For the past week, 2-year-old Almog Levy has been asking for his mom and dad, and no one knows what to tell him.
His parents, Or and Eynav Levy, did everything together. They kept a tent in their car for spontaneous road trips, and they recently took a family trip to Thailand. They also loved music festivals and drove to the Supernova festival in the Israeli desert.
They arrived minutes before Hamas terrorists carried out the deadliest civilian massacre in Israeli history. Eynav Elkayam Levy, 32, was confirmed dead. Or, 33, is missing.
“How can you tell a 2-year-old boy he won’t see his mother anymore?” said Or’s older brother, Michael Levy. The family is stuck between heartbreak and hope, and they pray that Or makes it home alive.
Photos from happier times show the couple beaming at the beach and cafes.
“Or is always smiling, always happy, not just in the pictures,” said Michael Levy, 40, who thinks of his brother as a child genius who would break things so he could fix them. Or taught himself computer programming and is part of a successful startup, and he and Eynav dreamed of having a bigger family.
A patchwork of text messages captures the couple’s chaotic final minutes together. Eynav texted her mother, who was babysitting Almog, shortly after daybreak to say they’d arrived at the festival site.
Soon after, Or texted his mother to say they were driving back home. It was 6:51 a.m. and sirens were sounding as Hamas rockets flew over the desert party.
Or’s mother texted back: “Watch out and call me when you can.” He called at 7:39 a.m. to say they were hiding in a bomb shelter. She asked how they were. “Mom, you don’t want to know,” he replied, before phone service cut off. The family hasn’t heard from him since.
Several days later, the Israeli army informed the family that Eynav’s body was found inside the shelter, and that Or had been kidnapped and taken hostage. The family has no other details.
Almog’s grandparents are taking turns watching the boy, Michael said. They are trying to stay positive, for Almog’s sake. “He is calling out for his mom and dad all the time.”