Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Yair Lapid
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Shas' rabbi: Lapid's a scoundrel, don't go with him
Shas' beligerent Rabbi Ovadia Yosef lashes at nemesis Yair Lapid. 'He hates yeshivas,' says Yosef, while an alliance is reportedly brewing between Lapid and Bennett, threatening to sideline Shas

After verbally abusing nearly all of Shas ' political rivals, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef dedicated a portion of his weekly Torah lesson to lash out at Yesh Atid Party Chairman Yair Lapid.


Shas' spiritual leader told a parable and at its end said: "Don't go with Lapid. He's a scoundrel, he hates the yeshivot (yeshivas)."


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The 93-year-old rabbi is kept informed by the haredi media and by Shas' triumvirate as to the latest in the coalition negotiations.


Every Saturday the three party leaders arrive separately at his home and update him on Shas' new "enemies."


This isn't the first time the distinguished rabbi lashes out in invectives against his party's perceived rivals. Over the weeks before the elections Rabbi Ovadia derided the Habayit Hayehudi party, calling it a "party of goys."


Rabbi Ovadia fresh criticism against Lapid was leveled amid reports of an alliance between him and Habayit Hayehudi's Naftali Bennett, which might leave Shas outside of the brewing coalition.


In his weekly lesson the rabbi told a parable: "There was once a king who had a beloved minister. He would come to the king and they would talk about security, coalition and the opposition.


"The minister gave him the advice: 'Don't go with Lapid. He's a scoundrel, he hates the yeshivot.' He would advise him, and every time the king would give him great respect, talk to him, divulge his secrets."


While following the attack against Habayit Hayehudi Shas' leaders attempted to calm and appease the assaulted party, no apologies are currently expected.


Lapid is considered the haredims' nemesis due to his far-reaching equal share of the burden plan and his family background.


Nearly every week the Shas party's mouthpiece dedicates whole pages to deride Lapid, calling him arrogant and ignorant.


Concurrently, Habayit Hayehudi has released its own plan to draft the haredim to the IDF, which will not include criminal penalties and will be directed at men only.


In an interview to one of United Torah Judaism's official journals, Habayit Hayehudi MK Uri Ariel said his party has no intention to compromise on the issue.


"Things have changed in the last elections. What was in the past can't continue."


Kobi Nahshoni also contributed to this report



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