Those we have lost

Ori Arad, 22: Rave bartender saved the lives of two strangers

Murdered by Hamas terrorists while attempting to flee the Supernova music festival on October 7

Ori Arad (Courtesy)
Ori Arad (Courtesy)

Ori Arad, 22, from Holon, was murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova music festival on October 7.

Ori was working as a bartender at the rave when the attack began, and he called his parents and told them about the rocket fire and said he would be leaving soon. At 7:10 a.m., his family said, he called from his car where he was stuck amid the traffic and the slaughter along Route 232. He told his father that he felt he had no choice but to attempt to plow into the terrorists with his car in an attempt to escape. That was the last they heard from him.

Two young women later tracked down by the family told them that Ori picked them up in his car after their own was totaled, and told them, “Girls, I’m getting you out of here.” When he floored it toward the terrorists, they opened fire on the car, which flipped over. Ori was wounded and lost consciousness, while the women played dead in order not to attract attention. He later awoke and the motion drew the eye of the terrorists, who fired again, killing him. The two women managed to survive until they were rescued three hours later.

Ester Borohov, one of the women who survived, told a local news site, “Ori Arad is my hero. He is the one who saved us. I want the world to know what a hero he was — it is thanks to his bravery and resourcefulness that we are here.”

Ori was buried in Holon on October 10. He is survived by his parents, Yossi and Sigal, and his older brothers Shai and Nir.

He served his mandatory army service in an intelligence unit, and just a few weeks after he was released, took off on a whirlwind post-army trip. After months in Berlin, Petra, Sinai, Milan, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea, Ori returned home not long before the Supernova rave. He was slated to begin a degree in economics and psychology at Tel Aviv University just a week after he was killed.

His family and friends remembered him for his signature curls, dimple and his broad smile. He loved music of all types, as well as all sorts of animals, and was known as a conversationalist and a philosopher with thoughts on every topic.

His brother, Shai, told Channel 12 news that Ori “was the most handsome and the biggest charmer there was, very moral, with the widest heart, always ready to help with everything. He was a young man who loved life, his friends, and also a very task-oriented guy, setting goals and barrelling towards those that interested him. Everything he wanted to achieve, he did, he’s the most talented guy I ever met in my life.”

On what would have been his 23rd birthday, his mother, Sigal, wrote on an Instagram memorial page, “You will always live inside me, just like 23 years ago, when you came from me into the world, clear, beautiful, clean and pure.”

Their family “battles every morning to see the sun and in the rays we see your smile, your smart eyes, the heart that guides us to follow your path,” she added. “I promise you by beloved son, we will love and cry and rejoice and live you every day inside us. My angel, spread your wings and fly to the heavens, and once in a while send us a sign, a melody or a song.”

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