Four brothers from the Rivlin family went to the Supernova music festival near Kibbutz Re’im on October 7. Only two made it out alive.
Gideon “Gigi” Rivlin, 18, and Aviad Rivlin, 23, who grew up in the Haredi town of Tifrah in the south, were murdered by Hamas terrorists at the rave. Aviad was an off-duty soldier with the rank of staff sergeant in the Technological and Logistics Directorate.
Yohai and Yinon Rivlin, who were also in attendance at the party, managed to escape alive. The brothers all grew up in a large Haredi family, with 12 siblings in all, and several of them later chose to lead secular lives, while others stayed in the Orthodox community. The family recently moved to the religious Otniel settlement.
Yossi Rivlin, their oldest brother, told a Kan podcast that the brothers ended up being split up when Hamas terrorists stormed the festival. Gideon called Yohai and told him he had been shot three times, and Yohai stayed on the line with him as he hid in a separate location until he took his last breath, Yossi recounted.
Gigi was “a noble person, just such a good kid,” said Yossi, noting that his brother was about to enlist in the IDF. He was named after his uncle, also Gideon Rivlin, who lived in Gush Katif in Gaza before the disengagement, and was killed in 2005 when the jeep he was in drove over a roadside bomb planted by terrorists.
Neomi Rivlin, a sister to Gideon and Aviad, shared the eulogies she read for her brothers on Facebook:
“Gigi, my beloved brother, you always had a smile on your face — even when you were angry you had a sort of smile that quickly turned into contagious laughter,” she wrote. “You radiated light and love. Your soul always sought out freedom, love… my little brother, a wonder child, who left even before we got to deeply know each other, to experience so many more things together.”
About Aviad, she wrote: “My big brother, my Aviadi, how can I part from you? How can I no longer hear your laugh, how can I no longer see you every Friday in a video chat before Shabbat?” she said. “You were the pillar of strength of our family. You always knew how to make us happy, to unite us, to make mom happy, to sit with a beer with dad, to make us all laugh, to make sure we always celebrated birthdays… to make all of us feel like we were the most important thing in the world to you.”
Yossi told Kan that Aviad “was the heart of our home… I’m the oldest but he was the heart. He was always a great listener to anyone who wanted to seek his advice, to our parents as well.” Yossi described his brother as “a genius,” who despite only receiving a yeshiva education taught himself English, completed his high school matriculation independently and aced the necessary math requirements for enlisting in the Technological and Logistics Directorate.
Daniel Barak described his friend Aviad as a “pure boy with a genius brain who just wanted to do good and enjoy life as much as possible — you always had a positive approach to everything, even when things were difficult.”
In a video from his unit ahead during a Rosh Hashana toast, just weeks before he was murdered, Aviad wished that all his comrades “in their own way will succeed in accomplishing their dreams and aspirations, while simultaneously giving as much as possible to [the IDF] system.”
Yohai Rivlin, who emerged alive from the party, wrote on Facebook: “Aviad and Gigi, aside from being my brothers you were such a huge part of my life, we did everything together. We lived together, we traveled togther, we worked together, we laughed, we went to parties, you always made sure that all of our friends were having fun and happy.”
Yohai added that his two brothers “will always remain etched on to my heart.”