VIDEO: Yishai Opens his ‘Black Box’: Rav Ovadia on Aryeh Deri


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Channel 2 News on Sunday night the eve of 7 Teves released a powerful video that appears to be a part of Eli Yishai’s “black box”. Yishai stated over recent months that when the time is right his black box would be opened and when revealed, the world will know the truth once and for all regarding the ongoing machlokes between him and Aryeh Deri and just who Maran ZT”L wanted to head the party.

The video was recorded at the end of 2008 as Aryeh Deri’s moral turpitude conviction was about to expire, clearing the way from him to reenter politics after serving his prison term. Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef’s ZT”L personal assistant Tzvi Chakak, a son HaGaon HaRav Moshe Yosef and his rebitzen Mrs. Yehudit Yosef are present. Chakak reads headlines to Maran, speaking of why Deri should not be permitted to return to politics.


When the time comes I will answer him… If Deri returns, 30%-40% will run away. Why should we take a thief? Why? Let them judge him in a court. Why accept bribes?”

Rav Yosef continues, “Deri is the one who encourages the family of the elder mekubal, Rav Yitzchak Kaduri, to open their own party. What is with him? 5,000 [votes]. Not even passing the minimum threshold. He too will not pass. What do we want from him? What does he want from me?”

Regarding the Oslo Agreement in 1993, Maran says “I did not want to get involved. Deri knew more and he handled it”.

Regarding Deri’s claim that Maran handed over the leadership to Yishai temporarily, promising him to return it when he is permitted to return, Rav Yosef adds, “I have someone else and he is straight. He does whatever I tell him. Why make a change [in leadership]? I promised in the event I do not have someone. At that time I did not. I myself was embarrassed until from Shomayim they brought Eli Yishai. I do not see replacing him.”

“I can I betray him after he listened to every word I told him. Why do I need to disown him?”

Rabbi Moshe Yosef:

What if Aryeh does not listen to you?


Aryeh will not listen. I know this from past experience. He is too independent. I cannot betray Eli Yishai. (The Rav ends the discussion).

Mrs. Y. Yosef is heard in saying rhetorically “we got rid of him”, adding “We were mispallel for him”.


(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Just Maran calling a spade a spade… Why the rest of the sephardi rabbonim continue to stand up for him, is something i wonder about everyday. The gantza velt knew the truth, Hacham Ovadia was old, and was taken advantage of….

  2. Deri can try to spin this all he wants but unless he wants to claim the Rav was already senile when his tape was recorded, it clearly shows that Yosef was firmly in the Yishai camp and understood Deri to be a felon and ganof who did not deserve a second chance. Who knows what his gabboim were able to get him to say and sign, such as restoring Deri to power over Shas, before he was niftar?

  3. I agree with Atyeshiva (#2)
    Plenty had happened between 2008 and Maran’s death.We do not know Rav Ovadia’s position in the years that followed.

  4. You completely mis-translated the quotes from the video in your article. Get a real Israeli, preferably a sefardi who can understand Rav Ovadia’s accent and refernces, to translate the video for you, before drawing conclusions. Rav Ovadia did not blast Deri or call him a thief. he said that they will lose constituents if they take him back because 30% of Shas voters believe tht Deri is a thief, based on the court ruling. This is just one of the many points you missed and oversimplified.

  5. Regardless of what can or can’t be gleaned from this video, the english translation of this article is very misleading. R’ Yosef never called Deri a thief, or accused him of accepting bribes. He just stated a fact that those that believe the accusations will veer from the party.