Shas Council of Torah Sages backs Lion for Jerusalem mayor

Lion’s candidacy advanced and promoted by close friend and Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman as well as Shas chairman Arye Deri.

Moshe Lion 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Moshe Lion campaign)
Moshe Lion 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Moshe Lion campaign)
Shas’s Council of Torah Sages endorsed Jerusalem mayoral hopeful Moshe Lion as the party’s preferred candidate in a letter published on Wednesday.
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman and close friend has advanced and promoted Lion’s candidacy, as has Shas chairman Arye Deri.
Lion, who is the official candidate for Likud-Beytenu, was scheduled to meet with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef immediately before he became ill to gain a public endorsement, but the rabbi’s hospitalization prevented the two from meeting.
Now that Yosef has died, Shas’s Council of Torah Sages, which Yosef formerly headed, has issued a public endorsement of Lion stating that this was the will of the late rabbi.
The remaining members of the council are Rabbis Shalom Cohen, Shimon Baadani and Moshe Maya.
It was the council’s first decision made following the death of Shas’s spiritual leader.
The rabbis wrote that they were supporting Lion because Yosef had told them he was supporting them.
They noted in their letter that Lion was “a member of our community” referring to the fact that Lion is Sephardi, that he is Orthodox, although not haredi, and that he has worked hard in the arena of public service, referring to his roles as the head of the Jerusalem Development Authority and as director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office during Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s first term.
Lion has also secured support from the mainstream Ashkenazi non-hassidic haredi leaders, although the major hassidic groups have yet to announce whom they will back.
In addition, Lion has secured the support of some national-religious leaders.
Rabbi Haim Steiner, one of the four rabbinical leaders of the Tekuma party, a conservative political movement within the national-religious world that ran as part of Bayit Yehudi in last national election, expressed his support for Lion last week, as has Likud MK and Manhigut Yehudit leader Moshe Feiglin.