Rabbi Ovadia Yosef 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Council of Torah
Sages and its head, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, on Monday called on
Shas MK Rabbi Haim Amsalem to return the mandate he received from the
leader of the council and resign from the Knesset.
council meeting, convened specifically to discuss the issue of Amsalem
and his views on yeshiva stipends and religious conversions, it was
decided that if Amsalem does not resign or return the mandate, he will
be considered a thief.
Editorial: A righteous rebel
Amsalem: 'I'm not returning my mandate to Shas'
the meeting, attended by all members of the council and Shas
leader Eli Yishai, recent media interviews by Amsalem were heard.
According to the secretary of the council, Rabbi Raphael Pinschi, Yosef
burst into tears after hearing Amsalem's words.
On Saturday, Yosef slammed
Amsalem in his weekly Saturday night sermon, in his first public
reference to the maverick lawmaker, who on Wednesday announced that he
wouldn’t return his mandate despite the growing animosity toward him in
the party’s leadership.
“There are those who speak about yeshivot, as though they were created
solely for great Torah scholars who will become rabbis and rabbinical
judges, and if that doesn’t suit the person, he should go to work,”
Yosef said of Amsalem’s doctrine, without naming him.
Amsalem on Wednesday said that he had no moral right to return his
mandate to Shas, since “My place in the Knesset belongs to the public
that chose me and supported me.”
However, a direct imperative from Yosef would be very difficult for him
to refuse, especially after his spiritual patron, Rabbi Meir Mazuz, told
the MK in a letter that his future in Shas was in Yosef’s hands.