Rabbi who says sick children are being punished set to speak in London shuls

Rabbi who says sick children are being punished set to speak in London shuls

Yosef Mizrachi to speak at a number of synagogues including at event hosted by Rabbi Aharon Bassous, who led the boycott of JW3 over its promoting of 'homosexuality'

Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi
Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi

A controversial rabbi who claims sick Jewish children are being punished for sins in a former life is set to present at a series of synagogues in London this month.

Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi, who has 200,000 followers on social media, is being hosted from 15-16 March by Charedi rabbis in north London, including Rabbi Aharon Bassous in Golders Green, who led a boycott of the JW3 culture centre for encouraging “homosexual activities”.

Mizrachi has been slammed by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and others for his views, including his claim that less than a million halachic Jews were killed in the Holocaust, that Down’s Syndrome and autism are punishments for previous sins, and that blind children are serving penance for watching pornography in a past life.

In 2016 hundreds signed a petition calling for Mizrachi to be banned from the UK as community members and representatives called him as a “hate preacher,” but in 2014 he toured the UK lecturing schoolchildren and has since been seeking a return.

In 2016, Mirvis said: “We do not expect that any of our Rabbis or communities would wish to host a speaker who threatens to disrupt that precious atmosphere, with views which cause widespread offence and upset.”

Poster about the visit which was put on Twitter by a shul member

An online petition described Mizrachi’s views as “cultish, divisive and contemptible,” with the former Three Faiths Forum (3FF) director Stephen Shashoua writing that “hate should be given no oxygen” and Jewish sociologist and author Keith Kahn-Harris saying “there is a violence to his views”.

In videos posted online, Mizrachi tells Jewish children that “God only want him [the disabled child] here 40 years to suffer… Why? Measure-for-measure. You spoke bad about people for the previous life, now you going to feel what it is to live 40 years without be able to say a word”.

He has also suggested that Ashkenazi Jews were killed in the Holocaust because they went to college, and labels his critics “worse than Hitler”. They include Novominsker Rebbe, president of Agudath Israel of America, who said Mizrachi’s claims were “demonstrably false, profoundly offensive and extremely hurtful”.

He is due to give three lectures, including one called ‘Defeating the Modern Day Amelek (enemies of Israel)’ and another called ‘True Submission to Hashem’s Will.’

The venues include Bassous’s Sephardi shul Beth Hamadresh Knesset Yehezkel in Golders Green, a charity whose purpose is “to advance religion in accordance with the orthodox Jewish faith”.

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