Those we have lost

Aviya Genut, 22: Coffee addict was ‘a ray of sunshine’

Murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova music festival on October 7

Aviya Ganot (Courtesy)
Aviya Ganot (Courtesy)

Aviya Genut, 22, from Tzufim, was murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova music festival on October 7.

Her funeral was held on October 15 in Kfar Saba. She is survived by her parents, Elad and Yifat, and her younger siblings Aniam, Tahel and Sinai.

Friends and family said she loved yoga, hula hooping, nature and watching sunsets, and was addicted to drinking coffee. During her mandatory army service, she served as an instructor on the Iron Dome battery, and after she finished she worked as a waitress to save up money for a trip.

She had returned to Israel just a few months before she was killed from six months of traveling around the world. Aviya grew up in a religious family, but moved away from that lifestyle as a young adult.

Her maternal grandmother, Tzipi, told Israel Hayom that the two were notably close, and she even visited Aviya during her trip to South America: “Aviya would go to festivals and come and sleep by me, she would always say to me, ‘Don’t worry about me, when I come home I’ll come to cuddle with you.’ I miss her so much.”

Her aunt, Yael, was just a few years older than Aviya and the pair would call each other “half,” as shorthand for “my other half.”

“A ray of sunshine in the body of a person,” she wrote on Instagram. “You would connect to other people within seconds, you drew people together, you were so alive, dancing with happiness, your presence was so felt. It was impossible to miss you when you entered a room… I will always remember your huge smile and your joy. My heart is burning. Now I have been left just a half.”

Her paternal grandmother, Noga, wrote on Facebook a day before her funeral to “my Aviya, beloved, diligent, with a lust for life… How will we say goodbye to you? How will we not see you anymore? We received a gift for 22.6 years, and tomorrow we will give it back. Tomorrow, God will heal your wounds, and we will cry and cry, and we will die from the sadness and pain.”

At her funeral, her mother, Yifat, noted that she was born right before Pesach, and killed on Simhat Torah: “We always said that you had a lofty soul,” she said, pointing out that they learned of her death on Shabbat Bereishit, the Shabbat where they read the first book of the Torah, but “we don’t want to start from the beginning [Bereishit] without you.”

“For 22.5 years I would admire you, watch you with amazement,” she continued. “This wasn’t all you were blessed with, my love, but with inner beauty and a special goodness, wisdom, knowledge and maturity. This too I would watch with incredulity, how a girl, a young lady, woman who was so young spoke to me with such maturity… I marveled at it in every conversation.”

Yifat thanked Aviya, “that your soul chose us to be your parents. We tried so hard to fulfill that role in a good and correct manner — we didn’t always succeed, sometimes we really failed, you know how it is with a firstborn. I’m sorry my beautiful, sorry for the mistakes, for the times it wasn’t enough and we didn’t know how. The truth is we tried. Thank you my girl, thank you for the time with you, that you raised us, all of us, and taught us how to be better.”

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