Moshe Etzion, a Holocaust survivor who lost his son Zevik in the final hours of Operation Protective Edge in 2014, committed suicide on Sunday morning over his son’s grave.
Etzion, 88, left his home on Zevik’s yahrzeit Sunday morning and was gone for several hours, according to neighbours of Kibbutz Nirim, where he lived. When his family got concerned, a search was launched, and his body was discovered over Zevik’s grave at Nirim’s cemetery.
“Moshe stood bravely in the face of his loss and his life as a Holocaust survivor,” said his friends at Nirim. “Since Zevik’s passing, Moshe has been focused on trying endlessly to be worthy of Zevik’s legacy, which he spoke of in dozens of places and events.”
They added that Moshe always had his head raised high and gave his friends hope that anything is possible.
Last year, Moshe’s family published a book telling his story from his childhood in Krakow to his journey to Israel through Tehran and his settling in Nirim. The book was titled “Always on the Journey.”
“Today the journey ended,” said the people of Nirim.
“My father was an optimistic man who loved life, and his smile never left his face,” Moshe’s daughter, Smadar, told Walla. He loved Israel and his kibbutz very much. He did everything with love.”
She also talked about how Moshe used to drive Palestinian children from checkpoints to Israeli hospitals.
“He talked about not wanting to be a burden to his family,” Smadar told N12. “He was already getting weak and wanted to die with dignity.”
She went on to say that it didn’t surprise her where Moshe chose to die. “He was madly in love with Zevik. After Zevik was dead, he requested his own gun as a remembrance, and he used the same gun.”
Zevik Etzion, the military security coordinator in Nirim, was killed by a mortar blast just hours before the Protective Edge ceasefire. He was survived by his wife, five children, his parents, and his sister.
The funeral will be held in Nirim on Monday at 18:30.