Sephardic Chief Rabbi to become next Shas leader

Wednesday, April 04, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, leader of this Sephardic generation, announced at a Torah scholars conference in Jerusalem that Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar, the Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel would succeed him in gaining Shas leadership. Shas is a political party, which represents ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Judaism.

Rabbi Yosef gave a speech in spite of his ailing health, praising Israel’s chief Sephardic rabbi in his opening words.

“In honor of my soul mate, beloved and dear chief rabbi of Israel, the Rishon LeZion, Our Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar, may he live long and well, amen.”

In calling Rabbi Amar “Our Rabbi,” Rabbi Yosef was handing the baton on as the leader of the next Sephardic generation.

Since he started teaching the Torah in his childhood neighborhood of Bet Israel in Jerusalem, the Yosef family knew he had become a public figure, committed to more than to his family. Through involvement in politics, the Shas party paved the way for the expansion of boundaries, serving as a tool for Rabbi Yosef’s Halachic teachings.

Rabbi Yosef who spent years struggling against the Ashkenazi elite sought to appoint someone who’d follow in his footsteps.

Attorney David Glass, an associate of Rabbi Ovadia, admitted that the rabbi has never trusted anyone the way he has confidence in Rabbi Amar, whom he holds in great esteem and views as “a real Torah sage.” Glass noted that the Shas leader believes Rabbi Amar is more than just a potential successor.

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