Those We Have Lost

Sapir Bilmes, 24: Maccabi TLV superfan ‘with endless dreams’

Murdered while trying to flee the Supernova music festival on October 7

Sapir Bilmes (Courtesy)
Sapir Bilmes (Courtesy)

Sapir Bilmes, 24, from Rishon Lezion, was murdered by Hamas terrorists while trying to flee the Supernova music festival on October 7.

She attended the rave with her friends Karin Vernikov and Amit David, who were also both murdered there.

When the rocket fire began, they fled in their car and updated their loved ones that they were lying on the ground next to the car near Alumim and taking cover. That was the last anyone heard from them.

Four days later, Sapir’s family was informed that her body had been found. She was buried on October 11 in Rishon Lezion. She is survived by her parents, Leon and Inna, and her brother Daniel.

Sapir had returned only a few months earlier from a big trip around South America — where she first met Karin. She was working in a bank, her friends said, was a huge fan of Maccabi Tel Aviv and was living her life to the fullest on nights and weekends, with an upcoming vacation abroad already planned.

Her friend Eden Akri told the Kan public broadcaster that Sapir was “the best friend I could ever ask for.”

“Sapir and I were very close, we could sit in the same room together just her and I and speak for hours, play Sony together, she would call me coach and anytime she would tell me that she beat someone we would be on cloud nine like we won a championship,” he recounted.

In the month since she died, he said, “I discovered how many people she was surrounded by, all almost as incredible as her, everyone caring, worrying, trying to strengthen each other, which only strengthens the understanding of how incredible she was. Her caring, her love, her desire to do good for those around her were so strong that it caused people around her to be like her.”

Sapir’s friends Emily Yerman and Tanya Mogilevsky penned a tribute to her on the Maccabi TLV site: “Our Sapir was a light in the life of so many people who surrounded her and she spread so much enjoyment, happiness and life.”

They said that “Sapir was a girl who just wanted to celebrate life as a 24-year-old deserves to. A girl with endless dreams and aspirations, who loved to go see Maccabi and made sure to never miss a game!”

Her friend Shahar Orenstein spoke to the Frogi news site about their friendship and her loved ones’ efforts to fundraise for an ambulance in Sapir’s name. The pair met, she said, during COVID when they got jobs at a healthcare provider hotline after they were laid off from the restaurant business.

Sapir, said Shahar, “was an incredibly funny person, would make you die of laughter. She was happy all the time, optimistic even in tough situations. She would find a way to look at everything in a positive and humorous way.”

“Sapir’s story is largely tragic, but none of us want to remember Sapir as a tragic figure, but a figure of light and love,” Shahar added. “She accompanies us every day, with memories and signs that she sends… I am thankful for every day that Sapir was a part of my life.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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