IDF hero who 'breathed danger' laid to rest: 'Nightmares come true'

Fallen IDF soldier's brother: "There were no duties or obligations from his position that he didn't charge toward."

 IDF soldiers mourn at the funeral of Maj. Bar Falah, who was killed in clashes with Palestinians with Jenin, on September 14, 2022. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
IDF soldiers mourn at the funeral of Maj. Bar Falah, who was killed in clashes with Palestinians with Jenin, on September 14, 2022.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Hundreds gathered to pay their final respects to IDF Maj. Bar Fahal at a military cemetery in Netanya on Wednesday night.

Family and friends mourned Fahal, 30, deputy commander of the Nahal Brigade’s Reconnaissance Battalion, who was killed during combat with Palestinian gunmen near Jenin on Wednesday. 

"We promised that we would go through this together, we knew what we were getting into," said his partner, Ariel Saban. "It's hard for me to find the words to describe what a good man you are and how much you achieved. You said, 'nothing will happen to me, my beautiful. Who can do anything to me?' But my biggest nightmare happened."

"It's hard for me to find the words to describe what a good man you are and how much you achieved. You said, 'nothing will happen to me, my beautiful. Who can do anything to me?' But my biggest nightmare happened."

Ariel Saban

"Some nightmares come true"

Falah's brother Tal said during his eulogy that "Some nightmares come true."

"There were no duties or obligations from his position that he didn't charge toward, and it's clear that was how it was also in his last mission," said Tal. "He knew about the dangers of his service, he breathed danger, participated in war and when he returned he was wracked with guilt that he did, and asked why and how it was him [and not others]."

 IDF demolishing the home of Ra'ad Hazem, the Palestinian terrorist who carried out the Tel Aviv attack in April which killed three people, September 6, 2022. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) IDF demolishing the home of Ra'ad Hazem, the Palestinian terrorist who carried out the Tel Aviv attack in April which killed three people, September 6, 2022. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

He shared how his brother Bar had responded to the Tel Aviv Dizengoff terrorist attack, and could be seen in many of the videos, still half in civilian clothes, "always in a hurry to chase the enemy."

"How much strength you had, how much bravery, resilience, leadership and love you had," said Bar's brother Amos, according to Ynet. "Mom's home is full of young people crying and in pain — Students you taught to surf and ski, your soldiers and commanders in the army. How can you say goodbye to a brother? You promised to guard us, why didn't you listen to dad who all the time said to you not to be a hero and come home safely?"

Bar's sister said that that she was not prepared for her brother's passing, and wasn't ready to speak of him in the past tense, but promised to be strong for the whole family. 

The hours leading to the funeral saw an outpour of support and memorials on social media. 

Support and memorials on social media

Yair Nemet, who served under Fahal for much of his service, described his former commander as a "special person. It's strange to write about him in past tense, really. But he truly was a special person. "

While Falah was his commander, he would visit Nemet's room on base every day, and "just sit with us a few minutes, and suddenly we weren't commander and soldiers," just friends "talking nonsense, joking around, Falah would bother me while I played on the computer because he also wanted to, until he would get up," and get back to work like a "madman."

Nemet shared how Falah person had a massive presence whenever he entered the room and seemed that he could overcome all challenges. Even though Falah had only recently entered his new military position, he said that Falah took the time to attend his wedding even though he was busy with his new duties.

"Heavy mourning has fallen over our city," said Mayor Miriam Fierberg of Falah's home city of Netanya. "Beyond being an exemplary officer, he was an amazing friend and excellent surfer, Bar was loved by everyone that knew him on account of his great love of the country, the city, and the IDF. He lead dozens of initiatives to distribute food baskets to the needed and always volunteered to help everyone."

"We saw overnight leading from the front and a commander who led the way, demonstrating courage and daring and paid for it with his life during a mission to defend the state and its citizen's security," said IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid offered his condolences "On behalf of the Government of Israel, on behalf of the entire State of Israel. We bow our heads for the death of Major Bar Falah of blessed memory, a hero of Israel."

Maariv contributed to this report