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Meirav Madar, mother of Shahak Yosef Madar

Mother: Meirav Madar

Son: Shahak Yosef Madar, HY"D, 26 at the time of his murder.

Family: Shahak was the eldest son of Meirav and Doron, with five siblings - Or (25), Ofri (24), Carmel (22), Zohar (21), and Tomer (16).

Moments of Terror: Shahak went to the Nova Festival to dance and celebrate. When the attack began, he spoke with us and said everything was fine, that he and a friend were on their way to Be'er Sheva and were near IDF forces. Then we lost contact with him.

We were in shock and didn’t know what to do. We searched for him at the hospital all day, friends and IDF forces searched in the field. No one could find him. After three days, an army officer came to us and informed that his phone was traced to Gaza and that he was likely kidnapped. We experienced endless uncertainty and worry until Friday when we were informed that Shahak had been murdered. Doron and Tomer were at the synagogue, and the kids and I were at home with friends.

A whole team arrived—I call them "angels of death"—the mayor, a psychologist, a social worker, and a paramedic. They didn’t need to say anything. It was the hardest moment of my life.

The Person Behind the Story:

Shahak was a child of love, full of light, smiles, and joy. A true friend who connected and helped everyone. We are a happy and united family, caring for each other with great love. We love traveling, spending time together, enjoying family meals.

After finishing high school, Shahak joined the Nahal Brigade as a combat soldier. After his discharge, he traveled to India and South America with his close friends Ofek and Ron, making friends from all around the world and dancing at the biggest festivals. When he returned from his trip, Shahak started studying for a degree in Tourism Management at Ben-Gurion University. He loved his studies and excelled.

Phrases that guided him: "Everything is possible," "What’s the problem? Is there a problem? There’s no problem," "Reduce panic," "Be at ease."

My Message:

Shahak would want us to choose life and follow his path, to be united and commemorate him in every possible way. He left a huge void in our lives, but we will fill it with the life Shahak would have wanted. We will be kind to each other, and everyone will succeed in their own way, in Shahak's light.

Project in Memory of Shahak:

Shahak was commemorated at the Training Base 1 officer school. We donated a shield bearing the base's emblem, his name, the date of October 7th, and the phrase "He has his own unique melody." Every cadet who arrives at the Base passes through his memorial.

His sister, Lieutenant Carmel, leads “Team Shahak” named after him. They learn about his life and the values he upheld.

We created memory albums, stickers with phrases he used, blessings, Psalms and Kiddush books, a menorah, branded wine, a Passover Haggadah, diving and flying trips in his name, and items bearing his name and picture.

The family holds various events in his memory on the seventh of each month, including lighting a Hanukkah candle, tree planting on Tu B'Shevat at Kibbutz Re'im and painting "Anemones after the rain" on a shelter, a Purim fair, the "Dancing in His Memory" project, the "Shahak ’s Rolls" initiative - a moving evening marking his birthday, and donating Torah scrolls. Food, clothing, and toy donations for families in need and children were also made for Kaddish LaNeshama.

Our Last Embrace:

On Friday night at 11:30 PM, he showered and dressed for the party. We watched funny videos, he gave me a hug, and then he left for the party to celebrate life, dance, and be happy.

Meirav Madar, mother of Shahak Yosef Madar

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