Rav Ovadia Signs Deal with Bayit Yehudi, With Conditions


ovadia3It is now being reported that following a meeting with Shas leader Aryeh Deri and Chief Rabbi Moshe Shlomo Amar Shlita, Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita has signed the agreement with Bayit Yehudi after davening mincha on Monday, 4 Sivan 5773. The deal surrounds Bayit Yehudi’s commitment to support the so-called Amar bill, which will permit the Rishon L’tzion to serve a second term. In return, Shas will support a bill to lift the 70-year-old age ceiling for candidates, to permit the candidacy of Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, a dati leumi candidate for Ashkenazi chief rabbi.

However, Chacham Ovadia stipulates that Bayit Yehudi must oppose the so-called Stern Bill, which would increase the size of the voting body for the chief rabbis from 150 to 200. This would result in adding women to the voting body and dilute Shas’ control over the voting body.

As such, the pressure is now on Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, who supports the Stern Bill and signaled he planned to vote for it.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. This was a predictable ‘Chess Move’.. Hope that both sides will keep the deal and some trust can be forged.

    Rav Shmuel Eliyahu is an excellent choice for Sephardic Chief Rabbi and Shas realizes this is real competition. Rav Mordechai Eliyahu zt”l was a Talmid CHochah, Ish Haemes and loved by all, Rav Shmuel is his son.

  2. Why can’t women vote for Chief Rabbi? It’s a political position and the committee is a creation of modern society – not Halacha. Plus, women are equally dependent on the Chief Rabbi’s policies (which are usually societal in nature). Why can’t we give women a say when we CAN give so that we will be able to say no when Halacha says no!

  3. Is this is a mere tactical maneuver or the real deal? Prima facie, it looks like a maneuver: HaBayit HaYehudi has voted internally to support the Stern bill and, given the opposition of its coalition partners, it does not seem to have the ability to pass either the Amar bill or the Ariel bill even with the support of Sha”s. And if neither harav Amar or harav Ariel can be appointed the only thing that this ‘deal’ will achieve is to kill the Stern bill.

    Will Bennett fall for it? Time will tell.

  4. Two threats for Shas from not signing, botht the Stern Bill and Rav Eliyahu as Chief Rabbi, the first Sefardi Rav in a long time who would not have been in their pocket.