Those we have lost

Staff Sgt. Binyamin Loeb, 23: Orthodox paratrooper son of French rabbi

Killed in combat by Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Kfar Aza on October 8

Sgt. Binyamin Loeb, 23, killed by Hamas terrorists on October 8. (Twitter screenshot)
Sgt. Binyamin Loeb, 23, killed by Hamas terrorists on October 8. (Twitter screenshot)

Staff Sgt. Binyamin Loeb, 23, a French-Israeli lone soldier, was killed on October 8 in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, on the second day of Hamas’s attack against Israel, when he defended his unit and his country on the border of Gaza.

He was a combat fighter in the Orthodox Division of the Paratroopers 202 Brigade.

He was buried on October 10 in Jerusalem. Two thousand people from all sectors of Israeli society attended his funeral.

Loeb, from a family affiliated with the Chabad community of Brunoy, France, was the son of a town’s Rabbi Nathanael Loeb. He made aliyah in order to enlist in the army.

“He was sent to the front… Sadly, he was hit by several bullets, and despite the care provided by his comrades, he did not survive,” declared his mother, Judith Loeb, to AFP.

The young man was supposed to come back to France in a few months to finish his computer science studies. At his funeral, his father declared emotionally, “I had a dream for Binyamin. I wanted that after the army, he would immediately marry.”

“The last time we talked on the phone, I asked him if he had the four species for Sukkot, and he told me yes. I asked him if he had a Sukkah and he sent me a photo of a proper Sukkah. I told him, ‘You know that you are doing a great thing, risking your life for the Israeli nation…’” remembered Nathanael Loeb, before stopping. “I didn’t really mean that,” he said.

“Binyamin Loeb, my friend that came from France whom I helped enlist, was a combat fighter in my company, fell in defense of the south [of Israel],” wrote his friend Chami Trechtenberg on social media.

“He fought to be a combat fighter and to defend his people and his country. He was killed in combat next to Gaza, and he fought until the last drop of his blood, may his memory be a blessing.”

The funeral of Sgt. Binyamin Loeb in Jerusalem, October 11, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

During his funeral, Shas MK Avraham Betzalel declared: “It is very difficult to stand here. Binyamin, please, ascend to the sky and pray for us to put an end to our hardships.” Environment Minister Idit Sliman was also present but did not speak publicly.

“Yerres has lost one of his children, Binyamin Loeb, who died in combat. My deepest sympathy goes to his family, and my support to Israel, a victim of barbarism,” wrote the mayor of Yerres, a neighboring city of Brunoy, Oliver Clodong on X.

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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