Amnon Yitzchak at a seminar on spiritual improvement and repentance in Acre, Israel, 2006.
|Residence||Bnei Brak, Israel|
He is best known for his involvement in Orthodox Judaism outreach (kiruv). He is involved in activities which are centered on helping Jews to become more religious or observant. In public speaking in Israel and around the world and his 'Shofar' organization distributes his lectures in various media and on the internet.
Amnon Yitzhak was born to Yahya Zechariah Yitzchak and Rumia Yitzchak in Tel Aviv, Israel to a Yemenite Jewish family. He was brought up in a non-religious home, and became religious at the age of 24, after stumbling across the sefer Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, that he received for his Bar Mitzvah.
In 1986, he established the non-profit organization 'Shofar' for promoting the "return to religion" among the Jewish Israeli population. His lectures and other activities have made Yitzhak a prominent Israeli rabbi since the early 1990s. Through 'Shofar', Yitzhak has launched two widely distributed weekly newspapers, Arba Kanfot and Shofar News geared to the Haredi public and general public respectively. They ceased publication in 2008.
Views on secular Zionism
Yitzhak has also addressed the issue of the secular Zionist leadership, and has released, for example, a video titled "Herzl and Zionism", which presents a critical view of both. Yitzhak has said, referring to Theodore Herzl, "There have been two great criminals in the history of the Jewish people: Hitler and Herzl. Hitler wanted to destroy the body of the Jewish nation. Herzl wanted to kill the soul, which is far more important than the body."
In a cassette titled "In the Shadow of Democracy", he strongly criticizes the State of Israel and the leadership for their attitude towards the Mizrahi-traditional and Haredi Jewish public, especially during the period of the Holocaust. According to Avishai Ben Haim, Ynet correspondent on Jewish Religious Affairs, Yitzhak "is considered to have a clear anti-Zionist position, similar to that of the Satmar Hasidim. Like them, he boycotts the Knesset elections. This view is extremely rare among the Haredi-Mizrahi public, and even rarer among Mizrahi newly-observant Jews - Amnon Yitzhak's primary target audience." Nonetheless, he had announced his guiding and leadership (the rabbi himself was outside the political list and was not running himself to the 19th Knesset) of the Israeli political party Koah Lehashpi'a for the 2013 Knesset elections in late November 2012. His party did not pass the election threshold, and therefore did not enter to the 19th Knesset. The party received 28,000 votes.
Views on women
In 2013, Yitzhak asserted that women should not drive cars, claiming "It is immodest for a woman to drive".
- Weiss, Arik (2008-09-19). "הרב על המילקי (The Rabbi on the Milky)". Maariv (in Hebrew).
- Rosenthal, Michele (Summer 2003). "Israel's Tele-Rabbi". Religion in the News. 6 (2). Hartford, Connecticut: Trinity College.
- Video of Yitzchak in Tel Aviv. He describes his life story therein.[dead link]
- Turgeman, Yeshurun (2007-02-13). נמרודי, אמנון יצחק מאחוריך! [Nimrodi, Yitzhak is behind you!]. Nrg (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 3 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- Yehoshua, Yam (2003-03-03). פתאום אתם נתקלים במודעה: "הערב בקאמרי: כנס החזרה בתשובה" [Suddenly you encounter an announcement: "Tonight in the Cameri: A hazara beteshuva meeting"]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Ben Haim, Avishai (2001-02-02). ח"כ שטייניץ מככב בקלטת אנטי ציונית של אמנון יצחק [MK Steinitz stars in an anti-Zionistic recording of Amnon Yitzhak]. Ynet (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 20 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
- "Rav Amnon Yitzhak Running for Knesset". The Yeshiva World. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Shabtai Bendet (27 January 2013). אמנון יצחק: "בש"ס העדיפו את לפיד המחזיר בשאלה" [Amnon Yitzchak: "Shas preferred Lapid returns question"] (in Hebrew). Walla! News. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Stuart Winer (November 12, 2013). "Rabbi says women should not drive". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 26 August 2014.