In Loving Memory of Adi Baharav Rabinowitz who was killed on Oct 7th

Tuesday, 9 January, 2024 - 11:02 am

Adi Baharav Rabinowitz was someone who would literally drop everything, in order to save a life. He did it more than once, even when it meant putting himself in mortal danger, as saving and preserving lives was one of the core values that he lived by.

I was fortunate to have met Adi several years ago, and since that time, Adi became a close friend, and someone I respected, admired and took advice from.

Adi’s parents lived here in Massachusetts for many years, and it was during his visits to his parents, and his family here who are also good friends, including Oz and his wife Ann and his daughter Hila and her husband Naor, that I got to spend time with Adi. Over those visits, we spent time chatting and conversing about life, Israel, Judaism, Religion and Politics, and what the core values that we seek to live by.

Adi, always had a smile or a wise and encouraging word, and was always providing joy and positivity to everyone around him. Even when he mourned the loss of both of his parents who lived here in Framingham, he found a way to make everyone around him feel a little better.

Adi owned a security company in Israel, and had helped secure embassies, synagogues and many businesses over the years in Europe and other places. Adi visited us at Chabad of Sudbury, and spent time with us reviewing and discussing what would be the best procedures and security concepts he would implement, and was always happy to share his professional guidance.

I appreciated his perspective and approach and would keep in touch with him when he was back in Israel, and of course check in on him, when rockets or mortars were raining down on his Moshav near Gaza.

He would always laugh off the dangers he was exposed to, yet despite the smiles, he was always ready to take things seriously and do whatever it took, when danger lurked for someone else. In fact, just over a year ago, he drove into the line of fire to rescue someone who had been shot by terrorists, but didn’t bother talking about it too much after the fact, because saving a life, had become the instinct and the core value that he lived by.

On Oct 7th, it was both Shabbat and in the middle of a two day Holiday (in Israel it is a one day holiday), and someone knocked on my door at 7:30am to tell me that there is a war.

Of course when I first heard the news of the terrible attack, I went into shock….

When he listed me the towns where there is heavy fighting and I heard Moshav Netiv Hasarah, I right away froze and had a sinking and bad feeling about Adi, knowing that there is no way, that he wouldn’t go out to fight and save lives.

Over the next 36 hours I couldn’t use my phone due to the Holiday, but I heard from various people the dramatic increase in the toll, and I felt worse and worse about Adi, and at one point contemplated walking over to his brother’s house a few miles away, to check in and find out how he was.

Indeed the first text at the conclusion of the holiday, was from my good friend Oz, “my brother, your friend, was murdered”….

Later I would find out, that he spent ninety minutes from the time the murderous assault began, going to door to door, helping people secure themselves in their safe rooms, exchanging fire with the terrorists, coming across the bodies of murdered friends, updating his family that he was okay, and then finally being ambushed, when he went into yet another house to try and save the residents.

I couldn’t believe that this smiling and jovial Adi, was no more, and was deeply saddened for him, for his loved ones in Israel and for his daughter and his brother and their families in Massachusetts, who were now faced with this huge gaping and painful hole, along with the terrible toll of everyone else on Oct 7th.

Adi, did not seek greatness, he sought to do what was good and right. His final moments in life gave others the chance to live. As his brother Oz said at the funeral, “realizing and appreciating these extra moments of life that we have, is so important, and remembering to use them for Maasim Tovim, good deeds, and bringing people closer together, is what he hopes we take away from the life of Adi”.

Indeed, in Judaism, the principle of saving even an individual life, is one of the most supreme principles of our tradition, and it is compared to saving an entire world.

Adi, was a unique personality and someone who gave joy and happiness to the lives of so many others, besides his dear family members. Yet in his final moments, he gave life itself to others, helping them survive and live and breathe another day, so that they too can live the dreams and values that he considered so important.

I know that despite living so far, I had a friend in Adi, and I respected him, loved his energy and perspective, and loved his passion for life and for seeing that others could live their life securely. I know and he shared this with me, that our friendship was mutual and I treasure some of the short but important texts that he wrote to me.

Oct 7th was almost three months ago, but the void is still there, and we will always miss him.

While I mourn him as a friend, I know that the pain and loss that the family are experiencing is immense, and one that as we say in Judaism, “only G-d can provide comfort”.

In the book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) it is written “VeHachai Yiten El Libo”, “the living shall take to heart”. This idea, is an instruction that when mourning a loved one or friend, we learn from the beautiful values that they lived by, and think how we too can incorporate some of these values in to our own lives. While we cannot replace the unique light of Adi, that was brutally extinguished on Oct 7th, we can seek to live by some of the light and values how he lived his life, so that collectively, we continue our goal of making the world a kinder and brighter place.

Adi, we will miss you and your smile forever….and you will always have a place in our hearts.

Yet, we will keep your memory alive, and do more acts of kindness and life, in your honor, and remember and learn from your dedication to the most supreme value in Judaism.

You were a true Gibor Yisroel!

Yehi Zichro Baruch

Your friend,


P.S If you would like to help support his widow who lost her partner and her ability to earn a livelihood from her farm which was destroyed, you may do so here.

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