The physician treating Shas' spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem told reporters Tuesday morning that "the rabbi had a quiet night and is stable in terms of his different systems."
The hospital reported a slight deterioration in the rabbi's condition in the late hours of the morning, after doctors noted a slight improvement in his vital signs overnight.
- Rabbis Yosef, Amar reconcile
- Yosef, Lau: 2nd generation of chief rabbis
Ashkenazi papers ignore Shas rabbi
Following a consultation held by his physicians Tuesday morning, it was decided to keep Yosef hooked up to a respiratory machine and leave him under full anesthesia. His condition is currently defined serious but stable.
"There is an impression of a certain improvement," Prof. Dan Gilon said in the morning. "On the whole I would say that he is stable, and that definitely makes us happy. The anesthesia is working and there has been a slight improvement in the vital signs," he noted.
Asked whether the rabbi's life was in danger, Prof. Gilon said: "With every person suffering from a serious illness, anything can happen. However, the decision to anesthetize him and hook him up to a respiratory machine was aimed at preventing a severe deterioration in his condition, and that goal has been achieved."
Mass prayer at Western Wall (Photo: Goel Vaknin, Kol Chai)
Former Minister Yishai reads Psalms (Photo: Goel Vaknin, Kol Chai)
Later on, the professor reported a deterioration in the rabbi's condition, stressing its severity. He said the medical team was forced to use additional medication to boost the blood pressure.
"We see it as a bad thing, especially for a person in the rabbi's age and condition, suffering from damage to different organs – the heart, the kidneys and the lungs. We hope his situation can be improved, but the current situation points to a negative direction," Prof. Gilon noted.
Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri, who visited Rabbi Yosef on Tuesday morning, said in a choked voice: "Since yesterday we feel orphaned, and we are praying to God to hear good news soon. The rabbi is in stable condition according to the doctors, but the situation is not easy because of the age, the risk of infection and fears that the situation could deteriorate.
"We are receiving phone calls from all over the world and from all circles – haredim, religious Jews, seculars, Ashkenazim, Sephardim. There is great concern. Everyone is showing an interest and is inquiring on the rabbi's health. I ask that they pray for the rabbi's wellbeing.
"As far as the doctors are concerned, all vital signs are stable and good. The doctors are encouraging us very much. We mustn't despair and I am telling everyone that this is the time to pray. The situation is reversible and there is a good chance that the rabbi will recover, so everyone must pray. He has given his entire life for us, and it's time to pay him back even slightly," Deri said.
Praying for Rabbi Yosef at synagogue (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
The rabbi's followers are praying for his recover at the Jerusalem hospital, in different synagogues, at the Western Wall and in their homes.
Dozens of relatives, associates, followers and students of the Shas spiritual leader arrived at the hospital on Monday night upon learning of the deterioration in his condition, and prayed for his full recovery alongside passersby.
"The wise man Ovadia Yosef is my soul, he will have no successor," one of them said.
The worshippers gathered outside the rabbi's room at the Intensive Care Unit and read Psalms for his recovery. His sons and daughters, including Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, arrived too, as did former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar.
Some of them left the hospital later on, after being assured by the doctors that the rabbi's condition was stable and that the anesthesia and respiration machine were being used as a preventive treatment and did not necessarily mean that his condition was deteriorating.
Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef told Ynet upon leaving the hospital room that his father was "in need of God's mercy" and that only a miracle would help him out of the difficult situation. "We are all praying for God to do miracles and wonders for our father," he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef on Monday and wished his father a speedy recovery. "I am praying for your father's good health," Netanyahu told Yosef.