Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

When My Aryeh Broke

Shimon Breitkopf and Aryeh Ehrlich

She’d always dreamed that he would be a rosh yeshivah, but Rav Ovadiah encouraged her to stand by her husband as he skyrocketed through the very public and stormy world of Israeli politics. In round two of Aryeh Deri’s Knesset career as returning head of Shas, Mrs. Yaffa Deri stood enthusiastically at her husband’s side — and remains there, even as he’s been shamed and shattered.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Last Monday, a few hours before Aryeh Deri submitted his resignation as Shas chairman to the Council of Torah Sages — in an unfolding drama which has yet to close — he telephoned his wife Yaffa with an urgent message: “Come to Palmach quickly,” he said, referring to his brother’s office on Rechov HaPalmach in Jerusalem, where he often goes when he needs to think in solitude.Mrs.Derihad no inkling of the revelation her husband was about to spring on her.“I was very surprised,” YaffaDeritold Mishpacha in an exclusive interview after her husband submitted his resignation from the Knesset — while still alluding to a possible comeback. “Aryeh has never called me to come to the office. If he ever wanted to talk during the day about something important, he would just come home. I realized that he was planning to do something drastic. I dropped everything and ran to meet him.”WhenMrs.Deriarrived, her husband was in turmoil. “He said to me, ‘I’m going to drop out of politics. This is just the beginning. Over the coming days, many things will be done that will dishonor the memory of Maran. I don’t want to be a part of it. This is not the reason I returned to politics,’ ”YaffaDeriremembers. “So I asked him, ‘Aryeh, does this mean you’ve already decided, or do you want to hear my opinion? If you already decided, you could have called me and told me. Why did you ask me to come here?’ He replied, ‘I want to hear what you think about it.’“I thought for a few moments,” YaffaDerirelated, “and finally I told him, ‘I’d rather not offer my opinion. I’ve stood at your side through everything, even the tough things.’ Throughout our life together, he’s always made good decisions; he can foresee the consequences of his choices and look at the big picture. When I saw that his decision came from a desire to protect the honor of the Torah, I decided to support it. After all, we are here only to increase kevod Shamayim. If we aren’t achieving that, then we should close up shop.”

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you