Tal Chaimi, 41, married to Ella and father to 9-year-old twins and a six-year-old, was taken captive by Hamas terrorists as they attacked Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak in a multi-pronged assault on October 7.
Chaimi, a third-generation member of the kibbutz, was part of the Nir Yitzhak rapid response team, and went out that morning when it appeared that terrorists were infiltrating the kibbutz.
“Tal told me to go to the sealed room,” said his wife Ella in a video. “I wanted to stay in bed.”
As Tal left the house, he reminded Ella that the door of the safe room was broken, a thought that she kept circling back to throughout the rest of the day.
The couple spoke once that morning, and when Ella sent Tal a Whatsapp at 12 that afternoon, it didn’t go through.
“Then I realized that maybe everything isn’t okay,” she said.
The rest of the emergency squad returned to the kibbutz and as Ella asked where Tal was, no one responded and she understood that something had happened.
While terrorists did reach some of the homes in Nir Yitzhak, they never reached Tal and Ella’s home that day.
Later on that same day, all of the Nir Yitzhak families were placed in the kibbutz’s traditional children’s house for the night. The next day they were taken to Beersheba and from there to Eilat, where she’s been with her kids and the rest of the kibbutz.
The army has been in touch with Ella, “but they have nothing really to tell me,” she said.
“I rely on Tal to survive this,” she said. “I don’t know how much belief I have in those who are leading us to get him home. I wish there were others leading us right now.”
“This government should just go,” said Ella in the video. “Leave and let someone else take your place.”