Shas is an Israeli political party. It is an Orthodox party of Sephardic Jews. Their main proclaimed goals are getting more money for yeshivot, keeping Orthodox Jews out of the army and promoting religious education in Israel. They also help out people in remote areas, where the quality of living is very low, mostly by building religious schools and suchlike there. They also believe in the judicial powers of God, and publicly mock and ignore the state's justice system.

Shas is led by a senile rabbi. (I am not being mean, it's the truth. Okay, so I am being mean, but it's still the truth.) The rabbi's name is Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. You can read about his interesting proclamations in The Rabbi has Spoken! and in his node (here). The rabbi is not a member of parliament, but all the Shas MP's will do what he says. They all vote the same way, always: his way. The leader of Shas (in the parliament), is currently Eli Yishai. It used to be Arie Deri'i, but he was imprisoned for embezzlement, bribe taking, etc. etc. He will be out in a year, and will go back to leading the party.

All major Israeli politicians have been known to go to Rabbi Yosef, to kiss his ass, as Shas is so powerful. About a year ago, he effectively called out to murder Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and no one put him to trial, because everyone was too scared of what might happen if they did. (Yes, Israel is a democracy, believe it or not!) Shas now have 17 MPs, which is an incredible amount. They all believe Deri'i is innocent. Actually, that's crap. All the senior members of Shas are well known to perform about any conceivable crime to do with money. Bribery, embezzlement, you name it. They make fictitious yeshivot and take money for them, they get millions of money every year, and time and time again we wonder where it goes. And yet their followers are blind to all of this. They believe Deri'i is innocent. Shas helps the poor in rural areas more than anyone else. The fact that Shas makes sure that they never get out of the circle of poverty, so that they will keep on voting for them, eludes them.

So Shas remains the 3rd most powerful party in Israel, and continue to pass improbable laws and make fun of the democracy.