Ya'akov Yosef

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Ya'akov Yosef
Yaakov Yosef (Israeli rabbi).jpg
Yosef in June 2008
Date of birth (1946-10-18)18 October 1946
Place of birth Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine
Date of death 12 April 2013(2013-04-12) (Aged 66)
Place of death Jerusalem, Israel
Knessets 11
Faction represented in Knesset
1984–1988 Shas

Ya'akov Yosef (Hebrew: יעקב יוסף‎; 18 October 1946 – 12 April 2013)[1] was an Israeli rabbi and former politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Shas between 1984 and 1988.

Early life

Yosef was born in Jerusalem towards the end of the Mandate era, the second child (oldest son) of Ovadia Yosef, a prominent rabbi.[2] He was educated in the Porat Yosef and Kol Torah yeshivas in Bayit VeGan. He was later certified as a rabbi at the Rav Kook Institute.


In the early 1980s, Yosef became a member of the new Shas party founded by his father, and represented it on Jerusalem city council between 1983 and 1984.[3] In 1984 he was elected to the Knesset on the Shas list, and sat on the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, the Education and Culture Committee and the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee for Traffic Accidents, until losing his seat in the 1988 elections. He later drifted away from his father's positions. In 2004, his father overruled one of Yosef's Halakhic rulings, which forbade soldiers from eating food provided by the army, condemning it as "inciteful."[4] He has also attacked Shas, saying in 2008 that the party had "lost its moral right to exist" and accused it of corruption and having blood on its hands.[5]

He was the head of the Hazon Ya'akov yeshiva (which is named after his grandfather), and the rabbi for the Givat Moshe neighbourhood in Jerusalem. His brother, Avraham, is the chief rabbi of Holon.[6]

Yonatan Yosef, a prominent Jerusalem rabbi,[7][8] is the spokesman for Jewish Settlers in Sheikh Jarrah,[9] and a prominent activists for the Judaization of East Jerusalem.[10] In 2013, Yonatan ran for Jerusalem City Council.[11]


On 3 July 2011, Yosef was arrested on suspicion of incitement to racism for his endorsement of the book The King's Torah, after he failed to report to the police for questioning, and released shortly thereafter.[12] The arrest and questioning sparked protests among his supporters.[13]

In November 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, Yosef said in a sermon in Hebron, West Bank: "The IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] must learn from the Syrians how to slaughter and crush the enemy."[14][15][16]

Illness and death

On 12 April 2013, at the age of 66, Yosef died in Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital around a year after being diagnosed with cancer.[1] He was buried in the Har Hamenuchot cemetery.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Benari, Elad (12 April 2013). "Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Passes Away". Arutz Sheva, (Israel National News). Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013. Rabbi Yaakov Chai Yosef, rabbi of the Givat Moshe neighborhood of Jerusalem and son of Shas's spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Shlita, passed away on Friday afternoon at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Brackman, Levi (3 May 2009). "Rabbi: Older bachelors must leave Jerusalem". Ynetnews. Retrieved 4 May 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Yaakov Yosef: Public Activities Knesset website
  4. Rabbi Yosef Dismisses his Son's Halachic Ruling Israel National News, 14 March 2004
  5. Rabbi Ovadia's son closes account with Shas and is looking for a new party Yedioth Ahronoth, 11 June 2008 (Hebrew)
  6. Ettinger, Yair (24 September 2008). "Religious Zionists could gain historic foothold in rabbinate". Haaretz. Retrieved 5 May 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Ross, Adam (18 September 2013). "King has New List". Arutz Sheva.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Rav Ovadia's Grandson Enters Jerusalem Race". Yeshiva World News. 17 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Hasson, Nir (24 June 2010). "The Orthodox Jews fighting the Judaization of East Jerusalem". Haaretz.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, son of Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef, dies at 66". Haaretz. 12 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Jerusalem Mayor Candidates to Address English Speakers". Arutz Sheva. 27 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Nir Hasson, Yaniv Kubovich and Haaretz (3 July 2011). "Son of Shas spiritual leader probed for incitement to racism". Haaretz. Retrieved 3 July 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Arrest of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef sparks haredi Orthodox protests". JTA. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Loewenstein, Antony; Caro, Jane; Woodlock, Rachel; Smart, Simon (2013). For God's Sake. Macmillan Australia. p. 236.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. York, Chris (19 November 2013). "Israel Gaza Conflict: Rhetoric From Gilad Sharon, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, Hamas And Eli Yishai". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Black, Ian (22 November 2013). "Gaza ceasefire: Syria's shrinking influence now exposed". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links