Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita has turned to Kiryat Ono Chief Rabbi Ratzon Arussi, seeking to persuade him to drop out of the race to become Israel’s next Sephardi Chief Rabbi, Maariv reports. Shas has been working to persuade other candidates to step down, including Rabbi Tzion Boaron, who has refused. Rav Boaron recently sent a harshly worded letter to Shas leader Aryeh Deri in which he states he will not forgive Deri for his unacceptable actions.
Shas is working to remove the competition from the race for one of the Gadol Hador’s sons is running for the post, Holon Chief Rabbi Avraham Yosef.
Maariv adds Rav Arussi told people close to him that last year, Rav Ovadia promised to support his candidacy for the post of Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Petach Tikvah but in the end, he backed Rabbi Binyamin Atias. Interestingly, a son of Rabbi Atias was recently engaged to a daughter of Rabbi Moshe Yosef, another son of Rav Ovadia. Rav Atias is also a brother of Shas MK Ariel Atias.
Maariv quotes people close to Rabbi Arussi explaining that in light of Rav Ovadia’s promise, which was not kept, Rav Arussi was requested by Shas leaders not to run for any other positions.
“This time I am in the race and not pulling out. If I am told Rav Ovadia opposes my candidacy I will ask to meet with him but I am not pulling out,” Maariv quotes Rabbi Arussi as saying.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)