“Every individual must follow his forefathers’ custom…Al titosh torat imecha…Elu v’elu divrei Elokim chayim. But when Moshiach comes, everybody will follow the Sephardic custom,” he said. The remark was consistent with HaRav Ovadiya’s approach and the halachic transformation he has led in the past generation, uniting Sephardic Jews under the halachic rulings of Maran Hashulchon Oruch zy”o.
“We cannot know with certainty until Moshiach comes and brings everyone together as one. Only Moshiach will be able to do that,” he said.
In the past HaRav Ovadiya has been known to advise yeshiva students who are uncertain which set of customs to follow that the shita of the Mechaber takes precedence in Eretz Yisroel.
During this week’s shiur he also said that a man whose children study at a secular school is ineligible to serve as shaliach tzibbur during the Yomim Noro’im or to blow the shofar for the tzibbur.
“He prays three times a day and lays tefillin [because] he is accustomed to doing so. His father accustomed him to prayer, and that is why he prays. Otherwise he wouldn’t even pray,” he said.
Only a man who is righteous, upstanding and has a fear of Heaven, and who sends his sons to talmud Torah can represent the congregation and serve as an advocate for Am Yisroel, he added, but if the chazzan or the baal tokea is “not a good person” Hakadosh Boruch Hu does not accept his prayer and despises the entire congregation because of him.