Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak responded Monday to a letter of well-wishes from Sephardic sage Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, and informed the Rabbi that his health is not as bad as is being claimed by various publications.
In a letter addressed to “The dear friend and great Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef,” Mubarak thanked him for his “good letter” and added: “I express my appreciation to you and give thanks for the content, the well-wishes, the pronouncements and the good emotions that your letter contained and I wish to put your minds at ease: I have recovered completely and I am in the best shape – contrary to what was reported by some of the press inside Israel and outside it.”
Mubarak thanked Rabbi Ovadiah for the letter that he forwarded to him through Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who visited Cairo last week.
He added: “I look forward to cooperating with you in advancing the peace process, along with the other believers in peace.”
Rabbi Yosef was born in Baghdad and made Aliyah to Jerusalem when he was four years old. He was sent to Egypt in 1947 by then-Chief Sephardic Rabbi Ben-Tzion Uziel and was Head of the Cairo Beit Din (Jewish religious court) until 1950.
In 2009, Rabbi Ovadiah used Netanyahu to deliver a Book of Psalms to Mubarak, and requested that it be relayed to Hamas captive Gilad Shalit. Mubarak reportedly made sure the book was indeed delivered to the IDF soldier, who is believed to be in Gaza since his abduction in 2006.