The Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel called black people “monkeys” during his weekly sermon on Saturday evening.
Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef was addressing Jewish legal aspects of the blessing on seeing fruit trees blossoming, during the current Hebrew month of Nissan, and, specifically, whether one should bless one tree or at least two.
In that context, he mentioned a blessing uttered upon seeing an “unusual creature,” citing the example of encountering a black person who has two white parents on the street in America.
In footage aired by the Ynet news site, Yosef could be seen referring to black people by the word “kushi,” which in modern Hebrew has pejorative connotations, and then going on to term a black person a “monkey.”
His office told Ynet that the comparison was a quote from the Talmud.