Those We Have Lost

Lt. Pedayah Mark, 22: Thrice-bereaved family suffers further loss

Killed battling Hamas in northern Gaza on October 31

Lt. Pedayah Mark who was killed in Gaza on October 31, 2023. (IDF)
Lt. Pedayah Mark who was killed in Gaza on October 31, 2023. (IDF)

Lt. Pedayah Menachem Mark, 22, from Otniel, a platoon commander in the Tsabar battalion in the Givati Brigade, was killed battling Hamas terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip on October 31.

He was buried November 1 in the military section of Har Hamenuhot in Jerusalem. He is survived by his mother, Chava, and eight of his siblings: Shira, Netanel, Yehoshua, Miriam, Orit, Tehilla, Rinat and Esther.

In 2016, when he was 15, he witnessed his father, Rabbi Miki Mark, be murdered in a drive-by terror shooting in the southern West Bank. He was lightly wounded and his mother and sister were seriously wounded but survived.

His older brother, Shlomi, was killed in a motorcyle accident in 2019. Pedayah’s cousin, Capt. Elhanan Kalmanson, was killed on October 8 fighting Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Be’eri.

“It’s inexplicable pain,” his sister, Orit Mark-Ettinger, told Ynet. “We couldn’t believe that this happened to us again. That we were in the same situation again… I now don’t have three people from my closest and most personal family. I don’t have my father and he won’t come back. I don’t have my eldest brother and he won’t come back. And I don’t have my younger brother and he won’t come back.”

“He ws a good and loving brother,” she told the news site. “He was my little brother, but he made us feel safe. He would hug us and give us this feeling that, Pedushka is here, you can calm down.”

Despite the family’s heavy losses, she said, there was no question he would enlist in a combat unit when the time came: “Pedayah always thought about the army, his dream was to enlist, to command, to lead. All of his life Pedayah was a leader. That’s who he was.”

His brother, Yehoshua Mark, told Walla that he remembered Pedayah doing situps in the living room when he was 7 years old to prepare for enlisting in the military: “This shows what kind of hero and military guy he was. But there was also a lot of sweetness under the scary warrior, or on top of it, there was an indescribable ball of heart and sweetness. It’s important to remember that every soldier, every hero, is ultimately a brother and a little boy who has a lot of people who loved him and he is important to them and is an inseparable part of them.”

His sister, Shira Mark, said she saw her little brother as a hero long before he fell in battle: “He was a hero because he succeeded in living a life full of meaning, full of resilience, full of strength and full of choices. I feel that despite the third death in our family, we didn’t lose, there is a victory, because Pedayah fought out of love not out of hate… I feel like what I learned from Pedayah wasn’t on the battlefield but in the day-to-day. Every day he lived his silence and his strength.”

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