A new name has been added for 93-year-old Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, a sign of his deteriorating and life-threatening condition and a custom based on a Talmudic statement that changing one’s name is one of four ways to change a Heavenly decree against a person.
The other methods are giving charity, changing one’s actions and moving to another residence.
Prayers for his full recovery should be made for HaRav Chaim Ovadia Yosef.
Knesset Member Aryeh Deri, one of Rav Ovadia’s closest acquaintances, nearly eulogized his mentor Tuesday morning.
He told reporters, “His condition is deteriorating, and it doesn’t look good. The rabbi devoted his entire life to us. This is our time to give back what little we can. Since yesterday, we feel like orphans.”
Hadassah Hospital’s cardiology department head Prof. Dan Gilon told Army Radio, “We need to use a medication to maintain his blood pressure. Usually, that is not a good sign. An even worse sign in such an elderly man is the damage he has sustained in multiple organs,…his kidneys, lungs and heart.”
Rabbi Yosef, affectionately known as Rav Ovadia, is in very serious condition but somewhat stable at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem after a pacemaker was placed for his heart in an operation on Sunday.
He is the spiritual leader of the Shas Sephardi Haredi religious party and is the former Chief Rabbi of Israel, a position now filled by his son, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef.