Shas's Yosef woos NRP's Eliahu
Contacts have been held over the past few days between Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, until recently considered the spiritual leader of the National Religious Party.
Contacts have been held over the past few days between Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, until recently considered the spiritual leader of the National Religious Party. This was confirmed yesterday by Shas sources.
"We are not setting any conditions," said the Shas sources, who expressed satisfaction at the rapprochement between the two spiritual leaders who have often been at loggerheads.
According to a report in today's edition of the ultra-Orthodox weekly "Mishpaha," Eliahu yesterday sent Yosef a letter saying that if Shas dissociates itself from the Oslo Accords, "there would be something to talk about."
One of Eliahu's sons said, in response, that his father had never explicitly supported any party. Another aide to the rabbi said, however, that Eliahu's political views are well-known, and that he had always been opposed to Oslo. None of Eliahu's close supporters had information about a letter sent to Yosef. Senior Shas sources likewise said they did not know of such a letter but they would not rule out the possibility that the two rabbis were continuing secret contacts.
The two rabbis held an unusually friendly public meeting this week - at the bar-mitzvah celebration for Yosef's grandson, the son of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef. The young rabbi Yosef is closely associated with the right, has often criticized Shas and is considered close to Eliahu.
"Mishpaha" quotes Yosef's words to Eliahu at length. He told Eliahu that he no longer has a place in the NRP since "they do not appreciate Torah wisdom there." Yosef added: "Sage Mordechai, let us join together for the sake of the Heavens... We want you with us."