Ahuva Ozeri passed away on Tuesday at the age of 68, after a long battle with cancer. The funeral date has not been set.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein eulogized: "Ahuva Ozeri was a unique figure who blended East and West in an amazing way in her melodies and her lyrics. Her dedication to her work despite the challenges is an inspiration. May her memory be for a blessing.”
Culture Minister Regev wrote on Twitter, "the crown of a renewed Israeli culture fell today. Beloved, rest in peace. I assure you, your voice will not be silenced forever."
In 2000, the singer was diagnosed with cancer of the vocal cords that forced the cutting of the vocal cords. After two years, she underwent another operation to remove a tumor in her throat. Ozeri did not give up, however, and continued to perform despite her now husky voice.
Her last CD, "Maalei Demama," was released in 2013 and won immediate widespread critical and popular acclaim. The music features her playing the bulbul tarang (Indian banjo), the instrument which, besides her voice, came to characterize Ozeri’s unique blend of musical styles.
Ozeri is considered a founding mother of Mizrahi music, and in 2008, was given an award in recognition of her unique contribution to Israeli music by the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers in Israel (ACUM). The judges said that "Ahuva Ozeri is a unique and original Hebrew musician. Her songs and music have had a great influence on the country’s music, both on account of her personality and her unique writing style. Ahuva is not only a composer but also a talented songwriter, who wrote the lyrics to, among others, 'Where is my soldier', 'Valley of Flowers',' Call me in the desert, and ‘The ringing of bells.’