Staff Sergeant Shamai Elazar Leibovitz


Staff Seargent Elazar Lebovitch (sometimes spelled Leibowitz) of Hebron, was killed in 2002 protecting a family driving home who was ambushed by terrorists on the road. He was driving newlyweds Neria and Sara Ben-Yitzhak to the Admot Yishai neighborhood in Hebron to celebrate their first Shabbat together with Neria's parents. When they reached the Zeif intersection terrorists opened fire on them, fatally wounding Elazar. The Dikstein family car approached from the opposite direction; three members of the family were killed and two were injured.
St.-Sgt. Elazar Lebovitch, who was celebrating his 21st birthday, served in the Nahal Brigade. He was the fifth child of Yossi and Etta Lebovitch, veteran residents of the Avraham Avinu neighborhood in Hebron. Orit Struck, a resident of Hebron, described Elazar as full of life, an idealist who volunteered for every task. Several years ago his brother Yedidia was wounded in a stabbing in the Hebron market.
A few months ago, due to the widespread shooting attacks and bombings throughout the country, Elazar had prepared a will that included instructions for his funeral, who should eulogize him and how he was to be buried.
St.-Sgt. Elazar Lebovitch was buried in the old Jewish cemetery in Hebron, near the graves of the victims of the 1929 Hebron massacre. A music concert took place in his memory and a CD entitled Songs Elazar Loved was released including well-known musicians, several from the area such as Ehud Banai, Shivi Keller, Sinai Tor, Aaron Razel and others.
David Wilder, veteran spokesperson for the Jewish Community of Hebron stated, " asked Elazar’s father, Yossi, why the family chose this way to commemorate Elazar’s death. He told me, “Elazar left a will, asking that at his funeral people should not mourn, rather they should sing and be happy. This led to the production of a special music CD, released earlier this year, full of songs that Elazar loved. Now we are trying to continue his legacy. It is not necessarily easy for us. We want the event to be suitable, not just a songfest get-together. But, with G-d’s help, it will work out the way we want, and the way Elazar would have wanted.”