Yehuda Meshi Zahav
Yehuda Meshi Zahav צילום: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The former chairman of the ZAKA response organization died early Wednesday morning, more than a year after a suicide attempt.

Yehuda Meshi Zahav passed away before dawn Wednesday at Herzog Medical Center in Jerusalem. He was 62.

In April 2021, Meshi Zahav was found unconscious after he attempted to commit suicide.

A month earlier, police opened a criminal investigation against Meshi Zahav, after allegations came to light in a report published by Haaretz. In that report, six accusers -both male and female - claimed Meshi-Zahav sexually exploited or raped them as far back as the 1980s.

Some of the accusers were minors at the time of the alleged assaults.

Meshi Zahav left a suicide note in which he expressed remorse for his actions, without elaborating.

"I am sorry. My punishment I have received already. Try to remember the good that I did;
try to always remember what I forgot: 'There is an Eye that sees, an Ear that hears, and all your deeds are written in a Book.' (Ethics of the Fathers, 2:1)”

“My love always, and I am very humiliated, Yehuda."

Meshi Zahav is survived by his wife, Batsheva, and their seven children.