Innocently Noam Bar thought her boyfriend had returned from Gaza to surprise her when his family asked her to come over.
The sudden excitement of holding him close soon turned into an unimaginable nightmare when the IDF called to explain that her beloved, St.-Sgt. Tal Yifrah, 21, had been killed in Gaza on Monday.
“I started to wail like a crazy person,” Bar said on Tuesday as she eulogized him in the small military cemetery in Yifrah’s home city of Rishon Lezion.
She stood just a few feet away from his freshly dug grave, as she described for the hundreds of mourners, some wounded from battle in Gaza, how she had planned to marry and live the rest of her life with Yifrah.
The young woman broke into tears, as did many of the mourners, as she spoke to them of her deep love for Yifrah.
“My Tal-shuk,” Bar said using a nickname of endearment.
“My light, my angel, my life,” she said. “You were everything to me. We were perfect together. We had the same sense of humor. You always knew what I was thinking. I will never find anyone like you,” she said.
“You were suppose to be the father of my children,” a tearful Bar said. “We planned our future together and now it will never happen.”
“I will do everything I can to build a memorial for you. You won’t simply lie in a grave or be a statistic,” Bar said.
“My heart is dedicated to you. This cemetery will be my second home. I will never forget you. I love you, wrest on your laurels in peace, you are a hero Tal, see how people love you and are proud of you.
“Oh Tal,” she said, as she ended in tears.
His older sister Noy also started her eulogy by promising herself that she would be strong and would not cry, but soon broke that pledge.
“I woke with you every morning and went to sleep with you every night. You were my best friend, how can I live without you,” she said.
Noy said that she and Tal were inseparable. She recalled how they fell asleep together in front of the television, how she bought him clothing and how she learned to cook, just so she could feed him. On Friday, he called and promised her that he would return, Noy recalled.
“You are my hero and my pride, it because of you that we are standing here. You are the best fighter, there will has been and never will be someone like you. A person who is so beloved,” Noy said. Even after he was buried, Bar and his family members surrounded the grave, reluctant to leave, Wearing a torn black shirt, his mother, wailed at the grave, almost unable to stand. Her relatives held her up, and at times poured water over her face.
Bar sat on the ground and spoke half to him and half to the mourners.
“We were suppose to get married. We never fought and if we did, we made up in a second,” Bar said between tears as she described their four year relationship.
“We didn’t marry because we were too young,” she said.
“We were together for four years and now it’s over,” she said, as she caressed his grave filled with wreaths and bouquets of flowers.
“Rest my beloved, you are in heaven, now rest,” she said.