Rabbi Meir Mazuz, the Rosh Yeshiva of the Kisse Rahamim yeshiva and a leading Sephardic rabbi has refused to order his followers to vote for the Shas party and pledged not to fear in the upcoming elections on Tuesday.
"Regarding the elections, here a few months ago I said to vote for the 'Gimmel' list (the Ashkenazi haredi party United Torah Judaism), with is a right-wing, haredi party," explained Rabbi Mazuz. "This time I have decided not to intervene."
Rabbi Mazuz concluded his letter by quoting Deuteronomy 30:19, "Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."
Earlier, the president of the Shas Council of Torah Sages, Rabbi Shalom Cohen contacted Rabbi Mazuz and asked him to direct his followers to vote for Shas.
"I hope and pray that sir is healthy. My brother-in-law the great Rabbi Shlomo ben Shimon conveyed to me in the name of sir that I should not judge you harshly, and I am notifying you that I do not judge you harshly Heaven forbid, and I bless all of you with love, and pray that sir is healthy and whole with G-d's help.
"Now is a difficult time. From what I hear from our representatives, there is a great danger the likes of which we have not seen before to establish a compulsive secular government plotting to harm the Holy Shabbat, the Western Wall, religious services, kashrut, marriages, and everything holy about the land and people of Israel, to recognize the Reformers and thereby harm all Torah institutions and yeshivas and our dear Torah students."