Those We Have Lost

Rony Levy, 80: Great-grandfather who never stopped riding his bike

Murdered in his home in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7

Rony Levy (Courtesy)
Rony Levy (Courtesy)

Rony Levy, 80, was murdered by Hamas terrorists in his home in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7.

Rony and his wife Noa hid in their safe room after the rocket fire began, soon realizing that terrorists had invaded the kibbutz. According to Maariv, two terrorists burst into their home, and Rony managed to shoot one of them dead, but the other killed Rony and wounded Noa, who lay bleeding next to her husband’s body for eight hours before she was rescued.

He was laid to rest on October 22 in Kibbutz Revivim, in a temporary burial.

He is survived by his wife Noa, their children Yuval and Eldad, and adopted children Einat and Yaron, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Just a few days after he was killed, a new great granddaughter, was born, named Rony.

Friends and family said he was a dedicated family man who stayed very active, including regular bike rides, and was an integral part of the kibbutz landscape.

According to a kibbutz eulogy, he was born in Algeria, moving to France and then arriving in Israel at age 12, settling first in Kibbutz Re’im and then moving to Be’eri as a child to attend the school there. In Be’eri he met his future wife, Noa, when he was 17 and she came to the agricultural school. They wed at 21, and settled in Be’eri, where he became the kibbutz electrician.

Over the years the couple served twice as emissaries in southern France, and he later studied design and architecture and worked for the Be’eri print house for many years. When his close friends were killed in a car accident, the couple adopted their two children, Einat and Yaron.

His niece, reality star Einav Booblil, described him as “my uncle, Rony, one of the founders of Kibbutz Be’eri, salt of the earth, who fought in every one of Israel’s wars with bravery, a man like no other.”

His grandson-in-law, Erick Lopez, described in the West Australian visiting the kibbutz just weeks earlier to celebrate Rony’s 80th birthday, who was “fit as a fiddle and continued his tradition of riding the same amount of kilometres as his new age.”

“Rony died a hero, armed with a pistol; his heroics are the only reason his wife is alive to tell the story,” wrote Lopez. “The pistol used holds great historical significance. Noa’s father fought against the Nazis in World War II and confiscated the Nazi gun during combat. He kept the pistol as memorabilia before gifting it before his death to his son-in-law, Rony. Little did he know this Nazi-engraved gun would save his daughter from death so many years later.”

A eulogy read at his funeral in the name of Yuval, who was too emotional to speak himself, paid tribute to “a father of a big and loving family, a father who did everything for everyone and knew how to answer almost any question on any topic. A father who shows up within minutes to every call, who can drill a hole in the wall and hang a shelf straight… It will take some time but we will rise from this like lions. We will rebuild ourselves anew, and we will take care of Mom.”

The kibbutz noted that Rony wrote in a book marking 60 years since the establishment of Be’eri, in 2006: “When I look back on my life, I am thankful to my two brothers who paved the way to Israel and to the kibbutz, and to my parents who had the courage to make aliya in their footsteps. It is hard for me to imagine that I would have developed in any other place to do so many activities. The phrase that exemplifies my life is ‘veni, vidi, vici‘ — I came, I saw, I conquered. I always aim high and feel that I have achieved what I wanted.”

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