Spiritual leader of Israel ultra-orthodox Shas party dies aged 94

Published: Updated:
Enable Read mode
100% Font Size

The spiritual leader of the largest ultra-Orthodox Jewish party within Israel’s ruling coalition, Rabbi Shimon Baadani, died Wednesday at the age of 94, his Shas party announced.

Shas chairman Arye Deri and supporters “were shocked, pained and devastated over the ascent in a whirlwind to heaven” of Baadani, a statement from Shas read.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Baadani headed the Council of Torah Sages, the highest body in Shas, which joined the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month.

Ultra-Orthodox parties were key to Netanyahu securing a 61-seat majority in parliament, with Shas handing the coalition its 11 seats.

Baadani played an influential role in the life of Israel’s Sephardic Jews and lived in Bnei Brak, an ultra-Orthodox city near Tel Aviv.

Born in 1928 in what was British-ruled Palestine, Baadani was one of the first rabbis named to the Shas council when it was formed in 1984.

In 2014, his 17-year-old grandson was killed in a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem.

Baadani took over as leader of the Council of Torah Sages in August, following the death of his predecessor Shalom Cohen aged 91.

Read more:

Israel parliament begins vote on West Bank settler law

Israel’s PM Netanyahu races ahead to implement hard-line agenda

Top Content Trending