Maj. Ariel Ben Moshe, 27, a commander in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit, was killed in combat on Kibbutz Re’im on October 7, 2023.
Ben Moshe and his wife Yuval were on vacation camping in the Golan Heights on October 7, until he received a push notification from the army in the morning.
“At 6:40 a.m., Ariel gets a push from the army while we’re still inside the tent,” said Yuval to Israel’s Channel 12. “Ariel trained me like a good commander, and by 6:45 we were already in the car.”
“He told me he was ticking this off and coming back by evening,” she said. “He kissed me and said he was coming home. At around 10:20 a.m. he wrote me a message, ‘I’m out, love you, Re’im area.’”
Born in Ma’alot, Ben Moshe had been on a military track since his adolescence. After graduating from the Junior Command Military Academy, an army boarding school in Haifa, he was drafted into the Paratroopers Brigade, where he served as a commander.
“Ariel was born with a halo — I say this before and I say this after [his death],” said his mother, Galit Waldman in an interview with Channel 12. “I put all of my love onto him, he was the spotlight of the house and I understood this from the day he was born. He had an aura. I believed that he would become IDF Chief of Staff.”
By the evening of October 7, Ben Moshe had retaken almost all of Re’im with his patrol and planned to detonate the last house containing Hamas terrorists. Upon learning that a child still remained in the house, Ben Moshe called off the explosion and opted instead to enter the building.
When Ben Moshe’s deputy, who was supposed to go in first, ran out of ammunition, he took his place and was soon shot in the leg.
Shavit Ben Moshe, an IDF paratrooper, also fought in the south that day and heard of his brother’s death amid intense fighting in Kibbutz Holit. After sustaining a severe injury and being evacuated to Soroka Medical Center, Shavit reunited with his mother three days later, at his elder brother’s funeral in Haifa.
Ben Moshe is survived by his mother Galit, two younger brothers Shavit and Adar, and his wife Yuval.
“Ariel really tried to prepare me. He really tried to explain to me what I was getting into when I married him and told me upfront that ‘I might be playing with fire,’” said Yuval. “I heard, but I didn’t listen. I feel like I’ve lived the best life in the world until age 27, and then cut. We didn’t have time to have children, we didn’t have time to build a house. It was too fast, it was too short.”