Jerusalem – Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of the Shas movement, was released from Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem Sunday morning after suffering a mild stroke Saturday during the morning prayer service.
“Extensive tests revealed that Rabbi Yosef experienced a very light stroke. It was decided to keep in him in the hospital for a number of other tests and for rest,” Hadassah medical director Dr. Yuval Weiss said on Saturday.
“Throughout the entire time, the rabbi has remained fully conscious and [has been] communicating fully with those around him.”
A Shas party spokesman said that Yosef, 92, was having trouble operating his left hand while praying in the synagogue at his home in the capital’s Har Nof neighborhood on Saturday morning. A doctor assessed the rabbi’s condition at his home, and found he had suffered a mild stroke. He was then taken to the hospital.
Speaking on Channel 2 news, Shas co-chairman Arye Deri said that he had talked with Yosef in the afternoon, and that the rabbi “spoke fluently, and was clear, concentrated and focused.”
Deri and Interior Minister Eli Yishai, one of the party’s other co-chairmen, walked to the hospital in the early afternoon to visit the rabbi. Yishai said that Yosef was in good spirits and gave a Torah lesson on the plagues in Egypt during seudah shlishit, the “third meal” customarily eaten on Shabbat afternoon.
Speaking to Channel 2, Deri also said that he “would not apologize” for the controversial campaign ad Shas broadcast last week, in which an obviously Russian woman received a conversion to Judaism by fax while standing under a wedding canopy besides her husband-tobe.
“We were targeting Yisrael Beytenu that has a clear agenda to advance civil unions; they are granting conversions via fax, is that what we want here?” he said in reference to the state conversion system.
Critics of the ad accused Shas of broadcasting racist messages and negatively stereotyping the Russian community. Religious rights groups also attacked the notion that the conversion process is insubstantial, and pointed out that Yosef himself has approved the system and the conversions carried out through its offices.
Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post