Legendary Israeli singer Arik Einstein died late Tuesday after being hospitalized in critical condition earlier in the evening for an aortic aneurysm. He was 74.
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Einstein's funeral took place Wednesday afternoon at the old Trumpeldor Cemetery in Tel Aviv. Thousands of devoted fans were in attendance. Prior to the funeral, his body lay in state in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, where thousands of people, including politicians and musicians, gathered to pay their respects.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined the thousands that came to mourn Einstein in Tel Aviv. In his eulogy, Netanyahu praised Einstein as being "the essence of the real, beautiful Israel. The greatest of them all"
Arik Einstein didn't scream or shout, but was nonetheless the founding father of Israeli rock, says Haaretz music critic Ben Shalev. More than any artist of his generation, he altered the way in which an Israeli song was sung.
Thursday's Haaretz Editorial calls on Israelis to respect Einstein's modesty. In mourning his death, it says, Israel is trying to attribute deeper meanings to both him and his songs, whereas Einstein had no pretentions.
Chemi Shalev describes Einstein as Israel's Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Bruce Springsteen all rolled into one, and his voice as the one voice of the good old Israel we still dream of.
Even after Einstein's death, the mission remains the same – to renew that which dissolved in the '80s – to reinstate in Israel the sense of meaning it has lost, writes Ari Shavit.
Gideon Levy writes that, although Einstein's death has not left us orphaned, it is nonetheless painful. In Levy's eyes, mourning for the singer brings out Israel's beauty; how beautiful it is when it mourns for a cultural hero and not for another kind of hero.
It was hard but Haaretz did its best to compile a list of Einstein's ten most beautiful songs.