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Omer Shem Tov

21

Omer Shem Tov, 21 years young from Herzliya, radiates a warmth and charm that instantly endears him to everyone he meets, earning him the lifelong affection and friendship of those around him. His infectious smile has the power to disarm even his teachers, who found themselves overlooking a troublemaking Omer, from time to time..
As the cherished youngest child of his family, Omer has a special bond with his siblings, Dana, aged 27, and Amit, 24, earning him the affectionate nickname "Sunshine boy" at home. His mother Shelli speaks of the immense affection he shows towards her and his close friends.
Omer's presence is unmistakable in any setting, not just because of his beauty, but more so due to his vibrant personality and warmth. He is known for his generous hugs, respect for others, and the joy he brings to every room he enters. In every video capture of him, Omer is seen dancing and beaming with happiness.
Having completed his military service a year prior, Omer worked as a waiter to save up for a grand adventure he had planned. His dream was to embark on a journey to Amsterdam (!), a trip scheduled to commence just days after the Nova trance music festival. Tragically, it was at this festival that he, along with siblings Itay and Maya Regev, was kidnapped on October 7th. While Maya and Itay were subsequently released from captivity as part of a ceasefire agreement in late November, Omer is still held hostage by Hamas in Gaza.
21-year old Maya Regev, Omer’s close friend, used to work alongside him. She shares that shifts with Omer were always special. Omer is a friend for deep conversations as well as for sharing a laugh. For years, he has worn a red lucky bracelet. Now, she too wears such a bracelet, feeling a closer connection to him.
Compounding the family's concern is Omer's health; he suffers from asthma and celiac disease, requiring regular access to an inhaler and a gluten-free diet—neither of which is available to him in Gaza. Amidst this harrowing ordeal, his family is tirelessly advocating for his release, determined to see him return home safely. Their unwavering commitment underscores the depth of their love and the collective hope for Omer's well-being.
Omer's bedroom remains as he left it; a bit of a mess. Shelli, his mother, explained that she leaves it untouched - the light remains on, and the fan continues to whirl. Upon his return, he'll find his room just as he left it, having done something utterly typical for someone his age: going out to a party with friends. In the meantime, every morning, his mother visits his room to pray Psalms, sending him waves of love, hope, and assurance, before she and Malki, Omer's father, start another exhaustive day in their campaign to retrieve their son from captivity and bring him home.

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