Ynet News recently reported the following story about Rabbi Avraham Yosef:
During a radio show on which he replies to halachic questions, the rabbi, son of Shasâ€™ spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef, was asked by a listener whether names should be changed if, for instance, the bride and her mother-in-law share the same name.
The rabbi answered that a name must never be changed, though another name can be added to the first name, unless one carries the name of â€œan evil, indecent figureâ€? like Herzl, the founder of Zionism, or the biblical Nimrod. â€œOne must be careful not to name his children by these names,â€? Yosef stressed. (MORE)
So why was Herzl evil?
I imagine it has something to do with Herzl’s secular Zionism. And if that’s the case, Yosef’s comments are a genre of chutzpah I’ve encountered before: religious Jews who value and utilize a Jewish state, while conveniently forgetting the fact that, in the early years, religious Jews were overwhelmingly against Zionism.
Rabbi Avraham Yosef is the chief rabbi of Holon, but he doesn’t seem to realize that if Herzl had been frum, Israel wouldn’t have a chief rabbi of anything.