Beloved Zaka volunteer, Yisroel Meir Chazzan passed away on Tuesday at Sheba hospital in Tel Hashomer, only two days after his 38th birthday.
20 years ago, Chazzan contracted a malignant form of cancer and successfully fought it off. However, the cancer returned a year-and-a-half ago, only this time Chazzan was not nearly as lucky. Earlier today friends, as well as the “Happiness Team” from Zaka, came to visit Chazzan in the hospital and cheer him up during his fight. While they did their best to liven his spirits, just a few hours later Chazzan took a turn for the worse and gave his soul back to Hashem.
Srulik Kletzkin, a friend of Chazzan’s and a singer, received the sad news while he was at a wedding. “I’ve never had anything like this happen to me before. We were able to lift him up after the difficult treatment he had received, he was happy and then a few hours later he passed away. I don’t know how I will be able to go on singing,” Kletzkin said in despair.
Chazzan was born on the 8th of Kislev Taf Shin Mem, to his parents Rabbi Michael and Leah Chazzan, both of whom outlived their son.
In addition to volunteering with Zaka and Magen David Adom, Chazzan worked at Ezer MeZion and his friends remembered him as someone who was always giving of himself to others.
In an official statement, Zaka commemorated Chazzan by saying: “Tonight we suffer a torn and troubled heart. We are shocked into silence and shaken to our core over the death of one of most dedicated volunteers who was among the best of us. He had a true heart and a giving soul which caused him to work towards saving lives and honoring the dead for dozens of years. Our condolences go out to his family. Our family at Zaka mourns with you and our hearts are with yours during this difficult time. Yisroel Meir was a symbol and an example of what it means to devote one’s time, energy and money towards helping others. We are all crying with you tonight.”
Chazzan leaves behind him a wife and three children. His funeral has been set for 11:00 p.m. Israel time, and will take place in the Segulah cemetery in Petach Tikvah.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)