Israeli Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi), 54, died Monday at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Yerushalayim, where he had been hospitalized for more than a month.
Orbach had suffered from a serious blood disorder for years and was hospitalized in January after his condition took a turn for the worse. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Uri won the hearts of everyone with his charm and wisdom. He was incredibly sensitive to people, a sensitivity he brought with him to the Senior Citizens Ministry, and to anything he took interest in.”
Prior to entering politics, Orbach was a journalist, publicist, and author. In the 1980s, he was one of the founders of the religious children’s newspaper Otiyot (“Letters”). Orbach also co-founded the Kol Chai haredi radio station, was a political columnist for the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, and penned several children’s books. He became a Knesset member in 2009.
“I have lost my elder brother, a man of integrity and wisdom… There was no one else like him in the cynical world of politics,” said Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the Habayit Hayehudi party.