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Eliya Cohen

26

Eliya Cohen is the son of Sigi and Momi and the eldest brother to three sisters: Yuval, Michal, and Tamar. He was born into a devout family, and in his teenage years, growing up in Tzur Hadassah in the Jerusalem Corridor, he embarked on a personal journey of secular discovery. Interestingly, this transformation only deepened the bonds of his close-knit family. His relationship with his mother, marked by profound conversations and shared dreams, highlights a bond that transcends words.
Eliya's life prior to that tragic Saturday in October was filled with the vibrancy of youth and ambition. As a former trance party producer turned real estate enthusiast, he radiated optimism and empathy, touching the lives of friends across the globe. His plans to propose to his girlfriend Ziv Abud (also 26), armed with a ring and a heart full of hope, speak volumes of a cruelly interrupted future.
On Saturday 7 October, amidst the revelry of the Nova music festival, Eliya and Ziv faced unimaginable horror as Hamas terrorists launched a murderous assault. In a desperate bid for safety, they, along with friends and loved ones, sought refuge in a concrete shelter, only to be met with more violence. The ensuing chaos claimed the lives of many, including Ziv’s nephew Amit and his girlfriend Karin, both only 19 years old. Eliya and Ziv found themselves lying under a harrowing shield of dead bodies. In those final moments of unity, Eliya, despite his injuries, assured Ziv of his well-being before being forcibly taken by the terrorists, right out of Ziv’s arms. Kidnapped alongside Eliya, out of the same shelter, were Alon Ohel and Hersh Goldberg-Polin. Ziv miraculously survived the horrific attack.


The Cohen family, together with Ziv, fortified by faith and an unbreakable bond, continue to navigate this period of anguish with an unwavering hope for reunion.
Ziv wrote on the 150th day of his captivity: "150 days that my soul screams for someone to finally take him out of there. (...) Five months that I don't know if Eliya knows I'm alive and how much, God, how much I'm fighting so you come home and that I'm sane enough to hold you tight when you return. 150 days - that we, I and the family, and friends, don't know if the steps we're taking are right or wrong."
As the community, both near and far, rallies for his return, the message is clear: Eliya, you are sorely missed. You must come home soon!
Eliya particularly enjoys music by Sarit Hadad. Let us listen to this song and picture him returning to Ziv’s arms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsGJX631-Tg&t=4s

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