Those we have lost

Cpt. Yedidya Lev, 26: Givati commander was oldest of 8 siblings

Killed battling Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip on November 14, 2023

Capt. Yedidya Asher Lev (IDF)
Capt. Yedidya Asher Lev (IDF)

Cpt. Yedidya Asher Lev, 26, a deputy company commander in the Givati Brigade’s Shaked Battalion, from Tal Menashe, was killed fighting in the northern Gaza Strip on November 14, 2023.

His family said he was part of a mission raiding the Rantisi Hospital in Gaza City, when Hamas gunmen emerged from a tunnel and opened fire, killing Yedidya.

He was buried in the settlement of Hinanit on November 15. He is survived by his parents, Orna and Noam, and his seven younger siblings, Talia, Ayelet, Hadas, Achva, Moriel, Matanya and Nahala.

Yedidya attended high school at Yeshivat Shaalvim, and later studied at the Shavei Hevron yeshiva in Hebron for several years before enlisting in Givati. He stayed on past his mandatory service, and was slated to be released several months before he was killed, but was asked by his commanders to stay on in the wake of the war.

Yedidya went through a commander’s course with Sgt. First Class Cedrick Garin, his family said, helping Garin get through the grueling portions of the program and not letting him give up. Garin was killed fighting in Gaza two months after Yedidya.

His family said that not long before he was killed, Yedidya donated bone barrow to an ailing 60-year-old woman, after finding out he was a match through the Ezer Mizion registry — an act that brought him great joy. In that spirit, his family also donated his corneas after his death.

In conversation with Arutz Sheva, his father Noam recalled how five years earlier Yedidya saved his own life, as they were out playing soccer one night: “I suddenly fell, I had a heart attack. Yedidya regained his composure, called for help and started performing CPR. Those two actions are the actions that gave me my life back.”

His younger brother Matanya said that he “wants to learn from you your peace of mind, your love for the Jewish people, your incredible sacrifice and your humor. You were my older brother, my beloved brother, there is none like you. You are a hero.”

At his funeral, his mother Orna lamented that “you are no longer with us in this world. We can no longer see you smile, no longer seek your advice, we can’t consult with you, be with you, you were so gentle and sensitive. You were an excellent older brother to your sisters and brother, and a wonderful uncle to your nephew.”

“My firstborn son, I wish for one more hug. One more kiss on the forehead, one more smile,” she continued. “It’s not normal for parents to bury their son, it’s not normal for siblings to eulogize their brother, it’s not normal for grandparents to bury a grandson, but we are not a normal nation. We are a nation of God.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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