Ailing Rabbi Ovadia Yosef shows some signs of improvement

Shas spiritual leader shows signs of consciousness as doctors reduce amount of sedatives; condition still serious.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Doctors treating Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said Saturday that he was showing some signs of improvement.
"The rabbi had a quiet Saturday, we are defining his condition as serious to very serious, but here are a number of signs that show a clear trend of improvment," Professor Dan Gilon of Hadassah University Medical at Jerusalem's Ein Kerem said.
Gilon added that Yosef was showing signs of consciousness after the amount of sedatives he was given was reduced.
Yosef, 93, has been receiving treatment at Hadassah University Medical for blood pressure problems, as well as continuing to receive “mechanical treatment” for kidney function and heart rate. He has been sedated and on a respirator.
With Yosef’s medical condition remaining extremely serious, speculation surrounding the fate of the Shas movement and political party has already begun.
A well-placed source familiar with the Shas party’s activities told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that when Yosef dies, whether in the near or more distant future, the Shas Party as it is currently known will cease to exist after a short amount of time.
“No matter who succeeds Rabbi Ovadia, Shas won’t be the same. This whole thing is done,” said the source. “The power of Rabbi Ovadia is such that when he gave an instruction or decision, no one dared to argue with him. They might have attacked [party chairman Arye] Deri or [former party chairman Eli] Yishai, but never the rabbi.”
Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.