In Memoriam of:

Raz Bukobza

Age: 23

From: Beit Nehemia

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.

Raz Bokovza, 23, from Beit Nehemia in central Israel, was murdered by Hamas at the Supernova music festival on October 7.

In chilling footage from that Saturday, Raz can be seen leaping from a pickup truck where he was being taken hostage by Hamas with other partygoers. After he jumps off, Raz is seen being shot dead by the terrorists as the other hostages, including Hersh Goldberg-Polin, watched from the truck.

His family said that Raz was already wounded by gunshots when he attempted to escape.

“He was brave and jumped from the truck, tried to flee and if he wasn’t wounded he would have fought back!” his brother, Ofek, wrote online. “We are proud of his choice and the courage and daring he had, which God gave him in those moments… He did what we knew he would do, try to save himself against all the odds.”

His body was found and identified a week later, and he was buried on October 15 in Beit Nehemia. He is survived by his parents, Riki and Amos, his brothers Ofek and Noam and his grandmother Perla.

He attended the rave with his friends Shaked Habani and Roni Polbanov who were both also slain that day.

His close friend, Master Sgt. (res.) Ilay Cohen was called up to the reserves during the war, serving in Gaza, where he memorialized Raz by scrawling his name on buildings in the Strip until Cohen was killed fighting on December 5.

Raz worked as a cook at the M25 restaurant in Tel Aviv and had only just returned from a six-month trip overseas a few weeks before the rave. His friends said he loved horseback riding and surfing, and had completed his army service just over a year before he was killed. He had started out as a combat soldier but moved to be a cook due to health issues, which is where his love for the kitchen began.

The chef at M25, Jonathan Borowitz, wrote that “Raz was a cook and part of the kitchen team at the restaurant for several months, until he traveled for a trip in South America,” and that Friday, the day before he was killed, was his first shift back in the restaurant following his return to Israel.

Before he left, wrote Borowitz, “I wished him the trip of his life, and I asked him not to miss out on anything — he traveled, enjoy and returned.” On Friday, he said, the restaurant was so busy that even though “we worked together for many hours that day, we didn’t get a chance to talk. I wanted to hear about his plans for the future, where he saw himself in this industry and I wanted to talk about the world.

“I told myself that I wouldn’t bother him now with this, I would let him party, this is his time, and next week we would sit, talk and make plans. But next week didn’t come, and Raz was murdered a few hours after his shift at the festival near Kibbutz Re’im. Our Raz, beautiful, wonderful, noble heroic and fearless. The Meatmarket family will remember you forever.”

His mother, Riki, wrote online that “Raz’s passion was to cook and excel in that field.” She said that the family was both pained and proud to see his final moments that day: “Even in the enormous nightmare of October 7 he decided what would be… They killed him but he decided that they wouldn’t take him.”

Ofek told the Kan public broadcaster in December that Raz “had an incredible smile, he had faith in God, he had bravery like you see in that footage… In the kitchen he could make a meal out of any crumb,” he added. “He loved to see people eating his food and enjoying.”
Source: The Times of Israel 

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