Those we have lost

Supt. Nisim Lugasi, 29: Police officer who always charged in first

Killed while battling Hamas terrorists in Ofakim on October 7

Supt. Nisim Lugasi (Courtesy)
Supt. Nisim Lugasi (Courtesy)

Border Police Supt. Nissim Lugasi, 29, from Moshav Beit Shikma, was killed battling Hamas terrorists in Ofakim on October 7.

Lugasi rushed to the scene early that Saturday morning when he first heard that terrorists had infiltrated the western Negev city. Armed only with a pistol and without any body armor, he linked up with some other police officers who had just arrived in Ofakim. The officers engaged with Hamas gunmen that had taken hostages in a residential building in the city and Lugasi was shot dead at the scene.

He was buried on October 12 in Ashkelon. He is survived by his parents, Shimon and Ahuva, his three older sisters, Moran, Hadar and Yael, and his fiancee Liel.

Lugasi enlisted in the Border Police in 2012 and served in a wide range of positions both as an enlisted man and an officer.

In an interview with Ynet on October 22, his sister Yael Friedman Lugasi described how the three sisters saw their little brother as a hero, the one who always charged in first, always gave everything he had, and always found a way to spread joy.

“In every role he had, he did things in the most professional way. He was simply a leader. At the shiva [mourning period] everyone told us that he was always the first. Always the first to arrive and that’s what he did that same day.”

She added that her little brother “loved every moment in life. In his service, during operations, in everything, always. Every person he met became family, became a friend, and he made the most of every moment, his smile cast light upon everyone around him.”

Nisim’s family set up a memorial page in his honor — but on the site they make it clear that this is no memorial site.

“This site is not a memorial site to Nisim. A memorial is for someone who is no longer with us… Nisim is with us always. He is with us every moment, every second, during every experience — happy or sad. Nisim is an eternal love that will always be in our hearts.”

His family wrote that in his time in the Border Police, Nisim “always believed fully in the values of love of country, a sense of mission and devotion to others, and at every opportunity he made sure to teach these values to his subordinates.”

Nisim took part in a project the Border Patrol carried out in collaboration with “Mishkafayim Verudot,” (rose-colored glasses) a charity that provides medical assistance to Holocaust survivors. As part of the project, Nisim and his fellow officers escorted survivors to medical appointments and helped them carry out other essential daily tasks. At the shiva for Nisim, his family was presented with a plaque from the charity, thanking him for his help.

In a video uploaded to the not-a-memorial website, a recording of Nisim speaking to a member of the charity can be heard.

“We are always here for you and for those dear people, it’s a huge mitzvah. Thank you for the privilege to help. Shabbat Shalom, we’re always here for you, whatever you need,” he said.

Nisim and his fiancee, Liel Asayag, had been together for seven years and were planning on getting married in June. Speaking to Kan News months after he was slain, Asayag said she would have preferred for him not to be a hero, to be here today, by her side.

“But with that, I’m so proud of him, that he was true to himself to the final moment that he charged forward, that he ran out of the house [that morning] without hesitation, that he fought until the last moment in order to know that people there were safe.”

On the site, on a page titled “Our Little Brother,” Yael, Hadar, and Moran talk about Nisim, the life of the party, the light of their lives, the hole left behind in all of their hearts that will never be filled.

Hadar spoke of how he came out to visit and stay with her in the United States for three weeks, spontaneously, calling her one day and telling her to get the bed in the guest room ready for Uncle Nisim.

“My Nisim, my love, the life of this family, the light, the laughter. How you knew to look at everything with humor, you’re for sure looking down on us right now from up above and laughing: What are you crying for, put on some techno and dance.”

She added: “Nisim, take care of mom and dad, and all of us… Give us the strength to carry on with this huge hole in our hearts.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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