Doctors: Rabbi Yosef Returns to Full Consciousness

Doctors say Rabbi Ovadia Yosef returns to full consciousness Wednesday afternoon, in what some are hailing as a "medical miracle."

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David Lev,

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Israel news photo: Flash 90

In what some are already calling a medical miracle, stricken former Sephardic Chief Rabbi and Shas leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef returned to full consciousness Wednesday afternoon. The announcement on the rabbi's revival was made by Prof. Dan Gilon, who is in charge of the care for Rabbi Ovadia Yosef at Hadassah Hospital.

Rabbi Yosef has been on a respirator for more than a week, after a substantial worsening of his health; at several points, he was considered near death. But on Wednesday, Gilon said that Rabbi Yosef was awake and had communicated with people around him.

He is still on a respirator and is unable to talk, but Gilon said he did not rule out the possibility that the rabbi would be able to speak again.

“The chances aren't great, but they are far better than they were a week ago.” It was not out of the question that Rabbi Yosef could be sent home at some point in the coming weeks, if his condition continued to improve as it has in the past several days, Gilon said.

Earlier, Gilon said in an interview on Kol Beramah Radio that there had been a “marked change for the better” in the rabbi's condition. Even if the improvements in recent says were “not extraordinary, it was definitely a continuation and not a copy of the previous day. This morning, the improvement in the awakening is even more marked and we are very happy,” he said.

Speaking at a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Gilon said that the rabbi was still sleeping a great deal, but that he was aware of his surroundings when awake and was able to communicate. Gilon said that doctors are optimistic that the rabbi has not sustained any brain damage from the episode.