Powerful words

Recent comments made by the spiritual leader of Israel’s Orthodox Shas party cast a dark shadow over the Middle East peace process, as well as infuriating Jews with his comments about the Holocaust. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef stated that the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust were reincarnated sinners in need of atonement. Beyond the surface of his cruel, as well as unusual, remarks — especially considering their source — it must be asked if people have possibly misinterpreted his meaning.
As with any comments major political figures make, the slightest bit of ambiguity, especially on sensitive topic matters, will usually draw an immediate firestorm of criticism. Any follow-up explanation immediately seems lame, as it usually appears the offender is simply trying to backtrack out of the original, tactless remarks. Likewise with Rabbi Yosef, his follow-up sermon did nothing to defuse the situation.
It is doubtful anyone will ever understand why Rabbi Yosef decided to make the comments in the first place. No matter what his intentions were, he should have known they would have been offensive to a majority of Jews. Even if he did intend the comments to have such a hurtful impact, he must now face the consequences of his vitriol. Perhaps in the future, Rabbi Yosef will moderate his speech. If not, he should prepare to immediately explain what his intentions are. The unnecessary pain he is causing is unconscionable, for which he should apologize.