The Rebbe had such a strong connection to this work that on his birthday, Education Day USA was signed in to legislation. So where does that leave us now, hopefully with a sense of urgency to know that outreach to the rest of the world, not to convert them, but to teach them to become Chassidei Umot Haolam, is the missing link that will bring about the fulfillment of our role as Children of Yaacov, and the whole purpose of the Chassidic movement, to bring achdus ve shalom……not just amongst Jews, but amongst all of G-d’s children, the ganze welt.

  • 20. ach! wrote:

    BS“D… if so, how come we, jews are ”OR LAGOYIM”, so who is for who?…(part of)our job is to show the world the emes and truth of Torah, no having an Aladin palace and thinking were saladino

  • 21. James wrote:

    It is sad that people even go to listen to this guy.

    If you have a moment watch “The Human Family Tree by National Geographics.”

    Please watch this when you have a moment.

    I thought it was very good!!!!

  • 22. Disgusted wrote:

    I meant Hashem, not Moshiach.

    Milhouse, revisit your Tehillim very carefully. All will be judged equally. If you think that Jews are more righteous than non, you’re living in a bubble. Every community has the same problems.

    #19, if “such a mistake” as the one I made is “such” a surprise to you, clearly, you are blind to the bigger ones happening in your community and all over the world.

    Get off this site, get out in the world and do the real work you’re supposed to do.

  • 24. Milhouse wrote:

    #18, just because R Ovadia clashed with the Rebbe doesn’t change the truth. He is a huge talmid chochom, and what he says in his shiur is usually 100% what the Torah says, with no censorship. In this case what he said is *moderate* compared to what Chabad Chassidus says. Ask your mashpia about “umoisor ho’odom min habheimo”, which we say every morning. Kabel es ho’emes mimi she’omroi, even from a misnaged.

  • 25. He is right wrote:

    I told this to amreican express and bank of … regarding my mortgage, they gave a few 1-800 numbers.

    Thank you Rabbi O. for saying the truth.

  • 26. ad wrote:

    To number 15. I do not need or want you or anyone else to guide me anywhere, that claim itself is the height of “cheek” as the British would say.

    Anyone with a teaspoonful of sense would realize there is a way to live in this world that is better than other ways. The Greeks spoke about this. It’s called philosophy and it has nothing to do with religion.

    If a person needs the threat of retribution to live a decent life, then they really haven’t accepted the truth and only act out of the basest self interest, and if there were a God and heaven (which I’m convinced there isn’t), I’d kick them out on their kiester.

  • 28. Moshe wrote:

    Absolutely disgusting! Great way to make peace from what is called a man of God. So let me get this straight, and keep in mind in both Jewish and a Zionist, 2 million ultra orthodox Jews in a world of 6 billion yet everyone is to serve his belief. No wonder antisemitism is on the rise. This freak gives all of us a bad name and especially Israel at a time when global support has never been more important. Are we going to distance ourselves from Tehran or become another Tehran of Jews?
    I’m not seeing much of a difference between the religious extremists. They share much in common, mostly spreading hatred and intolerance. A man of God or a madman?!

  • 29. Keep it legal. wrote:

    This rabbi is right to reject muslim claim to the holy land. The land of israel is g’ds gift to the jewish people and thats it. And i’m not religious or observent.

  • 31. Robert M. Stockmann wrote:

    God takes care of liars. As a result there have always
    existed far less Jews than Gentiles, even today, now that many
    blessings for the Jewish people have come into fruition.

  • 32. World Love wrote:

    Is not this what every supremacist says. “G-d said I am superior” and on top of that “G-d said you are my servant”??????
    Sad and very bad for Israel.

  • 33. John Hrvatska wrote:

    I know that most Jews in Israel do not share the opinions of Naama Margolese, and I’m glad to see that the non-ultra-orthodox majority is finally waking up to the dangers posed by extremists like Naama Margolese. But the more needs to be done or Naama Margolese and like minded individuals will destroy Israel from within. Every time the ultra-orthodox gain concessions they erode support in the US. The majority of Israelis need to find a way to exclude the ultra-orthodox from political power, or else Israel will soon resemble a Jewish Iran, and it have about as much support in the US as Iran does, too.

  • 34. Jean-Victor Côté wrote:

    I am not very happy with the tenor of the comments that he reportedly uttered in the last decade or so. They seem to do more harm than good. It may be time for him to step out from the limelight.


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