Prominent Sephardi Rabbonim Instruct Followers Not to Vote in Elections


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votAs the Shas Sephardi tzibur is split following the break from the Shas party by Eli Yishai, HaGaon HaRav Chaim Rebi Shlita, a prominent rav from the Holon/Bat Yam area has come out calling on his followers not to take part in the upcoming elections. The rav is a prominent figure in those cities and following Yishai’s announcing a new party, Rabbi Rebi calls on his talmidim and families who look to him for guidance not to vote in the elections.

The rav explains in a shiur that on the one hand, “Rav Aryeh was appointed by Maran”, referring to Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L. “On the other hand, Rav Eli is backed by prominent rabbonim and roshei yeshiva as well”. Hence. If one votes for either candidate one is acting contrary to some prominent rabbonim and talmidei chachamim, explaining “I will not go against talmidei chachamim and gedolei yisrael”.

Rav Rebi continued that voting for Yahadut Hatorah is not a viable solution for doing so is also contrary to the Sephardi rabbonim. Hence, he feels not voting is the proper way to conduct oneself in the upcoming elections. He added that one should be aware that HaGaon HaRav Meir Mazuz Shlita, Rosh Yeshivat Kisei Rachamim “Is an outstanding talmid chacham and Gadol V’Kadosh”, seeking to drive home the point that Yishai’s is not just backed by regular rabbonim, but gedolim.

Rav Rebi added that he has spoken with a number of other rabbonim and they are in agreement, and they seem to feel one should not vote unless there is a psak halacha that all agree upon.

Another prominent Sephardi Rav/Mekubal who has instructed talmidim not to vote is HaGaon HaRav Binayahu Shmueli Shlita. He explains “I am a talmid of Rosh Yeshivat Porat Yosef HaGaon Rav Yehuda Tzadka and he was not connected to any party so I do the same”.

“When Rav Ovadia ZT”L ZY”A came and instructed me to speak here and there I did as requested. Now I am like Rav Tzadka, my rebbe, who was not affiliated to any party or elections” added Rav Shmueli.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Boycotting elections = higher chance of party that you are against winning.
    And how does that accomplish anything exactly???
    Achdus is the key to Klal Yisrael’s existence and success. Coming from a random politico weirdo I’d understand, but coming from Rabbanim? That’s a bit, actually very, unsettling.

  2. It is so sad that these prominent Sefardic gedolim etc can not rally everyone to be inclusive of all various factions to strengthen the work of this amazing godol hador, Rav Ovadia zt”l, without bickering, publicly bad mouthing or negativity with maclokes or splitting his party. chaval, chaval, chaval. If everyone that attended his levaya would vote for shas, what a koach and kovod l’nishmoso that would be. At least a half million votes.This is so simple but they don’t get it. chaval, chaval, chaval. – Not voting is also not what Rav Ovadia zt”l would have wanted, it doesn’t help their community/people at all and makes it worse.

  3. so whenever there’s a machlokes in halacha we just say ignore the mitzvah not to hurt any rov’s feelings? something doesn’t sound right here

  4. If we followed his advice in all matters of halakha and hashkafa we could not live! Over every matter in halakha and hashkafa there are machloksim between gedolim. Still each person has to pick a Rav/posek and make a hachra’a. Doing so I’d not considered disrespect, it’s necessary to live properly, and we conclude אלו ואלו דברי א’ חיים

  5. This idea will only help further the goals of wish to shmad and destroy Yidishkeit it will only help people like Lapid and Livni very impractical advice

  6. This is one of the silliest psaks I’ve ever heard. There are many inyanim where rabbonim of great stature disagree and that doesn’t mean we are paralyzed and do NOTHING. The general rule is to select a rav or posek who you follow and consistently follow his views and not cherry pick depending on which Rav’s opinion you prefer on each issue. The frum tzibur should have the intelligence to decide for themselves whether to participate in elections as citizens of EY and which candidate best represents their individuals views. Sure, consider the opinion of your Rav but ultimately, make your own decision.

  7. The Yishai/Shas split is the problem. This is just the consequence. Both parties will have to accept the fact that if they don’t fix the split, they will both lose.

  8. This is not the same case as other questions because there’s an option to not vote at all…therefore your arguments of being able to pick one rave while another rules a different way does not stand. Also psaks usually do not prove the other wrong which is what Wil happen when you vote one way…..bottomine the other rabonim only endorsed he is the first to say what to do so listen.