Hanoch Elbalak passed away today at 84. The Kibbutznik of the (secular) Kibbutz Bet-HaShitah was a member of the famous Israeli folk singers group, HaGiv’atron. He performed the liturgical song Unetaneh Tokef with Yair Rosenblum’s melody, which swept the Jewish world.
The song was composed after the 1973 Yom Kippur war, in which 11 of the kibbutz members fell, and the ancient words together with the new meaning they assumed blended with the new melody and touched the hearts of millions. A few years ago, Chief Rabbi David Lau, visited the Kibbutz on Yom Kippur eve. Elbalak was already weak, and was walking with a walker. He had performed the song hundreds of times with his wonderful voice, but such performance, in a duet with the Rav and a spontaneous choir, he never had.
In his memory.
(Courtesy of the Ayelet HaShachar organizstion, headed by Rabbi Shlomo Ra’anan.)