Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem reported Sunday that Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is expected to remain hospitalized over Yom Kippur, adding that his condition has improved since being admitted Saturday evening.
During the fast some of the rabbi’s closest associates, including Shas Chairman Eli Yishai and Communications Minister Ariel Atias will stay by his bedside.
Atias said Yosef’s associates will stay at the hospital motel during Yom Kippur “so the rabbi will have ‘minyan’ (quorum of ten or more adult male Jews for the purpose of communal prayer) to pray on this great day.”
Atias added that Yosef did not want to be evacuated to the hospital until after Yom Kippur.
“He does not feel comfortable with the fact that he has to remain in the hospital during Yom Kippur,” The minister said. “But his doctors, who performed the angioplasty on him two weeks ago, did not want to take any unnecessary risks.”
Tens of thousands of worshippers arrived at the Western Wall Saturday evening for Atonement prayer sessions, and Yosef, who takes part in the event each year, asked that his associates attend on his behalf.
Atias said the associates were sent to the Western Wall “to pray for the rabbi’s recuperation.”
During the session Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar dedicated a special prayer to the rabbi.