Those we have lost

Maya Bitton, 22 & Eliran Mizrahi, 23: Had just set a wedding date

Murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova music festival on Oct. 7

Maya Bitton (right) and her fiance, Eliran Mizrahi (Courtesy)
Maya Bitton (right) and her fiance, Eliran Mizrahi (Courtesy)

Maya Bitton, 22, and her fiance, Eliran Mizrahi, 23, from Petah Tikva, were murdered at the Supernova music festival on October 7.

They told their family that morning that they were hiding from the terrorists and the gunfire in large trash receptacles at the site of the rave. The couple sent a video clip of themselves hiding in the trash bins, the last anyone saw them alive. Several days later, their bodies were recovered and identified.

The engaged couple, who met in high school, were buried side by side in Petah Tikva on October 10. Across their joint headstone it reads, “in life and death they did not part.”

Maya is survived by her parents, Michal and Laurent, her younger sister Noa and little brother Gavriel.

Eliran is survived by his parents, Hofit and Haim, and his younger siblings Liem, Ofek and Tali.

Maya and Eliran got engaged in August during a trip to Santorini, Greece, just over a month before they were killed, and had already set a date for their wedding: September 12, 2024.

During her mandatory military service, Maya worked as a shooting instructor, and after finishing the army she spent five months traveling around South America, before returning and beginning her studies in education. Her family said she had a sweet tooth and loved chocolate and gummy candies.

Eliran served in the Shimshon Battalion in the Kfir Brigade during his mandatory military service, ultimately rising to become a platoon commander. After his release, he began working for an insurance company, and his family said he had plans to become a real estate agent. Eliran loved singing, motorcycles and extreme sports, his family said, and missed Maya so much when she went on her trip that he quit his job to join her partway through.

His mother, Hofit, told a memorial page that “Eliran was always happy and loved life. His father would say that ‘even when he wasn’t fully smiling, he always looked like he had a smile on his face.’ Eliran always took care of those around him before he took care of himself.”

She said he was always a caring big brother, “always knew what was going on with each of them all the time and always asked how he could help.” His relationship with Maya, she added, “was full of mutual love, and Eliran was always a gentleman and put her first — in hard times he would say to her ‘as long as I’m with you, everything will be OK.'”

Maya’s sister, Noa, wrote on Facebook on what would have been Maya’s 23rd birthday to “my keeper of secrets, my laughter, my anger and my smile.”

“I believe that you’re definitely organizing a party up there, with all of the angels of the Supernova and grandpa who was waiting for you there,” she wrote. “And you are celebrating from sunrise to sunset. But what about me? How can I celebrate you?” Noa asked.

“I hope that you are resting, not worrying, smiling — even if you see me and everyone going crazy with longing and falling apart,” she wrote. “I hope that you hug Eliran tight, and to myself I wish that you will be with me in every step I take, that you will guide me, send me strength to smile and to be happy. Because that’s certainly what you would have wanted.”

Eliran’s sister, Liem, told Ynet that the couple “had an incredible relationship, we always looked at them with admiration. I wished for myself to find a relationship like theirs. Eliran was a person who always spread light and joy around him, entered every room with a big smile. He managed to turn everything sad into something happy. He was my partner, my best friend, my secret keeper, my closest adviser — it’s more than losing a big brother, it’s losing half my heart.”

The couple, said Liem, “had a joint funeral — instead of the wedding they had planned.”

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