Former Pensioner Affairs Minister Uri Orbach was in critical condition on Sunday night, after his health abruptly deteriorated.
Orbach, who took a break from political life last month to receive treatment for an unspecified ailment, was hospitalized in Jerusalem’s Shaare Tzedek hospital, where doctors said they were fighting for his life.
An outpouring of well-wishes and calls for prayers were posted by MKs on Facebook on Sunday night. Fellow Jewish Home party members Naftali Bennett, Uri Ariel, and Moti Yogev wished Orbach a full recovery, while Zionist Union MK Stav Shaffir took to Twitter to offer a prayer for “one of the most talented (and entertaining) people I’ve met in the Knesset.”
Orbach announced he was receiving treatment for an unspecified ailment in January, returning to the hospital two weeks after a previous visit.
“I have to take the time to treat urgent and important medical issues for my health,” Orbach wrote on Facebook at the time. “Thank you for your prayers and your concern.”
The 54-year-old Jewish Home MK implored followers to avoid visiting him and not to spread rumors and hoped to return to full health “along with all of the other patients in Israel.”
“Now, at the the command of my doctors, I will be available in the near future to take care of my health matters more intensively, so that I can soon return to full health, with God’s help, to my work in the Knesset and government,” the minister stated. “I am grateful to the voters for their trust in me again, and I shall work as much as I am able before the next elections.”
Orbach added that he waited until the legislature was in recess in order to undergo treatment.
Uri Orbach was elected to the 18th Knesset in 2009, where he has remained ever since. The Jewish Home MK, who was made pensioner affairs minister in 2013, rose to prominence as an author of several children’s books and as a well-respected journalist for a number of national media outlets.
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