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Saturday, June 28, 2014 

Rabbi Amsalem says Shalom Cohen's ruling doesn't help

The rabbi who was ousted from Shas for arguing in favor of self-support has criticized the new - and truly awful - spiritual leader of Shas who's opposed women going to college:
A ruling by Rabbi Shalom Cohen against women learning in haredi colleges is a “slap in the face” to the memory of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef z”tl, Rabbi Haim Amsalem said in an interview. Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Rabbi Amsalem said that Rabbi Yosef had been a strong advocate of college education for haredi women – to the extent that his daughter, Adina Bar-Shalom, established one herself.

[...] With this ruling, said Rabbi Amsalem, “Rabbi Cohen is sentencing the haredi community to years of poverty and hunger. The haredi colleges were established specifically to prevent this, with the blessing of Rabbi Yosef and others. This kind of attitude is very damaging.” Rabbi Amsalem, a former Shas MK, said that it was comments like Rabbi Cohen's that prompted him to leave Shas and establish his own moderate haredi party. He ran for the current Knesset on his own list, but did not garner enough votes to get a seat.

Rabbi Amsalem blames much of the Shas attitude on party head Aryeh Deri, “who is continuing to push the Ashkenazi haredi agenda, which will cause the Sephardic community to starve [if] widely implemented. It is shocking that they are now denying the legacy of Rabbi Yosef,” he added.
Not that Yosef's legacy was much to speak of by the time he passed on, and he was one of the members who had Amsalem ousted for daring to think for himself. Still, it is still galling how Shas is making a farce out of themselves and even some members have admitted this is embarrassing.

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