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Dec 16, 2012

Is SHAS the party of the haves or the have-nots?

Last week I mentioned how the first victim of public policy in this election season was the campaign begun by Shas putting advertisements up against Netanyahu and Lieberman. Because of the haredi policy of banning images of women, Egged had to come up with a policy of banning all human images so as not to be seen as being discriminatory against women. So, when Shas advertised on buses, someone actually called Egged on their stated policy and the Shas campaign had to come down.

Now we have the second victim as well. Rav Ovadiah Yosef's BMW.

With SHAS focusing on the social aspect of their party platform in this election, it was decided that it does not look good for them to be talking about how so many people are in financial troubles and there are the haves and have-nots, claiming that a vote for SHAS will be supporting the have-nots in the next Knesset, when Rav Ovadiah, the leader of SHAS, is being driven around in one of the most luxurious cars in the country. It should be noted that while those in SHAS explained the reason the car was being replaced as being due to the social focus of their campaign, others in the Yosef household claimed it was simply a matter of cost - the car is very expensive with high maintenance costs, and the rav does not travel all that much anyway, so they decided to get something more reasonably priced.

The BMW was replaced by a more modest Skoda Superb.
(source: NRG)

So, while Yair Lapid was criticized as being a phony when he entered politics for replacing his luxury car (with a slightly more modest luxury car) due to the focus of his campaign being on the middle class, SHAS ends up doing the same thing. I wonder if the people will believe the social claims of SHAS in the campaign and forget that the "haves" are also in SHAS...

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  1. Dude, you forgot to write about the part where SHAS didn't actually pay for the car, it was donated by Moises Saba A"H for the Rabbi. Making a big stink over this car issue seems rather pointless.

  2. that doesnt matter. people see the car, not the donation. and even with it being donated it doesnt matter, because Joe Shas Voter doesnt get such cars donated to him or her

  3. Judah, relax. I assume all the admorim are getting driven around in luxury cars that are registered in someone else's name. And you know what, I think that most of the followers, like the donor, respect that the admor should be driven around in comfort and not cramped up.
    I remember going to a shiur of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu zt"l in 2005 or so. The rav was running a bit late so anticipation was increasing, and he then pulled up in a shiny black Jaguar that cost the price of an apartment, and people jumped to open the back door for him to get out. I thought, THIS is how we should be treating our tzaddikim.
    After the shiur, all the regulars had left, and only those of us waiting for brachot and advice were still around, so when the rav was done, we escorted him outside. No Jaguar in sight and I'm wondering where it is and before I knew it, he was getting into the passenger side of a beat up Suzuki Baleno (apparently of a personal friend) with bumper stickers on the trunk, and I'm thinking to myself - THIS is a humility.


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