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Nir and Ruth Elimelech - Kfar Aza

Nir and Ruth Elimelech, from Kfar Aza, contacted us after seeing one of our publications inviting families to take part in the initiative.

Ruth is an educator, and Nir held senior positions in the kibbutz industry; they have lived in Kfar Aza for more than twenty years. When we met, Nir said that a project led by six women must be something that contributes to a better world, and that only gave us more strength to immediately commit to the task.


In our first conversation Ruth and Nir tell us that on the morning of 7.10 their adult children and all their grandchildren were not in the southern region. Nir went for a run like he does every Saturday with his running partner in the Ashkelon area. When the alarms started following a heavy barrage of rockets, he realized that an event of an unusual magnitude was taking place. On a phone call with Ruth, he realized that she was in the MAMAD (safe room) without electricity and with smoke billowing out the house.

Nir asked Ruth’s brother, Hagai, who lives close by, to come in and pick her up from their house. For 22 hours, Ruth, her brother, her sister-in-law, and the dog remained in the MAMAD (safe room) in Kfar Aza. During those long hours, Nir tried   to return home by car but encountered an ambush by terrorists, at the "Haskeshetot" intersection. He continued driving through a barrage of gunfire while his running partner was shot and wounded. Nir and his running partner decided to hide near the kibbutz’s orchid and stayed there for several hours. Nir was in contact with Ruth and the children until a car from Mefalsim came and picked them up. Meanwhile, at Nir and Ruth’s house a shootout took place between Hamas terrorists and IDF soldiers, a battle at the end of which, on the second day, one of the soldiers was killed and an IDF tank bombed the house which was destroyed and burned.


During the fight that took place at Nir and Ruth's house, a painting, which was especially important to the couple, was also damaged by the bullets. This is a painting painted for Kibbutz Miflasim many years ago by Tzipora Zohari with figures of farmers, a painting that hung on the wall in the old dining room of Kibbutz Miflasim. Over the years, the painting faded and Nir then received permission from the kibbutz to take the preserved part of the painting and it has been hanging in their house ever since.

During the renewal process, Nir and Ruth, together with Maya, who renewed the objects, decided to restore the colors and the frame of the painting, but to leave the bullet holes.  That is, to return to the old painting, to give it a new touch, but also to remember October 7, by leaving holes in the painting.

Later in the project, together with Nir, it was decided to also renew a wooden horse and cart which were in the back, silently witnessing the battle that took place in the house.

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