Ten days after her husband was killed in battle by Hamas gunmen inside the Israeli border with Gaza, the widow of Warrant Officer Bayhesain Kshaun, 39, gave birth to a baby girl early Thursday.
The widow, Galaitu Kshaun, was interviewed by Channel 2 at Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center, where many injured IDF soldiers are being treated for wounds sustained in the Gaza conflict. Holding her fourth child — whom she named Tal-Or, or “Light,” a harbinger of happier days of “light for us, light in the house, even though he’s gone” — in her arms, a visibly forlorn Galaitu spoke of her pride in her husband and of the difficulty of carrying on without him.
“Another day goes by, another day that we didn’t hear his voice. It’s not easy,” Galaitu said. “It becomes more difficult with each day that passes.”
Galaitu, whose head was covered in the manner of traditional Jewish women, said her husband had been “looking forward” to the birth.
“He knew we had a daughter,” she said, adding that now, “I don’t have anyone to call, I don’t have anyone to send a text message to” to announce the good news. “It hurts more.”
Kshaun, 39, was killed last Monday along with three other soldiers while battling Hamas terrorists on the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip. The four were killed during a pre-dawn tunnel infiltration into southern Israel, in which Hamas terrorists planned to attack Kibbutz Nir Am.
The Kshaun family, of Ethiopian descent, resides in Netivot — a southern town that has been hit by barrages of rockets in recent weeks. Kshaun was laid to rest there. Thousands attended his funeral.
He is remembered by his widow and three small children — those he was still alive to raise — as a hero who died protecting Israeli civilians from a terrorist infiltration attempt.
Galaitu told Channel 2 Thursday that her late husband loved the army. So much so that, when he was injured when his jeep overturned three years previously, he elected to remain in the military, even though he could have chosen another career. Kshaun stayed a soldier for over 20 years.
Baynesain was “always afraid of the tunnels,” Galaitu told Channel 10 earlier this week. “It pains me that he died that way. They came out of the tunnel and took his life.”
Still, on Thursday, the Kshaun family welcomed new life into the world. Cradling little Tal-Or in her arms, Galaitu vowed to tell the girl about the legacy of the man who came to Israel without his parents as a boy, then decided to become a combat soldier and lost his life defending a southern kibbutz.
“I’ll tell her everything about him. Everything she wouldn’t know, wouldn’t have a chance to. His hands, his arms, his embrace — I’ll tell her everything,” she promised.
Galaitu said that, although she knew the road ahead would be “very difficult,” she turned to God for the strength to move forward.