Those we have lost

Yaron Shahar, 51: ‘Renaissance man’ killed while defending kibbutz

Killed on October 7 while defending Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak from Hamas onslaught

Yaron Shahar, 51, was killed by Hamas terrorists outside Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on October 7. (IDF)
Yaron Shahar, 51, was killed by Hamas terrorists outside Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on October 7. (IDF)

Yaron Shahar, 51, the chief local security officer of Nir Yitzhak, was killed while defending the kibbutz from Hamas’s onslaught on October 7.

That day, Shahar and other members of the rapid response team confronted dozens of terrorists outside the gate to the kibbutz. He fell in combat along with another member of the squad, Tal Chaimi, whose body was kidnapped to Gaza.

A few years ago, Shahar replaced the late Shauli Duani, who served as the kibbutz’s local security officer until passing away from COVID-19 in 2021.

“Yaron learned the role and fulfilled it with devotion,” wrote the Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak community in a Facebook post marking his death. “Although Yaron wasn’t the classic stereotypical local security officer, the role invited him to do one of the things he loved — taking care of people.”

Before taking on the role of local security officer, Shahar worked an assortment of jobs in construction, plastic production and education.

The kibbutz community remembers Shahar as a “renaissance man” who “loved music, cooking and sport. He was an “autodidact, witty and funny, very talented in gardening and construction.”

Born and raised on Kibbutz Re’im to Esther and Meir Shahar, Yaron moved south to Nir Yitzhak when he married his wife Einat. The couple raised three daughters — Zohar, Inbar and Ofir.

An avid fan of Hapoel Tel Aviv football club, Shahar was memorialized on the team’s Twitter page.

“His friends say that he was born into the love of the team,” the post reads. ”Every time he passed by Hapoel fans in the kibbutz he would make the hammer and sickle gesture. He always followed the group — and every conversation with him would start with an analysis of its situation.”

Shahar’s funeral was held on October 16 at Beersheba cemetery, but his final resting place is in Nir Yitzhak.

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