Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s Books Burned, Police Investigate
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Books on Jewish law written by the founder and spiritual head of the Sefardi haredi political party Rabbi Ovadia Yosef were found burned at a major intersection in the Israeli city Or Yehuda, prompting a police investigation, Ha'aretz reports.
Shas activists blame followers of Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak, the founder and spiritual leader of the Koach Lehashpia party, which broke away from Shas almost two months ago, for the incident.
Aryeh Deri, one of the Shas Party’s three co-heads, rushed to the site of the book burning to read psalms with the city’s rabbis.
Police reportedly believe that the books were burned as part of the internecine fighting between Sephardi haredi rabbis caused by Yitzhak’s rebellion against Yosef and Shas.
Aryeh Samarly, an attorney who holds the number 1 slot on the Koah Lehashpia Knesset elections list, denied any connection to the incident.
“Never happened, no way. This criminal act, which we deplore, has no connection to Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak, to the Koach Lehashpia party or to any of its people. With two days to go before the election, we are trying with all our power to lower the flames of incitement and hatred towards Shas. Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak has forbidden us from saying anything, good or bad, about Shas, and of course even more so from carrying out an act like this. We had nothing to do with it,” Samarly told Ha’aretz. “From an investigation we have conducted, the person who did the deed is the owner of a shop in Or Yehuda whose Kashrut certificate Shas decided to revoke," he said.
Early last week, several dozen Shas activists disrupted a rally of Yitzhak’s in Beit Shemesh. The Shas activists shouted defamatory epithets at Yitzhak before he was able to begin speaking, and at least one of them sprayed tear gas in the auditorium, dispersing the crowd.
A few days ago, copies of a book written by MK Rabbi Chaim Amsellem, who also broke away from Shas to form his own party, Am Shalem, were also burned.