Prayer for Rabbi Eliyashiv's health - Emil Salman
A prayer for Rabbi Eliyashiv's health at the wailing wall in Jerusalem. Photo by Emil Salman
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Exactly two weeks after being hospitalized while unconscious and in critical condition, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, leader of the Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox community, opened his eyes for the first time, it was reported on Sunday.

Rabbi Elyashiv was hospitalized in the emergency care unit at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem due to heart, lungs and kidney complications. Since his hospitalization, Elyashiv has been anesthetized and put on life-support.

Those close to the Rabbi, who will turn 102 in one month, reported that he is responding to his surroundings, but that his condition is still “serious.”

On Friday, Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem started a criticized procedure of stopping his anesthesia. The Rabbi opened his eyes for the first time on Saturday, and for much of the day on Sunday he was sitting up.

The Rabbi is still not talking as he is connected to life support, but he is responsive. According to those with him, the Rabbi is moving his hands and eyes, and is responding to his surroundings.

A spokesman for the Rabbi said, “The condition of the Rabbi is improving, but it is still defined as serious. This coming week is very significant in determining whether the Rabbi be himself again or not. Members of the family ask that people to continue to pray.”

Rabbi Eliyashiv has been leader of the Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox community in Israel since 2001.