Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the leading Sephardic judge of Jewish law in this generation, is receiving dialysis treatment at Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. Rabbi Yosef, 93, a former Chief Rabbi of Israel, is also the spiritual leader of the political party Shas.
A statement made from the hospital said the decision to give him this treatment had been taken by the rabbi's administering doctors. Rabbi Yosef is said to be conscious, and his condition is stable.
On Sunday, Rabbi Yosef underwent an operation to implant a pacemaker for his heart. The hospital said the operation had been carried out successfully.
The last few weeks have seen a deterioration in Rabbi Yosef's condition. Two months ago, the rabbi fell and broke a vertebra. Although he has since recovered, he is still troubled by pain following the fall. Rabbi Yosef was hospitalized several times since then to help improve his condition and relieve his pain.
The doctors have stabilized and strengthened the rabbi's condition and decided to fit him with a temporary pacemaker, in the hope for an improvement in the functioning of his heart that would enable him to function better all round.
MK Aryeh Deri, the head of the Shas party, called Sunday for prayers for Rabbi Ovadia's return to good health, asking congregations to pray for his speedy recovery by referring to him in prayers.
Iraqi born Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is an outstanding talmudic scholar who has written prolifically on all matters of Jewish law. His rulings are considered authoritative throughout many communities all over the world.
Those wishing to pray for his health are asked to pray for Ovadia ben Georgia.
Last week, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's brother, Rabbi Naim Ovadia, died at the age of 92.