Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
JERUSALEM – The death of Israel’s former Sephardic chief rabbi, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, could trigger political infighting within the once powerful Shas Party that could threaten the party’s future.
When Rabbi Yosef’s health took a turn for the worse last month, members of rival rabbinical and political camps within Shas began to leak stories to Israel’s media about who was the rightful rabbinical heir to the preeminent Sephardic halachic authority. Several Israeli media experts who regularly cover Shas say that no one will be able to fill the vacuum. One said that rivalries would “hasten the downfall of the Shas Party as we know it today.”
Sources report that Shas Party leader Aryeh Deri, appointed by Rabbi Yosef to lead the faction and who played a vital role in ensuring that Rabbi Yosef’s son, Yitzchak, was recently elected as Israel’s new Sephardic chief rabbi over a candidate supported by former Sephardic chief rabbi Shlomo Amar, is ready to appoint Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef as the party’s new spiritual leader. Legal experts have publicly questioned whether he would be allowed to serve as both chief rabbi of Israel and spiritual leader of Shas, a political faction.
Supporters of Rabbi Amar, considered a Torah giant, endorse the idea of his assumption of Rabbi Yosef’s mantle. Rabbi Yosef publicly rebuked Rabbi Amar for betraying him during the highly charged campaign to elect his son. When Rabbi Yosef’s health worsened last month, reports surfaced that Rabbi Yosef forgave Rabbi Amar after the latter rushed to Rabbi Yosef’s bedside and recited Tehillim. According to a recent story in Haaretz, however, Yosef’s influential daughter-in-law, Yehudit Yosef, told Rabbi Amar’s wife, Mazal, that her husband should stop visiting Rabbi Yosef – at home or in the hospital.
Political pundits are also speculating that Knesset member Eli Yishai, deposed as Shas Party head by Rabbi Yosef in favor of Deri, might align himself with Rabbi Amar’s supporters in order to weaken Deri’s political clout. Independent haredi newspapers and websites report that both camps will wait until after the Shloshim period for Rabbi Yosef before engaging in the expected power struggle.
Rabbi Shalom Cohen, dean of Porat Yosef Yeshiva in Jerusalem and a confidant of Rabbi Yosef, has also been mentioned as a candidate to succeed Rabbi Yosef. But Rabbi Cohen’s recent comments that “as long as there are knitted yarmulkes, the [Heavenly] throne is not complete – this is Amalek” is said to have undermined his credibility. Rabbi Cohen’s denunciation of religious Zionism drew strong criticism from Jewish Home Party head and Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor and Minister of Religious Services Naftali Bennett.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
RJC Demands Obama stop demonizing Jews for opposing the Iran deal.
Arabs and Jews rallied together for co-existence Sunday at the Gush Etzion junction, joined by MK Yair Lapid.
Settlers, Sheikhs, Rabbis and secular politicians came together on Sunday evening for a joint prayer session at the Gush Etzion junction.
The body of missing Israeli back packer Dor Cohen has been found in Georgia.
A 16-year-old girl has died of her wounds after being stabbed at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade.
Officials looked again at the sprouting wildfires after a terror victim memorial was torched in Mt. Hebron.
There is a new kind of arms race that involves producing the most impenetrable virtual fortresses of cybersecurity to resist catastrophic threats.
An Israeli citizen is killed in Thailand while traveling from Pattaya to Bangkok.
PM Netanyahu says Israel’s zero tolerance for terror distinguishes it from its neighbors.
They managed to collect $3,300 from ISIS recruiters, before they were caught by the Chechen police E unit.
Iran is already banking on the lifting of sanctions; vow to raise oil production to 1 million bpd.
A Gva’ot woman was hurt Sunday in a rock attack on her car by Arab terrorists in Samaria.
Israelis have been feeling the heat lately, and not only over tensions erupting from the Iran nuclear deal.
Wildfires again were raging in the Judean Hills around the Israeli capital this weekend. Even Sapir was evacuated as homes burned.
As of Tuesday, all IDF forces operating in Gaza withdrew and redeployed to holding positions around Gaza.
The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation on Tuesday afternoon that if the rocket fire did not stop by Tuesday evening, he would order “an even harsher” military response.
“They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” Netanyahu said shortly after the bodies were found.
Awad had been released as part of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping deal. Mizrachi’s widow, Hadas, told Israeli reporters that she had opposed the release of murderers as part of any kidnapping deal, and that Awad “deserved the death penalty so he wouldn’t kill again.”
If the abductors’ goal was to force Israeli authorities to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the effort backfired as Israeli forces are quickly rolling up what was left of Hamas in the West Bank and are reportedly contemplating the overthrow of the Hamas leadership in Gaza should harm come to the three teenagers.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/government-israel/day-of-reckoning-could-come-quickly-for-shas/2013/10/09/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: