Shas

Bill Outlawing Alternative Kashrut In Israel Moves Forward

The non-Rabbinate agency, 'Private Certification,' would be unable to operate.

07/22/2015 - 20:00

Jerusalem — A bill to prohibit an alternative kosher certification agency from operating passed an initial vote in Israel’s Knesset.

The rabbinate has a monopoly on kosher certification in Israel. Via wikipedia.org

A Cry For Jewish Religious Equality In Israel

Even the Modern Orthodox are victims in the kulturkampf waged by Orthodox parties.

07/21/2015 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

The avalanche of controversial events surrounding issues of religion and state in Israel and the attacks on liberal expressions of Judaism — even in Modern Orthodox form — have been unending in recent weeks, and there is no end in immediate sight.  

Rabbi David Ellenson

Bibi To Put Fox In Charge Of Chicken Coop

That could be the headline when Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to announce he is appointing convicted felon Aryeh Deri to be his Minister of the Interior. 

In 1999, Deri, the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, was convicted of bribery, fraud and breach of trust while he was Minister of the Interior between 1988 and 1993.  He served two years of a three-year sentence.

Does Israel Have A Culture Of Corruption?

Israel is beginning to look like old time Chicago politics.  The previous governor of Illinois, a former Chicago congressman, is in jail, home to four of the last seven governors of Illinois, and another popular former Chicago congressman is in jail now, with his wife, a former city alderman, going in when he gets out.  They’re only the latest in a long list of former Chicago area politicians to go to prison for corruption.

Hardline Rabbi Named Shas Spiritual Leader

04/17/2014 - 20:00

Shalom Cohen, a hardline rabbi known for his overt hostility toward modern Orthodox and secular Israeli Jews, was appointed spiritual leader of the Orthodox, Sephardi Shas Party.

Cohen, leader of the Porat Yosef religious seminary, was named president of the Shas Council of Torah Sages on Thursday at a ceremony in Bnei Brak neat Tel Aviv, Army Radio reported. He replaced Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who died last year.

Netanyahu Praises Rabbi Yosef As 'Giant In Torah' As More Than 800,000 Mourn

10/06/2013 - 20:00

Hundreds of thousands of people took to Jerusalem streets to mourn the passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Monday evening, with crowd estimates as high as 800,000 and possibly close to 1 million.

President Shimon Peres called him “a great man with an unbelievable memory and the wisdom to share his knowledge with others.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said  the former Sephardic chief rabbi was “a giant in Torah and Jewish law and a teacher for tens of thousands.

“”He worked greatly to enhance Jewish heritage and at the same time, his rulings took into consideration the times and the realities of renewed life in the State of Israel. He was imbued with love of the Torah and the people.”

Many of the main streets in Jerusalem were closed for the service, which local media called the largest in Israeli history.

The mourners — equal to about 10 percent of the country’s population — crowded a portion of the city’s northern district as loudspeakers broadcast the proceedings to others far from the ceremony.

The funeral for Yosef, the 93-year-old former chief Sephardic rabbi of Israel, began several hours after his death at Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital after a long illness.

A van carrying his body could barely inch forward due to the swarms of mourners while bringing him to the Porat Yosef Yeshiva in the Geula neighborhood and then to the Sanhedria cemetery, where he was buried next to his wife, who died two decades ago.

Some 300 people required medical attention during the funeral and procession, which lasted several hours.

After a series of penitential prayers, Rabbi Yosef was eulogized by a string of leading haredi Orthodox rabbis, including his son, the current Sephardi chief rabbi, Yitzchak Yosef, as well as former Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau.

Aryeh Deri, head of the Sephardic Orthodox Shas party founded by Yosef in 1984, also delivered a eulogy.

“Who will unite us all?” Deri said, crying. “Who will lead us, rabbi? You left us in our hardest hour.”

Yosef, a native of Baghdad, Iraq, served as Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi from 1973 to 1983, subsequently founding Shas and serving as its spiritual leader. He was revered among Sephardi and haredi Orthodox Israelis as a sage of Jewish law, and was known more broadly for his sometimes controversial political stances.

On Tuesday morning, hundreds of people visited an open mourning tent erected outside Yosef’s home in the Har Nof neighbordood of Jerusalem. Thousands are expected to visit each day throughout the seven-day shiva period.

Some 200 people were treated by Magen David Adom, Israel's emergency medical service, as the procession wound through the streets from Yeshiva Porat Yosef in the Geula section, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Rabbi Yosef founded the Sephardi Orthodox Shas political party and exercised major influence on Jewish law but was also prone to making inflammatory statements about non-Jews, gays and victims of tragedies.

Hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Israelis crowded Jerusalem streets for the funeral of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. Getty Images

Shas Spiritual Leader On Respirator After Operation

09/23/2013 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the 93-year-old spiritual leader of Israel’s Shas party, is sedated and attached to a respirator, according to the Times of Israel.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the Shas party's spiritual leader, is on life support. Getty Images

Republicans And Democrats, Israeli Style

01/09/2013 - 19:00

When Bill Clinton was President of the United States, many in Israel thought he would most fit to be their Prime Minister. In 2012 we watched the high involvement of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Republican presidential campaign, and for a moment it looked like he would be a more suitable candidate than Mitt Romney.

Expelled From Shas, And Preaching Tolerance

Fervently Orthodox Israeli rabbi new darling of Jewish establishment here.
01/10/2011 - 19:00
Editor And Publisher

Rabbi Chaim Amsellem has become an unlikely hero to many in the American Jewish establishment who closely follow Israeli life, including a new worldwide group being formed to support his positions.

A Sephardic scholar of Talmud with a thick gray beard and black hat, the rabbi, 51, is a Knesset member from the fervently Orthodox Shas party, known for its socially conservative agenda and interest in obtaining government funds to support a network of yeshivas.

Gary Rosenblatt

Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Rabbi New Darling Of U.S. Jewish Establishment

Chaim Amsellem has become an unlikely hero to many in the American Jewish establishment who closely follow Israeli life, including a new worldwide group being formed to support his positions.

A Sephardic scholar of Talmud with a thick grey beard and black hat, the rabbi, 51, is a member of Knesset from the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, known for its socially conservative agenda and primary interest in obtaining government funds to support a network of yeshivas.

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