President Shimon Peres
on Tuesday wished Shas'
spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef,
who is hospitalized in serious condition, a speedy recovery.
Speaking at a Sukkot
event at the President's Residence, Peres said: "I pray that he recovers as soon as possible. The rabbi is a guide for our people and a precious man."
Following a consultation held Tuesday by Rabbi Yosef's physicians at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center, it was decided to keep him hooked up to a respiratory machine and leave him under full anesthesia.
The rabbi's followers are praying for his recover at the Jerusalem hospital, in different synagogues, at the Western Wall and in their homes.
Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri, who visited Rabbi Yosef, said in a choked voice: "Since yesterday we feel orphaned, and we are praying to God to hear good news soon."
Citizens from all over the country flocked to the president's sukkah on Tuesday morning. Thousands of people began lining up outside the gate at 7 am, waiting to shake hands and pose for pictures with the president, officials at the President's Residence said.
"Thank you very much for coming," Peres told his many guests. "It's a pleasure seeing these wonderful and smart children from all parts of the State of Israel. The holiday's message is a message of peace, that a person must not fear being a guest and a person must not fear being a host. Peace is not just ending war, but beginning a life together."
Many exhibitions and displays were set up across the President's Residence, presenting ways to manage a healthy and active lifestyle.