Jerusalem – As Elections Loom, War Of Words Wages On Between R’ Ovadia Yosef And R’ Amnon Yitzchak

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Jerusalem – With just over two weeks left until the Israeli Knesset elections, tension continues to escalate between Rav Ovadia Yosef, leader of the Shas party and Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak, leader of the newly created Koach L’Hashpia party amid growing concern that with its economic platform which includes promises of “a loaf of bread for a shekel” that Koach L’Hashpia will divide the chareidi vote and take away seats from the Shas party.

The founding of the newly established party is also considered by many to be a slight to R’ Yosef’s status as religious leader of the Shas party.

Shas supporters, concerned over a possible loss of votes to Koach L’Hashpia, have been reportedly speaking with Ashkenazic rabbis in order to get them to withdraw their support from R’ Yitzchak and his party, according to reports on Israeli news site Walla.co.il, and despite earlier announcements by R’ Yitzchak indicating that he had the full support of R’ Aharon Leib Shteiman, R’ Shteinman has categorically denied R’ Yitzchak’s claims and stated that he does not support Koach L’Hashpia.

R’ Yitzchak, who is well known for his kiruv efforts, has also made headlines for his outspoken anti-Zionist views.

In a fiery speech delivered yesterday, Rabbi Shalom Cohen, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Porat Yosef had sharp words for R’ Yitzchak, according to reports on Israeli news source Maariv.

“If you rebel you will go straight to hell along with your torah,” warned Rabbi Cohen. “He who does not listen to the Rabbanim will fall to the deepest depth. His pocket is his torah. His desires are his torah. There are those who stand by the Western Wall saying” come, come, put on tefillin. I am not mocking them, but don’t think that because of this you are able to conquer the world. The one who is attempting to get others to repent needs to repent himself.”

R’ Yosef delivered an emotional address immediately after Rabbi Cohen’s words saying, “you have just heard the words of our living G-d directly from the our teacher and our Rabbi, the head of the Yeshiva Porat Yosef, who spreads Torah throughout the nation of Israel. Be careful not to violate his words, because his mouth, which deals only in Torah, is holy and whoever heeds his words is heeding the honor of the Torah.

R’ Yitzchak says that he will help us, but he is going in a separate direction, separating from us, just like Lot separated from Avraham Avinu and what became of Lot? Join with our wise men, this is what our Rabbis tell us to do, this is a mitzvah that we must do.”

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23 COMMENTS

  1. The satmars and the whole anti zionists community is laughing…

    (Its a good lesson before giving mussar to satmar the way they behave, look at yourself first)

    • Is there a difference between all haredi clan fighting over political relevance? To 90% of Jews around the world and in Israel, religious politics is same but with different uniforms and holier than though attitudes. All of these men in charge of their clans fight for recognition which hence gives them more control of people and money. Everyone of them speaks like they’re direct messenger of God and ya’ll better listen to them or else. . .

  2. So both the Ashkenazic & Sephardic voting blocs are separate and each is further splintered with no Achdus. Each party believes that it is correctly following its own Da’as Torah and that the other parties are incorrect in their political position. We have seen similar splits in Chassidishe dynasties and their candidacy support in the US elections. It’s a shame that Klal Yisroel presents itself in the political world in such fashion. We need Achdus, not a struggle for power.

  3. Got to agree on everything that was said here, except that politics is not Torah. Nothing could be further from the Torah than politics. Nowhere in halacha does voting and elections come into play, nowhere. Better off staying out of politics altogether if you are religious. The Satmer Rebbe Shlit”a was spot on in advising his hasidim to avoid this corrupt government.

    • Not until we have 60,000 dead would I venture to compare the two situations… and anyone who learns Tanach knows that some internal battles led to the death of tens of thousands.

      We are nowhere near that.

  4. The whole Election fight for seats in the Israeli Knesset. Is just a struggle for Power and Money. It has no Holiness and nothing to do with Torah.

    For the last 30 years, Shas was fighting to gain more and more Money.
    Now! Great Honorary Rabbi Amnon who was a big “machzir Betshuvah”. For years until now, he was staying away from the politic and Elections. It’s painfull and shamefull to say. His party became now the same “Ohev Kesef” (loving Money) as all political parties.

  5. Please all rabbis , be it rabbi steimeman or rabbi kanievsky or rabbi yosef, don’t mix hashem or torah into this election, this has zero to do with torah and everthing to do with power and fame

  6. Reply to # 1. Who gives a rats …… what satmar or anti zionists think. Why are they the topic of every conversation with Israeli elections. Who cares if they laugh or cry or steal or launder or molest etc. Are the satmars the leaders of all Jewry in EY and the diaspora or just of their own small enclave in williamsburg and geula?

