ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 150

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Those We Have Lost

Cpl. Hadar Cohen, 18: Scout leader with contagious laughter

Killed on October 7 when Hamas terrorists overran the Nahal Oz IDF base

Cpl. Hadar Cohen (IDF)
Cpl. Hadar Cohen (IDF)

Cpl. Hadar Miriam Cohen, 18, an observation soldier in the Border Defense Corps’s 414th unit, from Moshav Zeitan, was killed on October 7 when Hamas terrorists overran the Nahal Oz IDF base.

Cohen is survived by her parents, Ilanit and Yigal, and older brothers, Elad, Moshe and Omer. She was buried in Moshav Ahiezer on October 11.

When her parents reached out early Saturday, she told them everything was OK and she was sheltering from the rockets. That was the last they heard from her.

“She was a girl who didn’t want to worry us,” her father, Yigal, told the Kan public broadcaster.

Yigal said, “Hadar was our joy… our only daughter, a wonderful girl, smiley, beautiful, bashful, but full of ambition. Everything she touched had to be perfect. She wanted to take the world by storm, she had a lot of dreams.”

Her father said Hadar was a dedicated scout leader, “with endless generosity. All of her proteges came [to the shiva] and we heard how much they were hurting. She touched so many of them, especially the weaker ones in the group.”

On her gravestone, her family etched a phrase from the traditional Eshet Chayil (woman of valor) song from Proverbs 31: “Oz v’hadar l’vushah, vatischak l’yom acharon” — “She is dressed in strength and splendor, and she will laugh until the end of time.”

“‘Oz’ because of Nahal Oz, and Hadar because those were her characteristics, she laughed all of her life, until the day of her death,” said Yigal.

Her friend, Lia Ben David, wrote on Facebook that she met Cohen at the start of middle school, “and when I saw you, you smiled your smile, a wide smile, a smile of a guardian angel. I connected to you, to your soul, and your contagious laughter from the very first moment. And since then you were my best friend in the world, the best friend who always knew what to say.”

In a special Kan project, her mother, Ilanit, dedicated the Yasmin Muallem song “Yihye Tov” (“It will be okay”) in her daughter’s memory.

“Hadar was the youngest and the princess of the house after three boys,” said Ilanit. “She brought a lot of light, happiness and love to the house, and that’s what she always exuded, and that’s what she wanted that it ‘will be okay.'”

Ilanit added that “even in her last moments, when she messaged us on WhatsApp, that’s what she told everyone, that it was going to be okay, these were her final wishes. And we are all strengthened by what she left us, and the love she left us and wrapped us in. It hurts, but it will be okay.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here. 

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