Staff Sergeant
make dawn

Son of Heidi and Ofer

Fell on the 22nd of Tammuz 574 (07.20.2014)

Fell at Age 20 Years old

Son of Heidi and Ofer. Born in Pardesia on the 27th of Tishrei 555 (October 2, 1994). Second child in the family, brother to Chan and Omari.

“When you were born and I saw you for the first time you were like a light that came into my life,” his mother said. “I held you and promised that you would never be sad, disappointed…or even a little bit sore. I tried my whole life to make you happy and happy…radiant and bright, just like the day you were born.”

In Shahar’s early childhood, when his parents worked in the afternoons, his older brother Chen looked after him and took him out of kindergarten. This is how a special bond was formed between them that deepened over the years. “We told each other everything,” said Chen. Omari, his younger brother, was also very close to Shahar and felt concern and responsibility towards him.

As the grandson of the founders of the settlement, Shahar grew up in a close-knit and lively family, known for the Mimuna and Independence Day parties held in the Pardesiya settlement. Many of those who frequented the house on holidays and Shabbat evenings were Shahar’s friends. His natural leadership attracted friends to him, who shared their experiences with him, enjoyed his company and walked with him all the way. Shahar was a child of love – he had an abundance of love for his parents, his family, his friends and the Land of Israel. He was a sociable, funny boy, loved by everyone and with a big heart. All emphasize his kindness. “My brother never asked for help from anyone, but always used to help others,” Omri said.

Shahar studied and was educated at the “Tafuz” elementary school in Pardesia and the “Dror” experimental educational district in the Lev Hasharon regional council. His teachers testify that he was a student full of life, humor and playfulness.

From a young age, Shahar cultivated a special relationship with his cousin, Bar Yerimi, who was like another brother to him. After Bar’s recruitment to the 12th battalion in the “Golani” brigade, Shahar waited for the weekends when they would meet and he would get to hear Bar’s stories from the army. Shahar looked at him with admiration, and already in the 10th grade he announced that he too would enlist in the 12th battalion in “Golani”.

Later he encountered difficulty in enlisting as a combat soldier due to his short-sightedness – but he did not give up. Being independent and loving challenges – he worked, saved money, and spared no effort to achieve his goals. Shahar underwent laser surgery on his eyes and fulfilled his wish. Besides the surgery, he also refurnished the room for himself.

On March 10, 2013, Shahar enlisted for a combat course as a fighter in the “Golani” brigade; But to his dismay, he was assigned to the 13th “Gideon” Battalion, which was renamed “Gesh” in the Northern Command, and not to the 12th Battalion, as he had hoped and expected. Despite this, about a month later he called his cousin and sounded happy. Shahar said: “I don’t change my team in life.”

“He consulted with me about everything,” Bar said, “if to go to the commanders (class commanders) course, what kind of weapon to take, everything. Our bond was so close that they thought we were really brothers. He was a very calm person who does not tell much about himself, and on the other hand – he was the nail of the guys, with a crazy sense of humor and a huge presence. But what most characterized him was that he was a man imbued with a goal… at the age of sixteen he instilled in his younger brother the values ​​of ‘want something, strive for it and in the end you will achieve it’. That was his way.” Indeed, Shahar stood out for his perseverance and willpower. After being injured during training in the battalion, he could have given up operational service, but he insisted on continuing out of love for the homeland and due to the sense of obligation and the deep connection to his members in the unit.

His unit mate Yonatan Alster told about the brave friendship that was forged between them and the time they spent together on guard duty quickly, thanks to the common language they found: “Only half a year ago we arrived at the ward together, both of us injured and miserable, and in the first week it didn’t seem like we would get along too well. But within a week or two we got along The same person. Two people who just like to drive everyone crazy and certainly each other. I remember our fights were funny, you used to get annoyed that I’m never tidy and mess up the room… You knew me and you always knew that if the room is messy and if there’s someone whose bed is messy it’s I’m sure… somehow you recognized and would have really helped me. And I can say that thanks to you I learned a lesson or two… I promise you that from now on I will try harder and when I sort out the case for the army I will think about how you told me to sort it out and what your methods were.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Erez Elkabatz, the unit’s commander, described Shahar’s military career: “In March 2013, he began the warrior course in the ‘Gideon’ battalion, and at the end of it he was a fighter in the engagement department in the auxiliary company. He later moved to the battalion intelligence department, and was proud of his service in both departments. Shahar He was a brave warrior, who strove for the best performance of every task assigned to him, with dedication and professionalism. He was highly physically fit, an entrepreneur and did much more than what was required of his position. Shahar was a true friend who could be trusted. His friends were at the forefront of his mind, and he always thought of how he could help them. . Upon jumping into combat, Shahar was determined to enter the battle with the battalion in the Gaza Strip. He felt and believed that he must be part of the battalion’s move, and he did not let go until it was decided that this would be the case.”

In June 2014, the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel increased, and as a result, Israel embarked on Operation “Stone Cliff” against Hamas. The operation began on July 8, 2014 with aerial bombardments, and nine days later, on July 17, IDF ground forces began entering the Gaza Strip with the aim of hitting the firing points, locating and destroying combat tunnels leading to Israel and damaging the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas organization.

At night, during a deployment in the field, on the eve of his team’s entry into the Strip, Shahar looks dejected. He felt ill, but did not seek medical treatment. When his major asked him to clean the area, Shahar said: “I’m going to sleep.” Two more hours to go, and even then I’m not coming back from there.” Roy, his best friend, also said that that night he talked to Shahar via text messages about football matters, and Shahar asked him for something and wrote: “Help me, anyway, I’m going in soon and not coming back again.” He also shared his concerns with his friend Yonatan Elster. Yonatan wanted very much to join the same APC that took Shahar to Gaza, to fight alongside him. The two joked with each other: “We must be together… vacationing in Gaza together! So we can say we were abroad together,” Yonatan said.

