Loud, colorful clothes, blonde dreadlocks, and a wall-to-wall smile — this is the image that many who knew Ilan Avraham, 57, will take with them in the years to come.
On the morning of October 7, Avraham and his wife Ayala had only just arrived at the Supernova rave in Re’im when chaos erupted.
Ayala told Walla that the couple were “veteran partygoers, we went to the party in Re’im but we didn’t get to enjoy it because we’re morning party people and 10 minutes after we got there all the balagan [chaos] began.”
As the shooting started, the couple fled in their vehicle and crashed into a Hamas roadblock while under heavy gunfire. Their tires shot out, they fled to Moshav Yakini and hid in a concrete bunker near the moshav entrance. When the Hamas terrorists arrived, Ilan stepped out of the bunker and tried to convince them that he was alone. He then managed in his final moments to open the trunk of the couple’s car and toss the keys inside so his wife would have a chance to flee when given an opening.
The gunmen found Ayala but she and her friend managed to get to the trunk of the car where they hid until they were rescued by police, the couple’s daughter Ofek said.
For 18 days, Ilan was considered missing. His body was eventually identified and he was laid to rest on the afternoon of October 25 in Beit Aryeh.
The town was home to the couple and their daughter Ofek, 30, who said she always knew when her dad was home from work by the trance music that she — and the entire town — could hear blasting out of the house.
Ofek said her father was “a man who was endlessly generous, the perfect father who people wanted to be next to. Everyone remembers the magic and the experiences they had with you.”
שכני, אילן אברהם, נחטף על ידי חמאס בעודנו חי לעזה.
סיפור על גיבורי ישראל – אמיתי!
אילן ואיילה הגיעו ב-6 בבוקר למסיבה של נובה לחגוג יום הולדת לאילן עם פרוטוניקה שכל כך אהב.
התמקמו והתכוונו לצאת לרחבה.
06:40 מתחילים לנסוע, ימינה, הווייז לוקח שמאלה.
— Iris B (@IrisB40573390) October 16, 2023
Israeli media reported that Ilan and Ayala met when they were 15 years old and were inseparable ever since. They were known throughout the trance music scene in Israel and were beloved by countless fellow travelers who sought abandon, peace, and deliverance in the speakers and the pulsing crowds driven by the same extremely Israeli party vibe.
Owing to the joy he brought to life and the never-ending party that he MC’d, Ilan did not have a typical funeral. The event was described as a colorful gathering jampacked with friends and coursing with love.
The Mako news site quoted a friend of Ilan’s who described the traffic jam at the entrance to Beit Aryeh just before his funeral, which an estimated 2,500 people attended.
“It was like the entrance of a giant festival. You were a father, brother, uncle, and friend of countless people. Thousands came to escort you on your final journey skywards.”
Attendees were asked not to wear black, to come in a rainbow of colors and wear wristbands with Ilan’s name on them — just like at a rave.
As Ofek said, his grave was covered with flowers, bandanas, spray bottles and candies, everything that was him. The family made sure to bury him with a wristband on his arm. Heartbroken, Ofek said that she was grateful that she didn’t lose both of her parents and that she knew what her father would want from her now.
“The most important thing to him was that we would be strong, that we take care of mom and strengthen her, and that we carry out his will — that we never stop dancing.”