On Wednesday, February 28, former Finance Minister and prominent political figure Avraham (Baiga) Shochat passed away at the age of 87.

Born on June 14, 1936, in Tel Aviv, Abraham Shochat was the only son in a family of immigrants from Ukraine and Poland. He earned the nickname "Baiga" (from the Yiddish "Feygale" meaning "chick") during his childhood.

Serving in the Nahal airborne unit, he later obtained a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the Technion in Haifa. He played a role in the construction of the city of Arad in the Negev and served as its mayor after being elected to the local council in 1967, holding the position through multiple re-elections.

In May 1988, Shochat began his political career as a member of the 11th Knesset. He was subsequently re-elected five times, representing HaMa'arakh, Labor, and Ehud Barak's United bloc of Israel.

During the 12th Knesset, Shochat chaired the Economics and Finance Committees.

When Yitzhak Rabin's government was formed in 1992, he was appointed Finance Minister, serving in this role for four years. He was reappointed as Finance Minister in Ehud Barak's government in 1999.

In addition to the Finance Ministry, Shochat also held the position of Minister of National Infrastructure in the latter half of 2000, but Barak's government lost power shortly after.

In the fall of 2005, Shochat announced his retirement from politics.

Following his political career, Shochat served on the board of directors of several major Israeli enterprises, including the Bank of Mizrachi and Kimikalim Le-Israel.

He resided in Tel Aviv for the past few decades and was granted honorary citizenship in 2009.

Shochat was married to Tama, the daughter of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, and they raised three children.