Benny Elbaz, a popular Sephardi vocalist who once was considered Shas's official singer, recently wrote a song of prayer for the quick recovery of Shas's spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
The song is called "God, Please Heal Him" and is a variation of Moses's short prayer for his sister Miriam, which appears in Numbers (11:13). In the biblical tale, Miriam was stricken by God for slandering Moses.
Elbaz said in an interview on Army Radio that he and thousands of other Jews prayed for Yosef's well-being during Yom Kippur.
"He is the one and only," said Elbaz. "Nobody even comes close to him," he added in response to the question of who would replace Yosef as spiritual leader of Shas. Although Yosef's sons, Avraham and Moshe, and Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar have been mentioned as natural choices to replace the octogenarian, none of them come close to Yosef's genius both as a halachic authority and as a spiritual leader with vision and the power to unite.
Ovadia, who has been hospitalized at Hadassah-University Hospital in Ein Kerem since Saturday night, has checked into hospitals three times over the past several weeks.
The first time was during a speaking tour near Acre ahead of the High Holidays when Yosef complained of chest pains. The second time, about two weeks ago, the 86-year-old underwent heart surgery which included a catheterization procedure and stint implants.
The hospital reported that the procedure was completed successfully.
The third time was on Saturday evening when Yosef was taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem for tests. Hospital officials said Yosef was suffering from a mild digestive tract infection.
Forced to pray at the hospital, Ovadia was accompanied by close friends and family including his son Moshe, Shas chairman Eli Yishai, his personal doctor Professor Yochanan Shtessman, his favorite cantor Yehoyada Bota, and others who provided a quorum of men for the Yom Kippur prayers. Two Torah scrolls were also brought to the hospital.