Shas officials announce that HaGaon HaRav Reuven Elbaz Shlita has been added to the party’s Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael. Rav Elbaz, who stands at the head of the nation’s Ohr Chaim Yeshivos network, is well known among Sephardim, especially the baal teshuvah community.
The Hiddush organization, which is headed by attorney Uri Regev, objects to the fact that persons with a criminal conviction of a severity including the ‘moral turpitude’ clause should not be appointed to bodies that give instruction to Members of Knesset and cabinet ministers.
Regev reminds the tzibur that Rav Elbaz was convicted of his role in negotiating bribes for officials, in the case involving former Shas party Minister Shlomo Benizri, who was sentenced to prison. Therefore Hiddush feels Rabbi Elbaz is not suited to serve on the rabbinical council of the political party.
The rav was sentenced to 8 months of probation and a 120,000 NIS fine. That sentence was appealed to the Supreme Court, with the latter increasing the fine to 250,000 NIS
The rav has always maintained his innocence despite the conviction.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)