THE Instagram account of an Israeli soldier has been turned into a moving memorial after he was killed fighting Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
Staff Sgt. Lavi Lipshitz, 20, was killed fighting Hamas terrorists in GazaDan Charity
APHis mother Shlomit, 50, gave a final salute as her son was buried on November 1[/caption]
APMourners gather around Lavi’s grave during his funeral in the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem[/caption]
His last ever pic was on October 6 – the day before war began.
And the last time his family had any contact was the day before the ground invasion was launched.
The next they heard was when they were told that Lavi, of the Givati Infantry Brigade’s reconnaissance unit, had been killed in the northern Strip.
Thousands have now left messages in his honour on his Instagram page.
And his family also paid tribute when they invited The Sun spoke to them during his Shiva – the seven days of mourning when people visit the family to pay their respects.
They invited us to join his Shiva at the family home in Modiin, near Jerusalem.
His engineer dad Nitzam, 52, said: “He was a wonderful, kind loving son and although it is hard, it is some comfort to know he died in this war, making the ultimate sacrifice for something so important.
“This is the most justified war in many years around the world. We are fighting for democracy and for Israel’s survival.
“We have the right to live here and we have to defend that right. And for your son to have been one of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for that aim is very sad, but necessary.”
His sister Anafa, 22, told how Lavi texted her three weeks before he died to give her instructions of what to do if the worst happened.
She said: “He said if something happens to me make sure the family is happy. Do not hold onto your pain.
“And be the best of yourselves.
“I replied to say: ‘You aren’t going to die because you still owe me a beer.’
“He was such an optimistic person with so much to give to the world that I never thought he would die. People like that don’t die young.”
By contrast, Nitzam, like any parent of a son going to war, couldn’t help but fear the worst.
He said: “As a worried parent you do fear that something will happen.
“After October 7 he was sent to one of the kibbutzim that was attacked.
“He saw some awful things. But Lavi being Lavi, he was still so caring. He was worried about all of the farm animals that now had no-one to care for them because everybody had been killed or had fled.
“He said: ‘Who will milk the cows, dad?’ That was typical of him.
“We spoke to him a few times again over the next few weeks.
“The last time we actually spoke to him was on the Wednesday before the ground invasion.
“The last time we texted each other was the next day.
“Then on Friday, the day of the invasion, we texted him, but did not get a reply.
“The next we heard was that he had been killed.”
Lavi, who served in the Givati Infantry Brigade’s reconnaissance unit, was killed while fighting in the northern Gaza Strip.
The family has been crippled by grief but are supporting each other and are also comforted by memories of Lavi growing up.
Anafa said: “My earliest memories of him as a younger brother were that he was annoying, but I was probably annoying to him too.
“We had a typical brother-sister relationship.
“He was always an entrepreneur, even as a little boy. One time we needed some money to buy something for our computer games consoles so he had the idea of buying candy and then selling it at school at a profit.
”He made posters and leaflets and would sell the candy at the schoolgates. We made a lot of money.”
Dad Nitzan laughed: “The only problem was that the school got to hear that a business was being run on school premises and they put a stop to it.
“He was driven by arts. He was an excellent photographer and loved modern art and the cinema.”
Anafa, who was wearing the same Pulp Fiction t-shirt she wore to his funeral, said: “He liked Andy Warhol and Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino and would quote the religious verses that Samuel L Jackson’s character said in the film.
“His Instagram has become incredibly popular which is a comfort.
“And the little film he made was amazing. He wanted to ask this girl out so he made a film and sent it to her. She said no, but the film, which was inspired by Wes Anderson’s style, is still great to watch.
“Seeing that and all of his photographs is a huge comfort. He was so talented.”
Another thing that comforts the family is the messages they have received from people at the kibbutz he was deployed to on October 7.
Nitzan said: “We have had messages back from people there saying he was so kind in helping them get to safety.
“Although he paid the ultimate price and is not here any more that is a great comfort, knowing he helped others in their hour of need.”
Anafa said: “It doesn’t seem real to me. But one day the war will be over and all the soldiers will come home.
“Lavi won’t come home – then it will be real.”
Lavi, who also had two brothers Re’em, 17, and Be’eri, 15, died on October 31 and was buried the next day at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem.
His mother Shlomit, 50, gave a final salute as he was buried.
Dan CharityLavi was described as an ‘optimistic person with so much to give to the world’[/caption]
Dan CharityTributes have been pouring in for the young Israeli soldier[/caption]
Lavi was a talented photographer who kept a photo diary on InstagramDan Charity
Lavi LipshitzThe 20-year-old would post one snap a day – such as this one – to chronicle his life as a soldier[/caption]Leave a comment