Rabbi Amsalem says Ovadia Yosef's passing ends chapter in Shas history
Head of the Am Shalem (Whole Nation) party, former Shas MK Rabbi Haim Amsalem, has said that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was the last of the true Sephardic rabbis, with no replacement able to attract the same level of support.Honestly, even before, their connections were superficial at best. That is, they had little or no connection to Israel as a modern nation.
In an interview with Arutz Sheva he said, "I knew him for tens of years, we've lost a giant figure in Israel, who has left a huge vacuum behind him," adding "he has no replacement in terms of his halachic (Jewish law) prowess. He was the last of the true sephardic rabbis"
He said Shas had now become a hareidi party just like any other, with no connection to the tradition of Sephardic Jews.
Rabbi Haim Amsalem was elected as a Shas MK in the elections of 2006 and 2009 but then split from the party to set up the Am Shalem party ahead of the 2013 elections. As opposed to Shas, he supported hareidim joining the IDF and also encouraged more of a balance between Torah studies and earning a livelihood. Shas, along with other hareidi parties, advocates full time Torah studies for men and is opposed to students serving in the army.It's inappropriate for Ashkenazic Jews either. Everybody has to do what they can for the sake of the country by working and defending it.
He added: "the reason I left the Shas party is because the way of the Shas leadership of today is to create a carbon copy of the Lithuanian Ashkenazic world, which is not appropriate for Sephardic Jews."
Already, Shas looks like they're splitting apart, deservedly, due in part to Aryeh Deri's own treachery. If he leads to their further downfall, I'll shed no tears over their loss. They did a grave disservice to the country 2 decades ago, and nobody with common sense should waste time with them.