Those we have lost

Cpt. Roi Nahary, 23: Officer with a twin brother and a ‘perfect smile’

Wounded in action battling Hamas in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, October 7, died two days later

First Lt. Roi Nahary who was killed in Kfar Aza on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy of the Nahari family)
First Lt. Roi Nahary who was killed in Kfar Aza on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy of the Nahari family)

Cpt. Roi Nahary, 23, an officer in the Paratroopers Brigade, from Moshav Ora, just outside of Jerusalem, was wounded while battling Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Kfar Aza on October 7 , and died of his wounds two days later.

He was buried on October 13 on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

He is survived by his parents, Iris and Ronen, his twin brother Bar, and his younger siblings Rotem and Omer.

He studied at Jerusalem’s Boyer School, and, determined to enlist in a combat unit, underwent surgery for a sports injury, which involved a long rehabilitation.

According to Hebrew media, his family donated five of his organs, each of which was transplanted into a different patient, believing that this would have been his wish.

Nahari’s mother Iris issued a statement describing her son as an “esteemed officer,” who was “handsome and brave in every way.”

His little brother, Omer, wrote that two months after his death, “I am still waiting. Still waiting for you to come home and say it was a mistake and that it was somebody else. Waiting for one more basketball game with you, one more time we work out together, one more time I’ll see you come home from the army after a month.”

“I always thought we were the four perfect siblings,” he said. “Your eyes would fill with pride every time one of the names of your siblings came up in conversation. The pride I had in being part of this foursome, the unique connection we all had despite the age gaps, the promising future the four of us had together, all the experiences we were supposed to still have. Each of us filled a part of that foursome, four of us together. Now we are three.”

Roi’s younger sister, Rotem, wrote online about “20 years of being privileged to live beside you. My heart refuses to believe that you won’t be here any longer. You always defended me and protected me, I was always your little sister and you my big brother. Everywhere I went I shouted your name with pride… Conversations with you gave me strength and a hug from you filled me up.”

“Nothing prepared me for the understanding that you won’t be at my wedding, I won’t see your face anymore and your perfect smile. My heart is shattered into a thousand pieces, everywhere I go reminds me of you. If you were by my side now… I would tell you that you were the best brother I could ask for, and I had the privilege of being your sister,” she wrote.

Marking 30 days since he was killed, his family gathered at his graveside in Jerusalem to unveil his headstone.

“At the start, we were two, and now I am one,” his twin brother Bar said at the memorial service. “We walked together, hand in hand, with a lot of faith in our path,” he said.

“Justice. Is it just that you are not with me? That you were taken from me? Is it just that you have only a past and no future? Is it just that you will never get to stroke the hair of your children? To embrace and adopt my family as your own family? To celebrate with you, to live with you and to die with you?” Bar said at his twin’s graveside.

“Is it just that I wasn’t there then to protect you?” he continued. “How, out of everyone, was it you? And how out of everyone was it me?” He noted that their “love for the State of Israel is endless… Roi is missed, he has been missed already for a month and he will be missed my entire life.”

“I remember us as two little kids, two chicks, with little and strong hands and legs, running in tall grass, climbing hills, one with brown eyes and the other with curls. A duo… speaking in a language all our own, seeing the world through our eyes. I will remember us loving, growing up, laughing, being angry, leaving, returning, forgiving. I remember the connection we had — only us and nobody else… because you are me and I am you,” he said. “At the start, we were two. And now I am left as one.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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