Shas

Shas

ש״ס
LeaderAryeh Deri
Spiritual LeaderShalom Cohen
Founded1984; 35 years ago (1984)
Split fromAgudat Yisrael
HeadquartersJerusalem
IdeologyZionism[1]
Religious conservatism
Social conservatism
Populism[2]
Mixed economy
Sephardic and Mizrahi interests (usually Mizrahi ultra-Orthodox interests)[3][4]
Political positionSocial: Right-wing
Economic: Centre-left
ReligionHaredi Judaism (Sephardic Haredim)
International affiliationWorld Zionist Organization
Colours          Black, Gold
     Azure (past)
shas.org.il

Shas (Hebrew: ש״ס) is a Haredi religious political party in Israel.[5] Founded in 1984 under the leadership of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, a former Israeli Sephardi chief rabbi, who remained its spiritual leader until his death in October 2013, it primarily represents the interests of Haredi Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews.[6] The party works to end prejudice and discrimination against the Sephardic and Mizrahi community, and highlights economic issues and social justice.

Originally a small ethnic political group, Shas is currently[when?] Israel's fourth-largest party in the Knesset.[citation needed] Since 1984, it has almost always formed a part of the governing coalition, whether the ruling party was Labor or Likud. As of 2019, Shas members sit with Likud in the government.

Name

The party's name is an acronym for Shomeri Torah Sfaradim (שׁוֹמְרִי תּוֹרָה סְפָרַדִּים), or "Torah-Observant Sephardim". It is also a reference to the six orders of the Mishnah and the Talmud. Both works are often simply called Shas in Haredi circles.