'Shas broke law with prayer for soldiers'

Flyers given by party included pictures of deceased Sephardi sages and a blessing intended for the soldiers, alongside the Shas logo.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
January 6, 2009 21:48
1 minute read.
eli yishai with ovadia picture behind him

eli yishai 298 88 aj. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Shas violated election laws that forbid distributing amulets when it gave out thousands of flyers with a prayer for IDF soldiers, officials in secularist parties said Tuesday. The flyers included pictures of deceased Sephardi sages like the Baba Sali and Rabbi Yitzhak Kadourie and a blessing intended for the soldiers, alongside the Shas logo. "Our soldiers give their souls and without them we would not be able to learn Torah," the flyers read. "Therefore, everyone must pray for them." Shas has gotten in trouble in the past for distributing prayers and candles with images of rabbis during election campaigns. The Central Elections Committee (CEC) ordered Shas to refrain from distributing such items after complaints from Meretz before the 1996 election. Meretz is expected to file a complaint with the Central Elections Committee over the flyers. Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On said the flyers were illegal and would not help the soldiers. "What will save our soldiers is not dead rabbis, it's the government deciding to leave Gaza," Gal-On said. Yaron Yadan, a former kollel head who now leads the secularist Or Party that is running in the February 10 election, accused Shas of "trying to cheat the public and make it look like they identify with the IDF even though they raise their children to evade the army." A Shas spokesman responded that there was nothing wrong with the flyers. An official with the Bayit Hayehudi Party said it might follow Shas's lead and distribute its own flyers bearing the official prayer for the IDF.

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