Prominent Israeli Satirist Didi Menosi Dies at 85

Menosi, who suffered from Parkinson's disease, penned many Israeli classic songs and wrote satire columns for 40 years in Davar and Yedioth Ahronoth.

Israeli Lyricist, journalist and satirist Dide Menosi died on Friday morning in his home in Ramat Gan at the age of 85. Menosi, who suffered from Parkinson's disease, wrote many songs that became Israeli classics, as well as satirical columns for almost 40 years, first at Davar and then, for Yedioth Ahronoth.

In a Maariv interview last summer Menosi expressed his self-deprecating humor when he said: "Two or three years ago I summed up my life, what I'm leaving behind me: a chunk of books and song lyrics, and that sort of stuff. I told myself 'Didi, that isn't worth dying for.'"

Menosi was born as Yedidya Menosovich in Kibbutz Geva in 1928. He joined the Palmach, the elite fighting force of the Haganah in 1947 and took part, among others, in the occupation of Safed, in the defense of Kibbutz Negba and the occupation of Ashkelon. "We were described as heroes, but it was too lofty a title for us," he told Maariv.

In 1950 he began studying literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and took up an interest in writing, which led to some 25 books and 40 songs. He also wrote plays (Swallow at Mayumba Beach). Menosi hardly parted with his trademark cigar and casquette cap.

In an interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, several years ago, he recalled how he began writing satire: "the editor of the paper called me in and told me that a competing newspaper was planning a collection of jokes, so I must write a similar supplement. There was no time to lose, I collected a few gags and wrote 'Bdihamin.' It was so successful that it lasted many years."

Menosi was survived by his wife, Tzila Menosi, who illustrated his columns for Yedioth Aharonoth, and three children. His coffin will be placed on Sunday at Tel Aviv's Beit Sokolov and his funeral will be held later at Kibbutz Geva.

Moti Kimche