    • It seems that you have a lot of hate within you. Maybe you should seek some professional help. The venom that you spew with regards to Satmar leaves us to believe that you have some serious issues.

    • It seems that you have a lot of hate within you. Maybe you should seek some professional help. The venom that you spew with regards to Satmar leaves us to believe that you have some serious issues.

  7. to all the ignorant people saying that the Gadol Hador is wrong for calling politics a part of torah, you are dead wrong!
    First of all, you are a NOTHING and a NOBODY to argue with the Gedolei Hador.
    Secondly, there is a direct correlation between Torah and Politics (in Israel). the more Mandatim (seats) that a religious party has, the more influence they have in the government protecting the Bnei Torah and the frum Yidden

    • And we’ve seen this over and over again.
      “The more influence they have in the government protecting the Bnei Torah and the frum Yidden”
      Tell me what have they done besides stuffing their pockerts and the pockets of their close ones?

    • The reason the religious parties have so few seats is not because Israelis are anti religious, or because Israelis don’t respect their tradition. It is because of the disgrace you see in front of you.

      The fact that a convicted criminal is welcomed with open arms to the party is reprehensible. A Chillul Hashem.

      The fact that Rabbonim argue about dividing seats is reprehensible.

      There is a vacuum of leadership in Israel.

      Religious Knesset members are not only Am Haratzim but only concerned with the religious sector and are not leaders who care for all Jews regardless of stripe. (Their threat to join the extremist left wing parties who ARE anti-Torah, proves it)

      Even OUR leadership views the state of Israel as antagonistic; religious Jews act and feel as though they are in GOLUS in ISRAEL; they view the government not as an extension of the people but as an evil tyrannical force bent on the assimilation of religious Jews. For all the talk of being ‘Mashpia’, it has nothing to do with espousing Torah values for all, but securing shekels for an elite few.

      comments # 11 and 14 just prove my point.

  8. why is it that israel leads the world in political parties per capita? I didn’t research it, but does anyone know of a country that has more political parties than israel, per person? I doubt there is one. do you know how many political parties there are in monroe, or new square, or the five towns, or even NYC ? basically, one. most elections are not even contested. if they are contested, its usually not even close. i’m not saying thats ideal, but this is ridiculous. everyones mother-in-law or their pet is starting a new political party. could anyone imagine Rav Moshe zt’vkl starting a political party? and fighting with another Rav when he starts his own party? and saying that he’ll go to hell? its insanity. talk about how the doros have fallen.

  9. Ahem. Isn’t Israel a democracy? Shas doesn’t have a legal or torahdig monopoly on the sefardi bloc vote. Instead of bullying others, they should reevaluate their political positions. They should reflect as to why such a large majority left them for another party. Shas’s behavior in this disagreement proves their arrogance and disrespect to ALL voters. It shows that that needs and concerns of voters don’t matter, only their votes.
    If Shas can’t rally voters like they did in the past it is their own undoing. NOT R’ A. Yitzhak’s!!

  10. Hakesef yaneh es hakol, its all about money and number 18 is right every Tom Dick and Harry, or in israel Yossi, Rafi and Danny starts a new party. The politics in the USA at least seem normal when u compare it to israel and the biggist baffon of all of the is Ammon Yitzcock

  11. it is a complete, frightening isur to comment on any topic of machlokes, especially online, publicly. Kal vah Chomer to publish articles pertaining machlokes. This message is directly obviously only to those who actually care about their Neshama, their olam hazeh and their olam haboh. If you have zero Yiras Shamayim this message is not for you.

    שאלה – 105928
    בבקשה ובתחינה מכבוד הרב הי”ו עזרנו רבנו על הסערה המתחוללת סביב גדולי ישראל.
    תשובה
    את כל מי שרוח אלקים בקרבו אבקש ואתחנן לפניכם, אנא, חדלו מכל המחלוקות הבזיונות וההכפשות הללו, ומכל דיבורי הסרק ושיחות בטילות אשר הבחירות הביאו בעקבותם, הזהרו בגחלתן של תלמידי חכמים שלא תיכוו בה.

    נא ונא כל ירא אלקים וחרד לדבר השם יתברך ישתוק וידום ולא ידבר מאומה על שום גדול בישראל, וכל המערכה שהיהדות ניצבת בפניה אינה כדאית ואינה שווה כלל אם חלילה יפגם כהוא זה כבודם של תלמידי חכמים כי החילול השם הוא נורא ואיום.

    כמו כן הנני להבהיר באופן הברור והמוחלט שאין לי אישית שום קשר בשום ענין או כל דיבור בנושא, ומי שחס על נפשו יתרחק מכל דיבור אסור.

    החותם בכאב ובצער רב בן ציון מוצפי.

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