Those We Have Lost

Yedidya Raziel, 31: Social worker who fell defending his kibbutz

Killed battling Hamas terrorists at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom on October 7

Moshe Yedidya Raziel who was killed in Kibbutz Kerem Shalom on October 7, 2023. (IDF)
Moshe Yedidya Raziel who was killed in Kibbutz Kerem Shalom on October 7, 2023. (IDF)

Moshe Yedidya Raziel, 31, was killed battling Hamas terrorists trying to infiltrate Kibbutz Kerem Shalom on October 7.

A member of the kibbutz’s local security team, he was posthumously recognized as a fallen soldier with the rank of master sergeant in the reserves. He was buried on October 11 on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

He is survived by his wife, Shira, their three children, Tzuri, 7, Tair, 5, and Hadar, 2, as well as his parents, Rachel and Yisrael, and five siblings: Noga, Gideon, Tzila, Ariel and Leah.

Raziel and the other members of the kibbutz’s security team gathered early that morning when the rocket fire began, and split up into pairs to battle against the invasion of the Hamas terrorists of the small kibbutz, situated only around 100 meters from the Gaza border.

In the ensuing gun battles, Raziel was slain alongside his friend and fellow local security team member Amichai Witzen, after eliminating terrorists who had holed up inside a family home. The rest of the kibbutz was saved and later evacuated alive, though two were seriously wounded.

“The others told us how Yedidya led them, how he leaped forward without thinking twice,” his wife Shira told Israel Hayom. “He was an exceptional commander, never unwilling to fight. He was a family man with clear priorities, with a sense of humor, with kind eyes. He always did everything as best as he could.”

Raziel grew up in the West Bank settlement of Psagot and studied social work at the Ashkelon Academic College. He worked as a social worker with the Kidum organization which runs a series of rehabilitation programs. He was also pursuing a master’s degree in couples and family counseling.

His family moved to Kerem Shalom as part of a group of religious Zionist emissaries to help shore up the struggling kibbutz, which in 2023 consisted of more than 60 families, compared to around just a dozen in 2010.

His father, Rabbi Yisrael Rosenberg, told a memorial lecture that his son had “two main characteristics: On the one hand, he was a man of religion, of Torah… On the other hand, he had a spirit of freedom, he was great at sports, he loved exploring, swimming, games.”

Several months after he was slain, his wife, Shira, told the Srugim website that being informed that he had been killed that day had seemed surreal.

“He wasn’t in the army or the image of a hero, he’s a social worker, a family man, sensitive, gentle,” she said. “He was also a very heroic fighter [in the army], but that wasn’t in his script. He was suited to be a very old man with grandchildren. He was pursuing a master’s degree in therapy and it was his dream to be a therapist,” his wife said.

“He worked in mental health, he had the soul of a counselor, you could rely on him, we had conversations for hours about everything,” she said.

Months after he was killed, she said, “I’m still in pain and grieving and I’m not looking to leave it — it hurts, it’s hard, he is missing.”

“But I still want to talk about him and to hear about him, that’s where I want to be,” she added. “That’s where I feel I’m in the right place.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

Most Popular
read more: