Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's Health Improves Slightly

93-year-old spiritual leader of Shas has been hospitalized at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, for the past week.

The health of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef improved slightly over the weekend, leaving some room for cautious optimism, one of his doctors said.

The 93-year-old spiritual leader of Shas has been hospitalized at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, for the past week. Last Monday he was anesthetized and fitted with a respirator and the chances of his health improving significantly were rated very low by doctors last Thursday.

Prof. Dan Gilon, a cardiologist who is treating Yosef, noted last night that the rabbi’s condition had slightly improved. There have been some initial signs that the rabbi is regaining consciousness as the dosage of anesthesia is being reduced.

“The rabbi had a quiet Shabbat,” Gilon said. “We’re still defining his condition as serious to very serious, but there are several indicators pointing to a clear trend of improvement,” he said. Chief among them is the gradual return to consciousness, he said.

Shas leader Aryeh Deri and Yosef’s son, Rabbi Moshe Yosef, spent the weekend at the hospital.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is facing a host of medical problems, including kidney failure, heart problems, blood pressure problems and infections.

Gilon noted that the team also had been able to reduce the quantity of blood pressure medication the rabbi was receiving, another reason for optimism.

Emil Salman