Tamar Samet, 20, of Pardes Hanna, was killed by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova music festival on October 7.
Samet attended the Supernova festival with Laor Abramov, the son of DJ “Darwish” David Abramov. Both Tamar and Laor were murdered while hiding in a concrete bunker outside the festival.
Tamar was considered missing for days after the attack, until her remains were found and she was buried on October 15 at the Ein Iron cemetery in Pardes Hannah.
In the months since October 7, Tamar has reached a certain level of fame in Israel, after a song she recorded with her best friend was released after her death.
Musician Ben Ronen posted the song “How I Burned a Bridge” in December, while serving as a combat medic in Gaza. In an interview with Haaretz, he described how he climbed atop a hill in Gaza to get better reception and sent his Spotify username and password to a friend with instructions to post the song. After the song went live it started to get radio play and became a viral hit in Israel.
In the description on the YouTube video for the song, Ben Ronen said that he wrote the melody back when he was 17 years old but only played it for one person: Tamar. She was the one he trusted, the one whose opinion he valued more than any other. She told him it was the most beautiful melody that he had ever written and that it needed lyrics.
Two years later, he wrote, Ben decided to write the lyrics to the song and the next afternoon Tamar came to his house and started singing the lyrics. They looked at each other and both saw a spark in each other’s eyes and decided to record the track. “And that’s the souvenir I have from my best friend, with the most beautiful eyes and the biggest heart and the voice of an angel that I will miss the most. A tremendous loss for the world.”
The song is barely two and a half minutes long. The melody is gentle, a warm embrace upon sparse lyrics: “It happened again, I made a mistake and there is no way back. Again, I said things that I didn’t mean — they aren’t true. And how I burned a bridge, how I burned.”
Tamar’s voice shines through, angelic and captivating, burning at a low flame and driving the listener to play the song on a loop.
In the Haaretz interview, Ben said that he and Tamar would sit in the fields near his house at the edge of Pardes Hanna and listen to music for hours and hours. He said her favorite band was Black Sabbath but she also loved the Grateful Dead and both of them shared a deep love of Radiohead.
Her sister Noy told Haaretz, “She really was special. She knew that and she didn’t totally accept it. She had a special style all her own, in the temperature of her mood, and in the things that she loved to do. She did things only if her heart was in it. I can’t grasp it. I still see things in the street and take a picture to send to her.”
A former teacher of Tamar’s, Hamutal Tsur Marom, wrote on Facebook in mid-October, “Beautiful Tamar Samet, my beloved student. A singer, cello player, a musician with every bit of her soul. She was entirely light, freedom, and music. She went to dance and never returned.”
Tamar did her national service at a charity called “HaGal Sheli” (My Wave), which teaches surfing to at-risk youths and helps treat people affected by trauma.
In a Facebook post on October 27, Yaron Waksman of HaGal Sheli wrote that Tamar “was a dedicated educator fulfilling her national volunteer service at HaGal Sheli. She was present at the party in Reim on that ill-fated Saturday, celebrating peace and love, but she never returned. May her memory be a blessing.”
On a rainy day in late January, Tamar’s mother Adi posted a clip of her sitting in her car listening to Galgalatz as “How I Burned a Bridge” came from the speakers and rain fell on the windshield.
“Our beloved Tamar you are missed, even though you’re on every radio station. Thank you so much for leaving us with a warm, embracing voice to take comfort in.”