Rabbi Uri Zohar z"l
Rabbi Uri Zohar z"lHidabrut

Rabbi Uri Zohar, one of Israel's most famous performers and later, one of the world's most prominent figures to become religious, has passed away at the age of 86.

Rabbi Zohar was born in Tel Aviv in 1935 to parents who were recent immigrants from Poland. He studied philosophy in Hebrew University and then began a hugely successful career in the performing arts, gaining renown as an actor, comedian, screenwriter and film director, alongside fellow artists such as Arik Einstein, Shalom Hanoch, and Jonathan Geffen.

In the late 1970s, Rabbi Zohar became religious, joining the haredi community over time; his transformation was watched with shock, admiration, and sometimes horror by the Israeli public. He later chronicled this period of his life in a book he titled, "My friends, we were robbed!" referring to the Jewish heritage so many secular Israelis are ignorant of.

Around a year before he became religious, Zohar won the Israel Prize, but refused to accept it.

In the video below, Rabbi Zohar was interviewed by Sivan Rahav Meir:

Last year, Rabbi Uri Zohar dedicated a Torah scroll in memory of Arik Einstein to a synagogue in Zichron Yaacov. Real estate developer Alon Amram financed the writing of the scroll.

On Thursday morning, Rabbi Zohar suffered a heart attack and passed away.

May his memory be for a blessing.