Those we have lost

Shai Shalev, 50: Youthful father of four was a friend to all

Killed at the Supernova music festival on October 7

Shai Shalev (Courtesy)
Shai Shalev (Courtesy)

Shai Shalev, 50, from Ahuzat Barak, was murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova music festival on October 7.

Shai was at the rave as part of the security detail, and his wife, Eilat, joined him overnight. When the rocket fire began, the two headed for their car to try and leave, but got stuck in the traffic along Route 232, where Hamas terrorists were slaughtering motorists. They decided to turn around and head back toward the festival, where they ended up getting separated.

Eilat managed somehow to survive and escape after being shot at multiple times and hiding in an orchard for hours. Shai returned to the rave’s security headquarters, believing that the army would be showing up soon. He sent farewell messages to his children, believing that Eilat had already been killed, and was in the midst of sending another message when Hamas terrorists entered the tent he was in and opened fire, killing him.

His last message in the family WhatsApp group came through at 9:09 a.m.: “They’re shooting at us from every direction, take care of yourselves kids, I lost contact with Mom.” His body was identified five days later.

Shai was buried on October 15 in Ahuzat Barak. He is survived by his wife, Eilat, their four children, Shaked, 23, Noy, 21, Gefen, 17 and Stav, 11, as well as his mother, Chana, sister Merav and brother Tomer. He is predeceased by his father, Amos, and older brother, Ram.

During his army service, he was in a bad motorcycle accident that required extensive rehab, and it got him into sports and working out, including swimming. He worked in management but always dreamed of becoming a DJ, his family said.

Eilat told Channel 12 news that in recent years Shai had gotten deep into the trance music scene: “Shai was very connected to that world, we knew a lot of people from production, we went to festivals abroad. Shai’s dream was to establish a production line of festivals, he had a Facebook group called ‘Step Trance’ with many followers, I believe if he were still alive he would accomplish that dream.”

She said that her husband “was 50 years old but he acted like he was 30. The kids sought his advice on everything, parties, relationships, he always knew how to guide and advise them. He was a supportive husband. Shai was my best friend before he was my husband. We knew everything about each other, there was a huge openness between us, everyone who knew him loved him, 20-year-olds admired him — he was a friend to everyone.”

His daughter, Noy, wrote on Instagram: “My father, Dad you were everything to me, the best person I know, you always worried about us and took care of us.”

“You’re the strongest and best person I know,” she continued. “I didn’t believe that this could happen to you of all people… My father will never come back to me. I still can’t come to terms with it and don’t know what we’ll do now without you. Who will take me everywhere I ask? Who will take care of me the way you did? Who will do for me what you did?… I promise to look after the whole family as you asked me to in your final moment.”

His oldest daughter, Shaked, wrote on Instagram: “My beautiful father, the handsome, the talented, my best friend.”

“What wouldn’t I tell you? What I ate, what I said, who I was with, what I did, what to do,” she wrote. “We never had secrets between us, I would tell you everything even when you didn’t want to hear it, because that’s how you were. A father that allowed everything, but at the same time didn’t let go and always took care of every little thing for me, and made sure I was lacking nothing.”

“I know you wanted to live, you loved to live, you loved to go out and party with Mom, to go to the beach on Saturdays, to have a fun day out with us kids, to come with me to Tel Aviv to sit and talk or just to be at home with the family,” Shaked continued. “I know you wanted to be here with us when we grew up, get married, have kids, I know. But a horrible tragedy befell us and caused that not to happen.”

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