Rav Uri Zohar Mourns His Friend and Double-Mechutan, Arik Einstein


rav-uri-zoharLegendary Israeli singer Arik Einstein died Tuesday at 74 after being admitted to the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, suffering a hemorrhage in a major heart artery.

Einstein, who was a good friend and mechutan of the legendary leader of the baal teshuvah movement, Rav Uri Zohar, was considered one of the greatest Israeli rock musicians.

“We all grew up on his songs. You said, ‘Arik Einstein,’ and you said, ‘the Land of Israel.’ He was a wonderful singer and a wonderful person,” Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said in a statement.

“We are sad to hear about Arik Einstein’s death and send our condolences to his family, friends, fans, and to all Israelis. Einstein is an Israeli cultural legend and probably the greatest Israeli singer of all time, and we’re sure that every Israeli who lives in the U.S. today shares in the sadness of his passing,” Shawn Evenhaim, Chairman of the Israeli-American Council, said in a statement.

Einstein’s musical career started back in the 1950s, when he performed as a soldier in the Nachal troupe. He was called by some “the Israeli Frank Sinatra.”

Einstein leaves behind his second wife, Simah, and four children. His two oldest daughters, who became chareidi, married the two sons of his dear friend, Rav Uri Zohar.

“From your songs we saw your neshamah,” said Rav Uri following his passing.

“We know you did good to many people not because you’re a singer or an actor, but because you’re you,” he added.

Collaboration between him and Rav Uri stopped in the 1970s when Rav Uri was chozer b’teshuvah and retired from the entertainment world.

Einstein stopped appearances in public a few years later and rarely appeared in public following a car accident.

His two daughters who married Rav Uri’s two sons have over ten children, bringing much nachas to Arik. Three years ago, at the wedding of their common granddaughter, the grandfather Arik sat with Saba Uri at the special unique simcha.

Though Einstein was not religious, he had a warm attitude toward religion, mainly due to the fact that he had chareidi grandchildren. During his granddaughter’s wedding, it is related, someone took advantage of the spirited atmosphere and asked him whether the fact that he has chareidi grandchildren is difficult for him, as a secular person. Without hesitation, he responded, “I do not see any difficulty. I just know that when I look at my grandchildren, I see ohr, light.”

In another instance, one of his little grandsons went to visit him and asked him innocently, “Saba, why do not you not have a beard like Saba Uri?” Arik smiled and said, “Saba Uri has a beard that is long enough for both of us.”

The respect between the two of them was invigoration and inspiring. It was a rare, cherished relationship with so much history behind it.

May Arik’s family continue to create zechuyos for his neshamah.

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}