Israel's Rabbi Ovadia Yosef dies at 93

Influential spiritual leader of Sephardic Jewish community and ultra-Orthodox Shas party dies in Jerusalem hospital.

    The influential spiritual leader of Israel's Sephardic Jewish community and the ultra-Orthodox Shas party has died at a Jerusalem hospital, a spokesman said.

    Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, 93, underwent heart surgery at Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital on September 23 where he had remained since then, with doctors saying just days ago his condition had improved.

    But late on Sunday, the hospital said his condition had suddenly worsened, with medics confirming it as critical on Monday.

    "After a long struggle, the rabbi died just a few moments ago," the hospital spokesman told public radio on Monday.

    Yosef, whose son Yitzhak Yosef was elected chief rabbi of Israel's Sephardic Jews in June, a post he himself had previously held, had been in and out of hospital for months.

    He wielded enormous influence among Israeli Jews of Middle Eastern and North African ancestry, and had frequently been a kingmaker in the country's fickle coalition politics.

    Shas was a member of successive governing coalitions before going into opposition after the last general election in January.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.