Two feuding sons of Shas’ late spiritual leader have signed a letter supporting the party and its chairman, Arye Dery, despite the sons’ conflict over their inheritance.
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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who had 11 children, died in 2013. Rabbi Moshe Yosef, the youngest son who was considered closest to his father, has been estranged from Dery as well. But he answered Shas’ request and sent a letter supporting the party in next week’s election.
The letter, which displays careful phrasing, includes statements such as “We are all required to strengthen the holy enterprise of Maran [Ovadia Yosef], which is the Shas movement, headed by our colleague Rabbi Arye Dery.”
Yosef writes that it is clear his father did not want support for Shas to erode.
Rabbi David Yosef, a friend of Dery’s and a member of Shas’ Council of Torah Sages, also signed the letter. But missing are brothers who hold government rabbinical positions: Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Holon Chief Rabbi Avraham Yosef. Yosef’s daughters have also not signed the letter.
The letter can be considered an achievement for Dery against his bitter rival, former Shas head Eli Yishai, who broke off to found the Yahad party. Yishai has managed to raise doubts about whether Yosef really supported Dery before his death.
The letter is even more important given that Moshe Yosef has been relieved of almost all his political power and has been estranged for more than a year and a half from Shas and most of his siblings. Mediation over the inheritance battle started last week.