Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of Israel's ultra-orthodox Shas Party, has called on Israelis to pray to God to give judges the wisdom to find ousted President Hosni Mubarak innocent.
Yosef said on Saturday that he prays to God to bless Mubarak with good health, describing him as a "peace-seeking person" who doesn’t like war.
"He has fallen, and I pray to God to save him from his enemies.”
Yosef’s statements were published by Ynet news website. They were made during his weekly address on Saturday. “Mubarak brought great honor to Egypt… I pray to God to save him from those who hate him and that his judges will act with wisdom and understanding, recognize his goodness and declare him innocent,” he added.
The rabbi recounted a meeting between him and Mubarak 28 years ago, when Yosef occupied the post of Israel’s chief rabbi.
"I was told that Egyptian engineers were planning a highway that would plow through a Jewish cemetery,” he said.
Yosef said that he and another rabbi went to meet Mubarak, who received them in a respectful way. They reviewed the problem and demanded that the route of the highway be changed, a proposal to which Mubarak agreed.
After the meeting, Ovadia said, Mubarak asked the rabbi to bless him, saying: “Please bless me. I believe in your blessings.” The rabbi said he placed his hand on the president’s head and blessed him.
Yosef attributed Mubarak's 30 years in power to that blessing.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm