Rav Ovadia Yosef bequeathed most of his earthly possessions to his youngest son, Rabbi Moshe Yosef, in a letter submitted to his attorney David Glass in 2005, and renewed in 2012, according to a report on Israel Army Radio.
Rav Ovadia died at age 93 in October 2013.
Moshe and his wife Yehudit, were in charge of directing Rav Ovadia’s household and other operations when the Rabbi was alive, and the couple are considered to have the most business and political acumen from all the children.
They were the two closest family members to Rav Ovadia in his last years, and some accuse them of over-controlling access to the Rabbi when they managed his affairs. Moshe and Yehudit live in the apartment next door to Rav Ovadia’s on 45 Kablan street. Moshe is reportedly the silent force behind the popular Haredi website, Kikar Shabbat.
The letter bequeaths to Moshe everything as a gift, to do with as he sees fit. In the letter, Rav Ovadia asks the other children to not fight with Moshe, and repeats a few times that Moshe is free to do whatever he wishes with the possessions.
Included in the inheritance are Rav Ovadia’s properties, his manuscripts and letters, his massive library, and his money.
Excluded from the gift are Rav Ovadia’s apartment on 45 Kablan Street in Har Nof, and personal effects.
The apartment is to be sold for an expected 10 million shekels and the amount divided among Rav Ovadia’s 11 children.
As mentioned, also excluded from Moshe’s exclusive inheritance are the Rabbi’s personal effects in the house, which also have financial value, and they will also be distributed among all the children.
While the 2012 letter caused turmoil in the Yosef family when the signature was renewed, at this point, none of the Yosef children have responded openly to the unusual and inequitable dispersal of the Rabbi’s inheritance, except for the family of Rav Yaacov Yosef, Rav Ovadia’s son who passed away a few months before Rav Ovadia. Rav Yaacov Yosef left behind eight children.