Those We Have Lost

Yirmi Shafir, 76: Legendary kibbutz mailman

Murdered in his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7

Yirmi Shafir (Courtesy)
Yirmi Shafir (Courtesy)

Yirmiyahu “Yirmi” Shafir, 76, was murdered by Hamas terrorists at his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7.

He was buried on October 18 in Kibbutz Kfar Masaryk. He is survived by his brother, Uzi, and sister, Eta, as well as many nieces and nephews.

He settled in the kibbutz not long after completing his military service in 1969, and became an integral fixture of the community.

Shafir, the longtime, legendary mailman of the kibbutz, could always be spotted around the community wearing his red baseball cap embroidered with “Yirmi Express.”

The hat was a gift from his friend, Shuli Victor, who was out of town during the Hamas onslaught. Victor told Walla that a few days after he found out Shafir had been killed, “I went into his house with the soldiers to look for the hat.” He said he found it on his computer chair, “a little sooty… everyone knew him with the ‘Yirmi Express’ hat. It became his trademark.”

On Facebook Victor later wrote to Shafir, “in the meantime send me your zipcode up there between the clouds. One day my turn will come, I’ll bring you the hat, so everyone will know who is the mailman up there.”

The Israel Meteorological Service noted in a post on Facebook that, in addition to his other kibbutz duties, Shafir was a dedicated volunteer rain observer, reporting rain measurements in the kibbutz to the IMS for 54 years without fail.

“He was meticulous about measurements even on days with scant amounts of rain,” said the IMS, who visited Shafir’s brother and sister on the 30-day anniversary of his death, presenting them with a certificate of appreciation for his lifetime of service.

Shafir’s relative, Avraham Eilat, eulogized him at his funeral, noting his legendary status after more than 50 years on the kibbutz.

“He knew everything, knew everyone and gave everyone full service with all of his heart,” said Eilat. “His great love was for music, and in his apartment he had an enormous collected of records, cassettes and CDs including rare recordings.”

He had an incredible memory, said Eilat, noting that he “remembered all his relatives and all the people he met during his life, and was a reliable source for questions from all his family and friends who were searching for information… He was a walking, breathing encyclopedia for hundreds of relatives and for the family history.”

He concluded: “Yirmi was a kind, caring and modest person. We brought him to be laid to rest here, beside his parents, in Kfar Masaryk. His memory will live within us.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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