Mother of ZAKA founder and chairman succumbs to coronavirus

Sara Zisl Meshi Zahav, 81, died on Monday.

Yehuda Meshi Zahav (photo credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)
Yehuda Meshi Zahav
(photo credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)
Sara Zisl Meshi-Zahav, 81, the mother of ZAKA founder and chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, succumbed to the novel coronavirus on Monday at Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem, Haredim 10 reported.
She was the wife of haredi (ultra-Orthodox) writer Menachem Mendel Meshi-Zahav and the daughter of writer Yosl Sheinberger, who was the long-time secretary of the anti-Zionist Eda Haredit communal organization.
One of her uncles was Amram Blau, a founder and leader of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta movement.
Yehuda Meshi-Zahav was also an active anti-Zionist until July 1989, when he was involved in a search-and-rescue operation for dead and injured following a terrorist attack on a bus that crashed below the yeshiva where he was learning. Prior to that, he was the chief organizer of stone-throwing demonstrations against the police and Shabbat desecraters and was arrested many times.
He founded ZAKA, a voluntary organization of community emergency response teams, following the terrorist attack on the bus. He gradually changed his views, and two of his sons served in the IDF. In 2003, he was invited to light one of the Independence Day beacons.
Meshi-Zahav has since become involved in many social-welfare endeavors and is also a frequent guest at diplomatic events. He has entered the secular world without compromising his religious ethics and continues to wear haredi-style attire wherever he goes.
Meshi-Zahav said it never occurred to him that COVID-19 would reach him in the most painful way with the death of his mother, who was a woman of great virtue, having done many charitable deeds and having the quality of loving-kindness.
He meticulously observes Health Ministry regulations when meeting other people, he added.