In a meeting this week which included Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar Shlita, Shas leader Eli Yishai, Minister of Religious Services (Shas) Yitzchak Cohen, Minister of Communications (Shas) Ariel Atias, and Shas Council of Torah Sages Secretary Raphael Pinchasi, the forum decided that among the names of rabbis it will support for the Chief Rabbinate National Council of Rabbonim is HaGaon Rabbi Yaakov Shapira Shlita, the rosh yeshiva of Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva in Yerushalayim to fill one of the five slots for Ashkenazi rabbonim.
Also mentioned as among Ashkenazi rabbis enjoying Shas’ support is HaRav Yitzchak Dovid Grossman Shlita [chief rabbi of Migdal Ha’emek] and Rav Ralbag Shlita.
HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita also announced the five Sephardi candidates enjoying the Shas Party support are; Rabbis Avraham Yosef (Cholon), Avraham Ben-Shimon (a member of the Supreme Beis Din), S. Elitov (rabbi of the Benjamin Regional Council in Shomron), Yitzchak Peres (chief rabbi of Ra’anana and a former Shas leader), and Ratzon Arusi (chief rabbi of Kiryat Ono).
Shas has been meeting with other parties seeking to obtain widespread support, among them, the National religious Party, which is asking Shas to support Rabbis David Stav (chief rabbi of Shoham) and Tzfania Drori (chief rabbi of Kiryat Shmona) but at present, there is no agreement.
Degel HaTorah has also been involved in negotiations, with some suggesting that Degel decide the Ashkenazi rabbonim and Shas the Sephardi. Shas rejected the proposition following Degel’s veto of in Knesset of Rav Avraham Yosef, who enjoys tenacious Shas support and efforts on his behalf to obtain enough votes for his appointment.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)