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Rabbi Uri Zohar z"l: 30 days since his passing

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

The following memories of Rabbi Uri Zohar were recounted last night at an event held to commemorate 30 days since his passing:

Yishai Ribo mentioned that he once attended a class on a difficult subject that Rabbi Uri was teaching. Each time Yishai had trouble understanding something, he would simply look at Rabbi Uri's face and learn so much.

Rabbi Dan Tiomkin called Rabbi Uri "the youngest old man I even met." He was especially amazed that in his 70's and 80's, Rabbi Uri could instantly change his teaching method. "He did not hesitate to replace the tools he was using with more suitable ones when needed."

Rabbi Ofer Gissin established the BeYahad organization for ba'alei teshuvah with Rabbi Uri and spoke about his partner's feelings behind this endeavor. "He understood the need to create a new language that would serve as a bridge between all sectors of society."

Shimon Shahar spoke about Rabbi Uri's deep concern for every person. "The owner of a kiosk decided to close his business on Shabbat. Rabbi Uri did not only bless him, but visited every synagogue in the kiosk owner's neighborhood on several occasions to encourage patronage of the kiosk. There are numerous other stories like this regarding Rabbi Uri's caring attitude even if no one has ever heard them."

Rabbi Chagai Mazor said there are people who become passionate now and then, on a holiday or on Shabbat, but Rabbi Uri lived all of his years with uninterrupted passion. And then Rabbi Mazor simply broke into tears while on stage, in genuine grief.

Evyatar Banai remarked: "Rabbi Uri provided a compass -- to be used inside of me. He was not someone who made you into someone else, but someone who brought you closer to who you really are."

And Yedidya Meir, who moderated the event, pointed out that we are dealing here with the uniquely radical life of someone who was larger than life, yet from whom all of us can take something of value into our own lives.


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