Omri Ben Shahar/Courtesy of the family
The funeral of Res. Maj. Omri Ben-Shahar, who fell in the fighting in Gaza, was held today (Sunday) at the Kiryat Shaul military cemetery. Ben Shahar, son of former Givatayim mayor Reuven Ben-Shahar, was 25 years old when he died.
"This is not a time for words. This is a time for remembrance and connection with the image of our charming, humble, humble son" his parents, Reuven and Anat, eulogized him, "You were a sweet, beautiful boy, a mischievous little ruffian. Bright child. In playgrounds you knew no fear. You continued to conquer peaks. You take advantage of every leisure moment for meaningful, as well as nonsensical, work. You ran marathons and learned guitar for your soul. In recent years, when time was tighter, you didn't give up surfing in the sea. You were a scout and became an admired guide."
The parents added about Omri's life: "In the past <> hours, I couldn't stop hearing how everyone felt like they were your best friend. When you joined the army, it was clear to you that you would serve in a significant role. You served in a paratrooper platoon. Upon liberation you traveled the world. You successfully completed two academic years at university, you were supposed to start a third year, but you already know what happened."
Omri Ben-Shahar's funeral/Courtesy of the family
"When rationale clashed with emotion, you often told me in the middle of a conversation, Dad is under arrest, I have to get a nap," said Reuven, Omri's father, "That's how you were, my mission, as if something in you knew that your time was up. How lucky that you were able to experience powerful love in your life with Lior. Don't worry, Lior and her family will always be part of our lives. We were told that you told Shlomit that you planned to have small children so that your parents would have someone to play with and enjoy in the years to come. Satan's messengers came out of the bowels of the earth, eliminated by you and your heroic friends, not before taking you from us, the purest and most precious treasure of all."
Afterwards, Omri's parents recounted their last meeting with their son. "When we arrived a week ago to meet you on the conference grounds, we spent the last two hours together. You hugged us, it will sound delusional to you, like you've never hugged before. A new embrace of the past two months," they shared, "an unbearable darkness has fallen upon us, and you light up other worlds, but you are watching us. Rest in peace, dear son."
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Oban and Anat, parents of Res. Maj. Omri Ben-Shahar, eulogize him at his funeral./Courtesy of the family
After the parents, Omri's twin brother, Nadav, eulogized. "Even before we learned to speak, we used to talk in gibberish things that only we understand. My first childhood memory is the split in kindergarten. We held hands through the bars that separated us. Instead of running to play in the yard, we chose to hold hands," Nadav eulogized, "Those who know me know that I don't believe in superstition, but we felt each other from afar. Every time I wanted to call you, an incoming call came from you."
"From my mother's gut, we continued everything together, in all classes, elementary and high school," his twin brother added, adding, "I was always jealous of your ability to sit non-stop to be the best. No one can say a bad word about you. You never quarreled with anyone. You have undergone a serious shake-up in the past two months, from an electrical engineering student at Tel Aviv University back to uniform. In our last conversation, I felt that something was wrong with your voice, that you weren't feeling well. With half a laugh, half the truth, I suggested that you ask for sick leave, and before I finished the sentence you started laughing and said that it would never happen. You saw your mission and team above all."
"This place is no stranger to me and Omri," the brother added, referring to the death of their mutual friend Shahar Strug, who fell while serving in 2018, "We lost Shachar and became regular visitors to this plot in Kiryat Shaul. Quite a few times you and I came here alone because we felt the need. No one believed you would become a neighbor."
"We felt each other from afar" Nadav, Omri's twin brother/Courtesy of the family
Omri's partner of five years, Lior, also eulogized. "I wrote a few words, but even a book won't suffice. You are my whole world. I know what I want before I even know for myself. You taught me how to enjoy life, we accumulated experiences that will forever remain in my heart. You taught me to overcome fear, to live in the moment and arrive at the last minute to some hostel and discover that there are bedbugs in the bed and not to sleep there because everything is in your head."
"From the first moment I fell in love with your beautiful smile. "Three weeks ago you surprised me with a weekend in a hotel and good restaurants when you went out for an after. You are the most diligent person I know, sticking to the goal, and on the other hand not giving up on life for a moment. I remember the day I pulled you off on Instagram and how everything ran, you came home and we were on dates for four days straight, sitting at Gordon Beach and listening to the song 'How Can You Not Fall in Love'. Now I'm willing to admit that I started with you and used to do it over and over again. You left us all with a huge hole in our hearts. But we're together and we'll stay together the way you've always wanted."
"You left us all with a huge hole in our hearts", Omri Ben-Shahar's funeral/Courtesy of the family
Omri was also eulogized by his cousin, Guy Raz. "I'm used to writing you birthday greetings. I don't believe we should try to write you a farewell letter," the cousin said in his opening remarks, "A few months ago I wrote you for your 25th birthday. You symbolize the best there is in this world. Because I know you, I understand that you really take the best. You've left a hole in my heart that I'm not sure will ever be completed and I'm not sure I would want to."
"Thank you for 25 years, for a winning smile, a light you gave the family for years," Guy added, "Thank you for the fact that the day before you came back you came to visit our little Mia, I will tell her all her life that she had an amazing uncle. You said that when all this is over we will get married and that there is nothing to postpone it. Every Memorial Day you would come and go through the graves of my father and your friend Shahar Strug. Now I will pass between you and my father in indescribable sorrow, pain and love. Before you came in, I told you that I was proud of you, and today I am more proud of you than ever, of the person you are, the values and caring, the way you cared and spoiled me. A child who is an angel, and the place of angels in heaven. In your unwritten will you asked that everyone be happy at your funeral, we will do everything we can to return to rejoicing for you. Thank you for being the prince of my dreams."
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- IDF fallen soldiers