Aryeh Deri, the controversial chairman of the Sefardi haredi Shas Party, submitted a letter of resignation today to the party's top rabbis, who are meeting right now to decide whether or not to accept it.
Above: Aryeh Deri
Deri Resigns, Rabbis Meet To Determine Whether Or Not To Accept Resignation
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Aryeh Deri, the controversial chairman of the Sefardi haredi Shas Party, submitted a handwritten letter of resignation today to the party's top rabbis.
Deri reportedly gave the letter to the party’s Council of Torah Sages after a video was leaked yesterday showing the late Shas founder Rabbi Ovadia Yosef criticizing Deri, a convicted felon, and calling him a “thief.” Yosef also called Deri "wicked" and said he can’t betray the then-current chairman of Shas Eli Yishai. Therefore, Yosef said, he won’t make Deri party chairman again. Yosef also said that Deri often does not follow Yosef’s instructions while Yishai is loyal and obedient.
Israel’s Channel 10 News got a copy of Deri’s resignation letter this afternoon and released it, Ynet reported.
"The pain that pierced my heart yesterday was harder to bear than our teacher's passing. God have mercy on us for the awful blasphemy, the dishonor of the Torah, and the besmirching of our teacher's honor, the likes of which haven't been seen in generations. The heart aches. Shame on us, that such a thing happened in our lifetime. I therefore decided to come before you and give back the role you have placed upon me,” Deri reportedly wrote.
Shas' Council of Torah Sages is meeting now in Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's Jerusalem home to discuss the leaked video and Deri’s resignation letter.
Most of Yosef’s family, including Israel’s current Sefardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, back Deri and oppose the party leader he deposed, Eli Yishai.
Yishai, who left Shas to start his own political party two weeks ago, is thought to be behind the leak of the Yosef recording.
Deri's letter of resignation as Shas Party chairman. Please click to enlarge: