Those We Have Lost

Lt. Col. Eli Ginsberg, 42: Retired from long IDF career, returned to fight

Answered reserve duty call on October 7 and left his home within 15 minutes; killed in battle, October 8

Lt. Gen. Eli Ginsberg (IDF)
Lt. Gen. Eli Ginsberg (IDF)

Lt. Col. Eli Ginsberg, 42, the commander of the special forces LOTAR counterterrorism unit, was killed in battle near Gaza on October 8.

Ginsberg, who lived in the northern kibbutz of Dovrat with his wife and four children, had previously served in the Israel Navy’s Shayetet 13 special operations unit.

He had only retired from the military two weeks before the call came that Hamas terrorists had invaded southern Israel. He immediately headed south to join the battle to retake Kibbutz Be’eri.

Ginsberg’s wife, Malky, eulogized him at his funeral as “the strongest, the biggest, the bravest, the most beautiful, the best, the most mine — the most everything!”

“On Saturday morning when the phone rang, you got up, packed and within 15 minutes you were out the door,” she recalled. “I asked you not to go… you told me it was a call to arms and we were at war and you were showing up.”

Malky recalled that she and Eli had been childhood friends and that he helped her through her grief when her boyfriend, Sgt. Erez Ashkenazi, was killed during an operation in Gaza in 2003.

“When Erez was killed you were there by my side, you lifted me up from the abyss — that’s how everything between us began. You never left my side,” she recalled.

Malky said that she wants their four children, Mika, Oriya, Raz and Tamar, to know “that dad was a superhero! A true hero like in the movies… he will watch over us from above.”

She added: “My heart is shattered into a thousand tiny pieces and I refuse to believe that you, the love of my life, are no longer.”

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