Those we have lost

Nurit Berger, 59: Mom of 4 daughters was an avid bird watcher

Murdered by Hamas terrorists in her home in Netiv Ha’asara on October 7

Nurit Berger (Courtesy)
Nurit Berger (Courtesy)

Nurit Berger, 59, was murdered by Hamas terrorists in her home in Netiv Ha’asara on October 7.

She was slain when a Hamas terrorist threw a grenade inside the bathroom of the house very early that morning, just at the start of the attack. Netiv Ha’asara, less than 300 meters from the border with Gaza, was one of the first to be targeted, including by terrorists who arrived via paragliders.

Her husband, Alon, told the Kan new station that he ran to the bathroom with the sound of the explosion, and found her already dead, “and I kissed her a few times.” The rest of the family was wounded by gunfire and shrapnel from the terrorist assault, but managed to survive.

“I loved her so much,” Alon sobbed. “I really, really loved her.”

Nurit’s funeral was held on October 19 in Gedera, and she was buried in Netiv Ha’asara.

She is survived by her husband, Alon, and their four curly-haired daughters Gal, Shani, Noam and Hen, as well as her parents, Marcelle and Dov, and her sister, Sigal. Nurit’s brother, Ofer, was killed in a tractor accident as a teenager.

On the same day, Alon’s brother-in-law, Haim Bennaim, was also slain in Netiv Ha’asara, as was Marina Almagor, the partner of Alon’s father Yoel.

The couple were avid bird watchers, and their home was decorated all over with bird symbols. They also loved to do puzzles, and had a large bird puzzle framed and hanging on the wall.

A family of farmers, they loved animals and had a large aquarium in their home, which Alon said saved them from being more seriously hurt since shrapnel passed through the water, slowing it down.

The child of French immigrants, Nurit grew up in Kibbutz Mashabei Sadeh in the Negev. At age 17 she met Alon, and the two were inseparable ever since, and well-known by everyone in the small community of Netiv Ha’asara.

Her cousin, Elisabeth Miness, wrote on Facebook that Nurit was “all beauty, all smile, warmth and love — to her family and to everyone, her daughters, the warmth, the light that she always spread.”

Nurit “loved flowers and birds, to spend time in nature, an enveloping and dedicated mother to her four daughters, she taught tai chi with her husband,” she added. “It was impossible not to love her. A beautiful and graceful woman — it’s no surprise she was called Nurit,” which is the Hebrew word for the buttercup flower.

Alon said the family has no doubt they will one day return to live in Netiv Ha’asara: “It is important to Nurit, it is important to us that we will keep living here, because this is our country, this is our home.”

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