After experiencing a serious decline in his health on Monday, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, 93, remained on a respirator in serious condition at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem on Tuesday.
Yosef\’s doctor said Tuesday that despite some initial optimism after the rabbi had a stable and quiet night, his situation had not improved.
Prof. Dan Gilon, one of Yosef’s doctors, told Channel 2 that "after a relatively stable night, there was a reassessment of the rabbi\’s condition. During the morning, there were slight changes in the assessment, because we diagnosed the need for treatment to raise his blood pressure, and we see this as a negative sign."
Doctors planned to leave Yosef on the respirator on Tuesday.
Gilon said Monday that putting the rabbi on the respirator was a case of “preempting the affliction with the cure” and that he was stable with “reasonable blood pressure and a normal heartbeat.”
Shas party chairman Arye Deri said on Radio Kol Hai that Yosef was stable and that there had been no multiple system failure.
Deri said that Yosef had been sedated so his body could rest and called on the public to pray for the rabbi.
“The rabbi devoted his life to the people of Israel. Secular, religious, Ashkenazim and Sephardim must unite. I hope with God’s help the temporary rest will help,” said Deri.
Yosef remains in the intensive care unit of the hospital with several members of his close family, including his son and Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, at his side.
Following a decision of former Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Rabbi Reuven Elbaz, family members notified the public that the name “Haim” had been added to Yosef’s full name, a traditional religious practice for someone who is seriously ill.
Earlier in the day, Yosef, who has suffered through a series of hospitalizations in recent months, underwent kidney dialysis after being taken to Hadassah on Saturday night due to severe pain.
He was fully conscious during the procedure which was conducted due to problems with his kidney function.
On Sunday, the rabbi also had a temporary cardiac pace maker fitted under local anesthetic following changes in his heart rate.
A mass prayer rally was staged by Shas on Monday afternoon at the Western Wall for Yosef attended by thousands of people, and a second one was held at Rachel’s Tomb, just south of Jerusalem in the evening.
Earlier on Monday, Deri had said it was hoped that Yosef would not need further dialysis.
He also noted that the rabbi’s doctors had insisted that he be fully informed about the dialysis. Deri said that Yosef had asked several questions about the procedure and then signed the forms authorizing it.
Deri also said that Yosef had been conscious throughout and performed the mitzva of waving the Four Species while undergoing the dialysis.
Senior haredi rabbis called for the public to pray for the well-being of Yosef.
Leader of the Ashkenazi non-hassidic haredi world Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman began reciting psalms upon hearing of Yosef’s worsening situation.
Haredi media also reported that the grand rabbi of the Viznitz hassidic dynasty Rabbi Yisroel Hager called on his hassidim to pray for Yosef’s recovery.
Rabbi Yitzhak David Grossman, founder of the Migdal Ohr social guidance and educational network and chief rabbi of Migdal Ha’emek, interrupted a Torah lesson he was giving to hundreds of people and began to recite psalms accompanied by the audience.