Those We Have Lost

Mazal Bachar, 62: Single mother, teacher with a green thumb

Murdered in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7

Mazal Bachar (Courtesy)
Mazal Bachar (Courtesy)

Mazal “Mazi” Bachar, 62, was murdered by Hamas terrorists in her home in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7.

She was buried on October 17 in Kibbutz Ramat Yohanan. She is survived by her mother, Rachel, younger sisters Eti and Hagit, and her daughter Ayla Ofri.

Announcing her death, her sister, Eti Aharon, wrote that “we are broken and pained by her death.”

Raised in Kiryat Yam, Bachar settled in Be’eri after studying education at Oranim College and being hired by the kibbutz as a teacher, where she continued to teach for many years, according to a eulogy posted by the kibbutz. In later years, after the kibbutz school closed, she worked as a medical secretary and most recently in the local Be’eri shop.

The kibbutz noted that Bachar had a green thumb, “and a love for plants and flowers which accompanied her until her final moments. This love reflected her passion for beauty, because Mazi loved beautiful things, identified beauty, needed beauty, created beauty.”

In 1994 she decided to become a single mother, the kibbutz noted, bringing her daughter Ofri into the world and forging “a bond between mother and daughter which was uniquely strong — an independent family unit, small and sometimes squished.” Bachar worked to maintain close ties with her extended family as well, to provide Ofri with a sense of belonging.

Her friend, Iris Masry, wrote on Facebook on the day of her funeral that she still could not wrap her mind around the loss, “seeing all the people who came to accompany you and hugging your dear family who you loved so much.”

“To see your brave mother shout in pain: They killed my daughter! And your daughter who refuses to say goodbye,” Masry added. “Your sisters, your brothers-in-law, your nieces and nephews who refuse to believe. Who can believe?… I won’t forget the moment that I sent you a message and realized that you hadn’t seen it. We all had hoped to be awakened from this nightmare and for you to return with your wide and warm smile. Rest in peace.”

Ofri told Ynet that when they were little, her mother called her “my tail” because they were so connected: “There were so many things that stayed unfinished between us. I will have to learn how to let her go.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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