He did not share his bad feelings with his family. “Last Friday he called me and told me that they were entering Gaza,” testified his brother Omri. “He was in a good mood and told jokes. Shahar told me he wouldn’t be available on the phone for the next few days, but there’s nothing to worry about. In the end he said he loved me and hung up.”

After his release, Shahar planned to go to a relative who lives in New York, to travel and save money, but his plans were interrupted and he was unable to fulfill them.

At the beginning of the battle in the Sajaiya neighborhood on the 22nd of Tammuz 574 (July 20, 2014), nine soldiers from the patrol division of the 13th APC battalion (carrying armored troops) entered the area. The APC got stuck in one of the streets of the neighborhood as a result of a mechanical malfunction, and during Attempting to rescue him, he was attacked with anti-tank missiles. Shahar fell in battle, and six more “Golani” fighters fell with him – First Sergeant Oren-Simcha Noach, First Sergeant Daniel Pomerantz, First Sergeant Oron Shaul, Sergeant Ben Yitzhak and Anono, Sergeant Shawn Mundschein and Sergeant Max Donald Steinberg.

Twenty-year-old Shahar Benfelu was. He was laid to rest in the military section of the Pardesia cemetery. Left parents and two brothers. After his death he was promoted to the rank of first sergeant.

Some of Shahar’s friends from the regiment came from the battlefield to accompany him on his last journey. They removed the “Golani” brigade badges from the epaulettes and tearfully placed them on his grave.

In the letter of condolence to the family, Chief of Staff (Chief of General Staff) Major General Benny Gantz wrote: “Shahar’s commanders say that he performed every task to the best of his ability, and showed independence, determination and initiative. Shahar showed care towards the soldiers of the unit, and did a lot to extend help and assistance to anyone who needed it. Shahar was described as a kind-hearted, quiet and pleasant person. Because of all these and more, Shahar was appreciated and loved by his friends and commanders.”

“I was privileged to be your mother for twenty years,” Heidi paid tribute to him on the anniversary of his death, “and I enjoyed you so much, my love… I miss your light and the special charm you had… twenty years of being a proud and happy mother. My dawn, I Just want you to know that I have not forgotten you and I will never forget you. You will always be etched in my heart.”

“Shahar, my little brother,” Chen wrote to him, “my other half… the longings are strong and painful and every day that passes is harder for me. … You and Omari are like the air to breathe for me, and when you were killed it was like one of my lungs was taken away. I feel suffocated … But I always rejoiced in your happiness, at every stage when you were happy, the same on every birthday. Therefore, for your sake and for the rest of my life from now on, I will celebrate your birthday as you would have wanted. I will drink in your honor and be happy in your honor, and I will hold you in my heart forever.” – On Shahar’s birthday, his family members and friends gathered and came to his house to mark the day and celebrate Shahar as he would have wanted them to celebrate.

Heidi tattooed on her leg the deep-rooted olive tree, a symbol of the “Golani” division. Underneath the roots she tattooed Shahar’s name in English. Omri the brother tattooed on his arm the inscription “Shahar, I will remember you forever” in English.

His friend Jonathan Alster paid tribute to him: “I love you Shahar, you don’t know how much, my friend, my brother, a person I would tell everything to and he tells me… You always knew how to lift me up and make me happy… I miss you.. I want to have another conversation with you, another ‘battle of the falls’, more songs that we would make up about each other or start fighting with you again, hoping that this time I tear you apart, but within two seconds find out that you still tear me apart. I promise to always follow your path – of the joy of life, and not giving up what we deserve, and letting laughter lead me everywhere.”

“You were a hero who sacrificed his life for the homeland,” his friend Or Yamini eulogized him, “you always stood out, you were a brave warrior, with a spirit of volunteerism and faith.”

On the thirtieth anniversary of his death, the singer Yifat Tasha, his cousin, and Michal her mother, dedicated the song “Habakini Ima” to him. At the end of the song, parting words that Shahar left for his parents and siblings were recorded on the voicemail.

Shimon Azoulai wrote and composed the song “Hashahar” during Operation “Tzuk Eitan”. When he finished composing the song, he heard on the morning news that Shahar Tesha of the “Golani” brigade was killed in the “APC disaster” in the Sajaiya neighborhood in Gaza. Therefore, he decided to dedicate the song to Shahar, and contacted his parents to play the song for them by Natalie Rotem. Heidi and Ofer were very moved, and gave their blessing to the song dedicated to their son’s memory. “The Dawn”: “Early in the morning the dawn was wounded / red blood for the path that told what / only he knew / this dawn will not be wounded, / his blood for the story / this dawn will not will come / he will not shine again. // He promised her, to the little sister / He’ll be back soon / The dawn everyone knows / Never, never gives up. / Empty fields waited for the dawn / and their gaze was gloomy / Empty days saw it as a dawn / that never gave up. / ‘You promised, Shahar, to come early,’ / she said in a choked voice, / ‘You promised, Shahar, to be you, / not a blot of erased blood.’ / Your length shines at the end of the night / in the color of the desert / the promise and promise of dawn, / but nothing exists. / Empty fields waited for the dawn and their gaze was gloomy, / Empty days saw in him a dawn that never gave up, / The dawn gave his heart to the night, / To be from above a strong cliff.”

On November 21, 2014, a race was held in memory of Shahar “Riders, runners and marchers in memory of Shahar Tesha”.

A Facebook page was opened in his memory: “In memory of Shahar Tasha Zal”.

- May His Soul Be Bound up in the Bundle of Life -

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