The Sefardi haredi Shas party has allegedly violated Israel's elections law again by modifying a traveler's prayer card to turn it into an amulet that appears to offer Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's special blessing in return for voting for Shas.
Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, the chairman of Israel’s Central Elections Committee, has asked Israel’s Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, to decide if a gift the Sefardi haredi Shas political party is handing out to potential voters violates election law.
The tefillat haderech kit includes a CD, the traveler’s prayer, and amulets signed by Shas spiritual head Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Arutz Sheva reported.
(It actually appears that what Arutz Sheva is trying to say is that the traveler’s prayer Yosef signed – and as described below – is itself an amulet, and the kit contained only the CD and that signed prayer.)
Rubinstein forbade the handing out of any more amulets but allowed the distribution of the CDs that are part of the kit.
"The text written on the card that features Tfilat Haderech next to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's picture raises the concern that potential voters may be influenced by the connection between the verse – 'may G-d guard over your going and coming from now to eternity,' which is signed by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, above the caption, 'Shas – Maran has decided so,' and the manner of voting.…The accumulation of these things justifies handing the matter over to the Attorney General," Rubenstein’s letter to Weinstein reportedly read.