A report on Shas and Ovadia Yosef

Rabbi Yosef in 2007
Aryeh Deri, chairman of Shas
Ovadia Yosef as a child with his family.
Eli Yishai, 2009
Ovadia Yosef in his youth.
Ovadiah Yosef, long-time spiritual leader of Shas
Ovadia Yosef in 2007
Shas party ballot 2009

Ovadia Yosef (Ovadya Yosef, عبد الله يوسف; September 24, 1920 – October 7, 2013) was an Iraqi-born Talmudic scholar, a posek, the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1973 to 1983, and a founder and long-time spiritual leader of Israel's ultra-Orthodox Shas party.

- Ovadia Yosef

Founded in 1984 under the leadership of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, a former Israeli Sephardi chief rabbi, who remained its spiritual leader until his death in October 2013, it primarily represents the interests of Sephardic and Mizrahi Haredi Jews.

- Shas

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Agudat Yisrael

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Haredi Jewish political party in Israel.

Haredi Jewish political party in Israel.

Agudat Yisrael council meeting
Kashrut Badatz of Agudat Yisrael

Since the 1980s, it has become a predominantly Hasidic party, though it often combines with the Degel HaTorah non-Hasidic Ashkenazi Haredi party for elections and coalition-forming (although not with the Sephardi and Mizrahi Haredi party Shas).

Rabbi Shach had earlier assisted Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef in splitting from Agudah to create a Sephardic Haredi party known as Shas.

Haredi Jewish men during a Torah reading.

Haredi Judaism

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Haredi Judaism (יהדות חֲרֵדִית , ; also spelled Charedi in English; plural Haredim or Charedim) consists of groups within Orthodox Judaism that are characterized by their strict adherence to halakha (Jewish law) and traditions, in opposition to modern values and practices.

Haredi Judaism (יהדות חֲרֵדִית , ; also spelled Charedi in English; plural Haredim or Charedim) consists of groups within Orthodox Judaism that are characterized by their strict adherence to halakha (Jewish law) and traditions, in opposition to modern values and practices.

Haredi Jewish men during a Torah reading.
Young Haredi Jews in Jerusalem, 2005
Hasidic boys in Łódź, 1910
Haredi Jews from Galicia at the in Vienna's second district, Leopoldstadt, 1915
Haredi Jewish women and girls in Mea Shearim, Jerusalem, 2013
Styles of Haredi dress
Typical Haredi dress for men and women
Gender-separate beach in Israel. To accommodate Haredi and other Orthodox Jews, many coastal resorts in Israel have a designated area for sex-separate bathing.
The Bais Yaakov graduating class of 1934 in Łódź, Poland
Tziporah Heller, a weekly columnist for Hamodia
photograph of the Warsaw Ghetto
Members of Neturei Karta protest against Israel (Washington, 2005)
Haredi demonstration against the conscription of yeshiva pupils
Hasidim walk to the synagogue, Rehovot, Israel.
Haredi Rabbis and students writing a Torah scroll (Haredi settlement of Beitar Illit, Gush Etzion)
Hasidic family on the street in Borough Park, Brooklyn
Students of Telshe yeshiva, 1936

3) The second wave began in the 1970s associated with the religious revival of the so-called baal teshuva movement, although most of the newly religious become Orthodox, and not necessarily fully Haredi. The formation and spread of the Sephardic Haredi lifestyle movement also began in the 1980s by Ovadia Yosef, alongside the establishment of the Shas party in 1984. This led many Sephardi Jews to adopt the clothing and culture of the Lithuanian Haredi Judaism, though it had no historical basis in their own tradition. Many yeshivas were also established specifically for new adopters of the Haredi way of life.

Elazar Shach at the Ponevezh Yeshiva

Elazar Shach

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Leading Lithuanian-Jewish Haredi rabbi in Bnei Brak, Israel.

Leading Lithuanian-Jewish Haredi rabbi in Bnei Brak, Israel.

Elazar Shach at the Ponevezh Yeshiva
Elazar Shach (late 1980s), seated right, looking down, holding book. Yosef Shalom Eliashiv and Chaim Kanievsky are seated to his left.
Grave of Rabbi Elazar Shach in Bnei Brak

Due to his differences with the Hasidic leadership of the Agudat Yisrael, in 1984, he allied with Ovadia Yosef, with whom he founded the Shas party.

Later, in 1988, Shach sharply criticized Ovadia Yosef, saying that, "Sepharadim are not yet ready for leadership positions", and subsequently founded the Degel HaTorah political party representing Lithuanian (non-Hasidic) Ashkenazi Jews in the Israeli Knesset.

Aryeh Deri

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Israeli politician.

Israeli politician.

Deri with Zionist Union Leader and Leader of the Opposition Isaac Herzog, 2016

He is one of the founders of the Shas' political party, and has served as Israel's Minister of the Interior, Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galilee, Minister of the Economy and as a member in the Security Cabinet of Israel.

However, on 28 December 2014, Channel 2 released video footage in which Ovadia Yosef, the founder of Shas, attacked Deri, calling him a wicked man and a thief.