The medical condition of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the ailing 93-year-old spiritual leader of the Shas party, remained serious, doctors said Tuesday afternoon.
“The rabbi’s condition is stable,” said Yosef’s daughter, Adina Bar-Shalom, according to a Walla News report. “We are all praying, we need help from above, the doctors are praying with us, and we are fighting for his life.”
Yosef, one of Israel’s most important religious figures, was hospitalized Saturday and underwent surgery to install a temporary pacemaker. Since Monday, he has been sedated and attached to a respirator.
“Every patient needs a miracle,” Bar-Shalom said. “The family is holding up in the hope that it will end for the best.”
The rabbi’s doctor, Dr. Dan Gilon of Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, said on Tuesday morning that Yosef’s condition was stable overnight, but “after after an assessment in the morning, his situation has worsened.”
The rabbi had severe blood pressure and heart and kidney problems, Gilon said. “We hope it will be possible to improve his condition,” he said, but the situation “does not look like it is going in a good direction.”
“We need to pray,” Shas leader Rabbi Aryeh Deri said in an emotional interview which saw the veteran politician break into tears.
Yosef “spent all his life for us, and it’s our turn to give back even a little bit,” Deri said.
Deri, who helped build Shas into a political powerhouse under the rabbi’s spiritual guidance, said he felt “orphaned” when Yosef was put under sedation on Monday.
The rabbi has been hospitalized a number of times in the past few months as his health has deteriorated, including a 10-day stint at the same hospital just two weeks ago.
Yosef’s son, Rabbi David Yosef, asked the public to pray for his father on Saturday, and said that his condition is “worse than it has ever been.”