Those We Have Lost

Maor Gratzyani, 21: Partygoer with captivating blue eyes

Murdered while trying to flee the Supernova music festival on October 7

Maor Gratzyani (Courtesy)
Maor Gratzyani (Courtesy)

Maor Gratzyani, 21, from Tel Aviv, was murdered by Hamas terrorists while trying to flee the Supernova music festival on October 7.

He attended the rave with his friend Yonatan Samerano, who was also slain that day and his body kidnapped to Gaza, where it is still being held.

His friend Aviad Eivan, who was also with them that day, told the Kan public broadcaster that “when the noise and the chaos and the rockets” started, “my friend Maor said to me, ‘I’m going to check on Yonatan, I’m worried about him, he’s afraid.’ And I just looked at him in his blue eyes and I said to him, ‘Bye brother, I love you, I’ll see you at home.’ And in fact I’m the last person who looked him in the eyes and lived to talk about it.”

Aviad tattooed an image of Maor’s eyes on his arm in memory, along with the sentence that he used as his motto: “We must be happy.”

According to reports, Maor and Yonatan fled from the festival toward Kibbutz Be’eri, trying to seek refuge inside the gate, but they were both shot by terrorists who had already infiltrated the community.

Maor was buried on October 12 in Tel Aviv. He is survived by his parents, Sharon and Oren, his sister, Shira, and his grandmother, Orit.

He had served for three years in the Givati Brigade as part of his mandatory service, and only recently been released.

On what would have been his 22nd birthday, his aunt, Ayelet Gratzyani, posted on Facebook a video of friends and families releasing 22 balloons at his graveside: “Maori, tomorrow you were supposed to celebrate your 22nd birthday, but monsters murdered you and you will remain 21.5 forever. A beautiful boy with a captivating smile and a huge heart, who was always happy and just wanted to dance! I believe that you are celebrating there up above, my beautiful angel, and you can see how much you are loved down below. I miss you, my nephew.”

On a memorial Instagram page, his sister, Shira, wrote, “My Maori, you were the best kid in the world.”

“You were an angel, you were the most beautiful and loved, everywhere you went you brought light and joy with you, you were a boy who was only good, who took care of everyone and helped everyone,” she wrote.

“You would always watch over me and protect me, and I know that you will watch over me forever,” Shira continued. “When I enlisted [in the army], you told me, ‘Don’t worry, it will be OK.’ You always knew how to give me strength and to say the right words at the right time. You said it would pass quickly and that I would be strong and that the beginning was the hardest. So how do I start a new life without you?”

Shira continued, “It doesn’t matter what I write, no word or sentence or memory can describe the person, the brother and the friend that you were. You will always be a part of me, you will accompany me in everything I do in life until the last moment, and in the end, we’ll meet again.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

Most Popular
read more: