Rabbi Ovadia Yosef hospitalized, on respirator

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Followers of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas Party, are praying for his recovery after he was placed on a respirator and sedated.

Doctors at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem said Tuesday that the 93-year-old Yosef was in stable condition, but that it was unlikely that he would be removed from the respirator.

He was rushed to the hospital Saturday night, when a pacemaker was inserted to stabilize his heart and then underwent kidney dialysis.

Prayers for the spiritual leader and scholar reportedly are being held around the world. Shas Party head Aryeh Deri called for all Jews to pray for the rabbi’s recovery.

Yosef’s children have been at their father’s bedside, including his son, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef.

Yosef’s son told Ynet that his father was “in need of God’s mercy” and that  ”we are all praying for God to do miracles and wonders for our father.”

It is the fourth time in recent weeks that Yosef has been hospitalized. He had a stroke in January.