Those we have lost

Boaz Abraham, 61: Dog-walking, nicknaming farmer with big smile

One of four slain members of Nir Yitzhak’s security team, Abraham like a father to Thai farmhands and like a celeb to his kids

Boaz Abraham. (IDF Spokesperson)
Boaz Abraham. (IDF Spokesperson)

Boaz Abraham, 61, was killed on October 7 while fighting off terrorists attempting to invade his hometown of Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak. He leaves behind a wife Daniela and three children: Roni, Inbal and Michal.

Abraham was a member of Nir Yizhak’s armed civilian rapid response team, which lost at least four members in battles with dozens of terrorists who rampaged through the kibbutz for some 14 hours, kidnapping several people, before the army managed to retake control.

He was initially feared kidnapped, but his remains were identified several days after the massacre and he was buried on October 17.

Posthumously promoted to sergeant major in the reserves by the Israel Defense Forces due to his volunteer security role, Abraham was a veteran of the military’s 1982 campaign to take Beirut with the Nahal Brigade.

He joined the kibbutz in the early 1980s together with a group of Nahal veterans, where he met Daniela. According to a friend, they were wed on the kibbutz grass in a joint ceremony with two other couples from the Nahal group also being married.

“We got each other from the start, even when we didn’t speak the same language,” she wrote in a memorial message. “I wanted to keep going with you, marry off our kids and enjoy our grandchildren together, or just to sit and get old together. Travel together, visit family. How can I do all that alone?”

Despite his role on the security team, the kibbutz wrote in memoriam that “Boaz was a simple man, a civilian … who just wanted to defend his family and friends on the kibbutz.”

Aerial view of Israeli hikers walking among the flower beds at Nir Yitzhak, Southern Israel on April 18, 2015. Kathmandu Mayor Rudrah Singh Tamang said he was so impressed with the agricultural technology that enabled Israel to transform an arid land into successful farms. (Edi Israel/Flash90)

He was remembered for his warm smile, friendly demeanor and bringing happiness wherever he went. He handed out nicknames like candy and went by a few himself, including “Ko Tov,” which translates roughly to “so good,” and “Bougie Ashkenabougie.”

Neighbors also recalled the constant site of Abraham and Daniela walking their dog around the kibbutz.

A farmer by trade, Boaz worked the kibbutz’s lands and supervised the Thai workers employed as farmhands, even attempting to learn Thai to better communicate with them.

“You weren’t just their liaison at work, but a sort of father,” a neighbor wrote in a memorial message. “If they needed anything they went to you. Rice, personal problems or anything else.”

To his own children, he was a “sort of celebrity around the kibbutz.”

“You made the day of everyone around you, always with a broad heart and smile to everyone, whether as a referee for youth soccer, or when you would take everyone in your tractor around the fields you loved so much,” they wrote. “We remember you singing songs you loved out loud, even when you didn’t know the words … We are sure we will emerge from our grief in the way you bequeathed to us, that is by humor and laughter that will accompany us all our lives.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here. 

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