In Memoriam of:

Michal (Maral) Zarbailov

Age: 60

From: Ofakim

In Loving Memory of the Innocent Souls Taken Too Soon. United in peace, their light shines on in the hearts left behind. October 7, 2023, a day of sorrow, but their memories guide us toward a hopeful tomorrow.

Michal (Maral) Zarbailov, 60, of Ofakim, was murdered by Hamas terrorists in Sderot on October 7.

Zarbailov was among 13 people on a minibus of mostly retirees heading for an organized trip to the Dead Sea who were murdered together that day.

Their bus got a flat tire near Sderot and stopped next to a bus stop in the city to try and fix it. While the group was standing there, rocket sirens rang out, and the bus stop bomb shelter — which was supposed to automatically open during a siren — remained electronically locked. Moments later, a pick-up truck of terrorists drove by and shot dead all 13 travelers. Only the driver emerged alive.

Zarbialov is survived by her husband, Avshalom, her four children, Miriam (Miri), Daniel, Rami and Iris, and eight grandchildren. She was buried on October 12 in Ofakim.

Born in Azerbaijan, she and her husband and three of their four children moved to Israel from Baku in 1990, settling in Ofakim, where their youngest was born.

Her family said she had worked for years in a food production facility but recently made a career change and started working as an aide in a daycare center, which she found much more fulfilling.

eulogy on the Ofakim municipal website said Michal had a “great sense of humor and loved to laugh at everything. She loved to sing at top volume and everyone enjoyed hearing her voice; her face was always happy and smiley. She was devoted and peace-loving to all around her.”

Her daughter, Iris, told Channel 12 news that she was “such a good mother, an angel, with kind eyes, so innocent, such a pure smile.”

Her son, Rami, told La’isha magazine that his mother was “so beautiful, inside and out. She was a woman who made do with little and was happy with her lot, even when life wasn’t easy.”

Rami said he and his siblings “grew up in a modest home. Mom worked many hours in the day, at minimum wage, but with a high work ethic.” He said before she left for work, she made food for everyone, and “ensured the house was in working order. She gave everything of herself, she sacrificed her life so that we wouldn’t lack anything.”

For her new job, he said, “Mom learned kids songs and games, and even planned to open her own daycare — the kids and the parents were crazy about her.”

Her daughter Miri told the magazine, “I still cannot come to terms with the horrible loss. My world collapsed.”

Miri said, “She was a mom-friend, a listening ear, the best adviser. To her grandchildren, she was ‘the grandmother of the stuffed vegetables’ — a dish only she knew how to make… The fact that I don’t have a mother has not sunk in. As time passes, my heart burns even more.”

Source: The Times of Israel 

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