“It’s Enough To See The Relatives: The Pain, The Screams, The Tears,” ZAKA Director In Mourning Speaks

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav with his mother, a'h.(ZAKA spokesperson)

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ZAKA director Yehudah Meshi-Zahav, who is currently sitting shiva for his mother, Mrs. Sora Zissel Meshi-Zahav, a’h, who passed away of the coronavirus on Monday evening, spoke to Kikar H’Shabbos, tearfully pleading with those who may still have failed to internalize the importance of adhering to health regulations.

“Another 44 Israelis passed away of the coronavirus today,” he said. “Another 44 families whose worlds have collapsed, who are crying oceans of tears. All those who are denying the situation and aren’t adhering to regulations are worse than Holocaust deniers.”

“They’re worse than Holocaust deniers because Holocaust deniers deny history but this is a denial of the present. How can they say: ‘Our hands didn’t spill this blood?’ Our tzibur, more than any other, is practiced in fulfilling the mitzvah of ‘V’nishmarten meod l’nafshoseichem.’ We run to the best doctors for every little thing. Why is it different in the face of something like this – which has proven 100% to kill people every day?”

“My mother was a healthy woman, full of vitality. She was never once hospitalized, and then the coronavirus hit her. The X-rays showed how the virus damaged her lungs and caused scarring until she stopped breathing and died.”

“I say to everyone who isn’t adhering to regulations – come visit the hospitals. Not only to see the patients, it’s enough to see the families sitting outside – the pain, the tefillos, the screaming and crying.”

“I was at Hadassah [by his mother’s side] for the past three weeks and one day I saw family members that were crying and had run out of tissues to wipe their tears. So I went to bring them more as they continued waiting outside the coronavirus ward.”

“And it’s not necessary to see the situation of every patient. It’s enough to hear their cries: ‘Water, bathroom, nurse,’ and sometimes there’s no one available to help them. They’re dying like flies.”

“How is it possible to deny this? We see in our neighborhood how every few hours new names for tefillah are put up on the bulletin boards. There’s no building without a family crying out, whose whole world has been destroyed and nothing in their lives will ever be the same. How is possible to deny this?”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Next time every religious Jew must come out and stop the gay parade in Jerusalem and every other Israeli city. You want Israel to be Sodom. There is a price if you don’t protest.

  2. When a person has a Tzara he should think about how he needs to repent, when others have tzar we need to Daven and implore Hashem for a yeshua and see what we need to do on a personal level, unless there are Tziri Kim who say otherwise. Hashemite should have mercy on us and stop the mageifa, we need to do our hush tad lid to keep ourselves and others safe and make an effort to become better people on a personal level

  3. Such a great post! Tizku lemitzvos for this and all the other similar posts. I suggest in the strongest terms possible that you should not allow anything to be published, including in the comments anything that would deny the severity of the disease and anything that makes light if the precautions that Doctors tell us to do. Unfortunately the masks and other precautions became a political issue by somedue to elections,while really it’s a bipartisan issue. Doctors no matter which party they’re from say it. So now after the election season is over I plead with your site and everyone else reading it, that for at least the last stretch we should be the utmost careful in all precautions.

  4. My son is an ambulance driver for MDS in Israel. He is in the US right now on business. He flew into JFK and spend part of a day in New York. He told me that he didn’t see a single visibly frum Jew wearing a mask. I was in Geula two weeks ago. The situation there is not as bad, but “a wet finger in the air” estimate would be about one third of the people I saw there not wearing masks. Here, in Har Nof, mask compliance seems to be close to total, so the resistance to mask wearing doesn’t necessarily seem to be a “chareidi” issue, but rather limited to a certain sub-culture.

    Are some of us so blinded that we react to any mandate from “them” (either goyim or non-frum Jews) by saying, whatever it is, we will do the opposite? Are we incapable of distinguishing between gezerios ra’os and regulations to preserve health? It seems to be a kind of superstition, at odds with the whole culture of the beis medrash, where rational thought is prized.

  5. This man has politicized his own mother’s death to push his agenda.
    It’s infuriating when people accuse others of “not taking covid 19 seriously.” All the guidelines have proven ineffective, and the doctors, cdc and nih have no clue. There’s zero reason to listen to anyone anymore. But people who realize this and don’t conform are “covid deniers”, worse than holocaust deniers.
    We are done with being sent on guilt trips, Mr. Meshi Zahav. We will not be intimidated anymore.

  6. Rats Rats DemocRATs, we could do what you suggested OR we can commit to quit saying Loshon Hara, can cease using our phones/or talking in shul, can increase our tzedaka. I don’t know…. just a thought…

  7. A conan doyle – I wonder if you know how far right you are! we all know countless people (Figures included) who preached tirelessly about wearing masks and staying at home etc. etc. and they themselves proved themselves so wrong! they got the virus before many of their opponents. can olesker or his like please explain how this happens to be?

  8. Very interesting, everyone in Brooklyn and Lakewood (and I heard Monsey too), has returned to normal life already in April. And there is no spike in mortality. So we have been proven right for doing so and we will continue to live, and live fully without fear.

  9. One thing is for sure. Can ANYONE explain why there hasn’t been an outcry for a major Asifa L’Chizuk HaTefilla over the past 11 months of Corna??????? What in the world are we waiting for??? HASHEM IS WAITING FOR US TO BE MECHAZEIK OUR TEFILLOS. Not just the families of those effected, but the Tefillos of Gantz Klal Yisroel. It’s Rachmana Litzlan like before the Holocaust where the Chazon Ish ZT”L is quoted as saying that had there been proper Tefilla beforehand things would have been much different. What about now?? I can’t believe that we are 5 weeks before Purim and STILL NOTHING SIGNIFICANT IN CLOSE TO 11 MONTHS HAS BEEN ACHIEVED IN THE AREA OF TEFILLA. If that’s not a Shanda and Charpa, I don’t know what is. Please, beg our leaders to make Assifos L’Man Chizuk of Tefilla. Our daily davening MUST IMPROVE IN A VERY MAJOR WAY. My daily Shemoneh Esrei takes over a half hour how long is yours?? (You don’t know who I am, so I can say this.) Are you crying your heart out for other Yidden? The Gemora in Brachos 12B says that someone who can daven for someone else (we all can daven for someone else can’t we?) and doesn’t, is called a sinner. Tehillim and better Tefilla is an absolute must in this Tekufa. Vhu Rachum Yechaper Uvoin.

  10. Why has YVN censored Mr Meshi-Zahava’s comments??? He has laid the blame squarely on rabbonim, saying they have blood on their hands for not instructing their followers to practice masking etc . It’s in all the online Israeli newspapers. Why would you selectively report only the part that suits your agenda ???

  11. To A Conan Doyle:

    You tayn’eh that “All the guidelines have proven ineffective, and the doctors, cdc and nih have no clue.”

    Listen up Sherlock. I’m a doc, quite likely someone who knows you. And I’m very current with the literature, which shows pretty clearly that those who mask etc are protecting not only others but themselves. There isn’t a single doc I know who thinks otherwise, and I am personally in contact with dozens of docs. So be moideh al ho’emess: the ones who are politicizing this issue are the chareidi communities like (but not only) Lakewood, where it is “unwise” for local docs to publicize the truth about masking / distancing, unless they want to pay a heavy social and business penalty. People like you are not only ignoring sage advice, but trying to silence those who know and tell the truth. Haftoiras Vayeishev states “You ordered the nevi’im not to prophesy”. The ones who are trying to convey the emes in our time are being intimidated by intolerant bullies like yourself who are trying (and largely succeeding) to shut us up, in order to stop the truth from being heard. That is the matzav.