Rabbi Chaim Amsellem on Shas and Maran R’ Ovadia


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amsnSpeaking with Israel Radio on Tuesday morning, 20 Tishrei 5774, Rabbi Chaim Amsellem calls on the tzibur to continue being mispallel for Maran HaGaon HaRav Chaim Ovadia Yosef Shlita. Amsellem explains that if anything, Shas has made life more difficult for the Torah giant, stating with certainty “Without the rav, Shas has almost no right to exist for Shas is Rabbi Yosef and without him chas v’sholom, the party will vanish.”

Amsellem explains that he grew up in the rav’s shadow and despite the criticism against him; he knows what he is talking about.


What happens when Rav Ovadia is gone?


One must understand there is no one that can fit the shoes of this giant of a person. Someone on his caliber does not exist. A number of rabbonim will try to take the leadership or a part of it.

All Sephardim respect the rav, even those who do not hold by him or follow him but nevertheless, there is no one who does not respect the man who is a giant.

Amsellem continues, explaining the most likely scenario is Shas breaking into two or three parties, for there will not be any unity. He does not express much optimism for Shas as a political party without Rav Ovadia at the helm.


What about reports Rav Shlomo Amar will take his place?


Perhaps he can politically but not as a Torah giant, posek or a person with the depth of understanding of Rav Ovadia. We have already heard in response to the report there are elements in Shas that commented negatively on the report placing Rav Amar as the successor.

Without the rav Shas almost has no right to exist. He is shas and he is what people voted for and remained loyal to him. The nation’s respect for the rav is what keeps the party afloat, nothing else.

Remember, I grew up in the rav’s presence before Shas was around. There is a difference in Rav Ovadia the posek and Rav Ovadia the head of Shas. This is the reality of politics.

Shas in its creation targeted the tens and hundreds of thousands who were losing their way in the modern state as the rav tried to bring them back to their roots and tradition. That is why so many non frum voters backed Shas for their felt the connection to Rav Ovadia

Rabbi Amsellem concludes that the main thing today is to be mispallel for the gadol hador.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. #1 Zionflag – You agree with it, thus it must be truth.

    Maran stated quite categorically that Amsellem is a rasha. His highly inappropriate cheap shots on Shas (and by extent, Maran) at this time are deplorable and you do yourself a great disservice by jumping to laud them.

  2. allowing the comment by #2, requires that you ask mechillah from rav amsellem. if you disgree, print the name of the rabbi who allowed you to act this way. print this or enjoy your chelek in gehinom!! you are about to sink below the 49 levels of tumah

  3. Chacham Ovadia Yosef said Mr. Haim Amsallem is a rasha.
    Amsallem caused the Rav extreme pain by his rebellion against Maran after Chacham Ovadia appointed Mr. Amsallem as an MK. Then Amsallem went out and publicly supported Chillul Hashem by announcing his support of operating buses on Shabbos in Tel Aviv when he was pandering for secular votes.

  4. Rav Ovadia Yosef is the greatest Sephardic Rav from a leadership position since Maran Beis Yosef. This comment is not intended to be at any great Sephardic Rav’s expense. But when one evaluates what Rav Ovadia has done for the Sephardim and for Sephardic Jewry one will be very hard-pressed to disagree.
    We hope and are mispallel that he will have Refuah Shelema, and hope he will lead Sephardic Jewry for many years to come.

  5. #4 This is not lauding R. Amsellem, rather stating that his facts are true. The majority of SHAS voters support that party due to Kavod HaRav….and the Rav is Chacham Yosef. When the party will be headed by another the mandates will slip and slid.

    The comment is not to determine tzidkus or reishus, try if possible to focus on the facts being laid out.

  6. 1)Rav Amsellem is 100% right that the party will fall apart if g-d forbid Rav Ovdia is gone.

    2) As it is said with Rav Elyashiv not everything comes out is accurate.

    Its not for us to judge Rav Amsellem. you don’t know what goes down inside closed doors of the Shas headquarters.its a very shady situation there.