MK Ariel Atias, chairman of the Shas Sephardic hareidi faction, said Monday that the movement's spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, opposes the appointment of Rabbi David Stav for Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi.
"I do not know Rabbi Stav personally,” Atias told IDF Radio. “I do not pass around grades to rabbis. I let rabbis express their opinions about other rabbis.”
"There are great rabbis, including Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and rabbis in the religious Zionist stream, who thought that a rabbi with greater standing is needed, and that [Rabbi Stav] is therefore not deserving at this time to be appointed Chief Rabbi,” MK Atias said.
MK Atias added that the current Chief Sephardic Rabbi, Rabbi Shlomo Amar, told him explicitly that there is no deal between him and Rabbi Stav, and that while Rabbi Ovadia signed on to a deal that included support for Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, he does not support Rabbi Stav.
"Rabbi Yosef's position is known to Rabbi Amar,” he added.
Sources in the Bayit Yehudi said Sunday that Rabbi Amar had promised to support any candidate that the religious Zionists endorse for Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi.