Those We Have Lost

Yohai Ben Zecharia, 23: Partygoer loved animals and ‘was all heart’

Murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova music festival on October 7

Yohai Ben Zecharia (Courtesy)
Yohai Ben Zecharia (Courtesy)

Yohai Ben Zecharia, 23, from Netanya, was murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova music festival on October 7.

His father Golan said he got a call from Yohai that morning that they were shooting at him, and he got in the car to go and rescue him. Golan said he was unable to get to the party site due to military roadblocks, was forced to turn around. Every day for a week he returned to search for his son, until a week after the rave he was notified that his body had been found. Yohai was killed alongside his close childhood friend, Danielle Cohen.

Yohai is survived by his parents, Golan and Sigalit, his siblings and his girlfriend Avishag. He was buried on October 15 in Netanya.

He worked for a car dealership in Netanya, and helped his father out at his flower stand on weekends.

His girlfriend, Avishag Cohen, told the Walla news site that the couple had known each other for years as friends, “he was always right under my nose… I knew he had a crush on me but he was a year younger than me and I didn’t think of him as an option.” Until a year ago, when they reconnected, “and suddenly I received a love I didn’t think could be — a dreamy knight on a white horse.”

She said they soon moved in together and became inseparable, “and we were together all the time like a married couple,” noting that they had discussed getting married “but we didn’t have any money for that. We decided to wait and save up and he was going to propose on 12.12 — today I am so sad that we waited just because of money.”

Avishag said that at 5 a.m. that Saturday morning Yohai called her “drunk and high and told me he loved me and that I was the most beautiful in the world.” Later he updated her about the rocket fire, and a couple hours later told her there was a terrorist invasion and he was trying to find a weapon. That was the last time they spoke.

His father, Golan, told a local news site that his son was always ready to help others: “I’ll never forget when he was 12 and he was sitting with a blind man who couldn’t find his house, and he called me and waited until I came to help him.”

He said his son also loved animals, “and every wounded animal he found came home with him and I turned into a veterinarian. He adopted a dog for a year and treated her like a queen.”

Golan said he operates a flower stand, and when his son came to work with him, “he said, ‘Why don’t we give flowers to soldiers for free?'” So they posted a sign reading “free flowers for soldiers,” he said, “and we received much more respect and recognition from people. It’s all thanks to him, he was all heart and everyone will remember his wide heart.”

Now he has a new sign on display: “Free flowers for soldiers in uniform — in memory of Yohai Ben Zecharia.”

Golan, told Arutz Sheva that “he was an angel, just a good kid, a rare boy, the best kid in the world… He loved people, he loved everyone. He loved everything, people, animals, birds.”

Golan spoke to the news outlet at the site of a memorial set up near the rave: “This was his final place. I should have been with him here, but I didn’t come.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

Most Popular
read more: