Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Shas leader and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri addressed former MK Yigal Guetta's resignation from Shas and his reported split with Shas spiritual authority Rabbi Shalom Cohen in a wide-ranging interview with the haredi Kikar Hashabbat online newspaper.

Shas MK Yigal Guetta was forced to resign from the Knesset in September after he revealed that he had attended a same-sex wedding several years ago.

Deri described the agonizing choices he was forced to make when the issue first surfaced. "This controversy damaged my health," said Deri. "I've dealt with many sensitive matters before, and I don't remember any other time when I couldn't sleep at night because of the tears, and not knowing how to handle it.

Deri refused to say whether Guetta would continue working in Shas, hinting cryptically that "we will sit tomorrow, and I will do everything in my power to use former MK Guetta's talents to the fullest."

Guetta was seen as a key ally to Deri, and numerous reports have surfaced that speak of a split between Deri and Shas spiritual head Rabbi Shalom Cohen due to Cohen forcing Guetta to resign, allegations which Deri adamantly denied.

"There is no power struggle in Shas," Deri declared. "In Shas, the people who decide things are the Council of Torah Sages. They are the only authority to which we answer."

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