President Reuven Rivlin on Monday morning visited the family of Eliyav Gelman, the IDF reserve officer killed by errant gunfire during a stabbing attack by a Palestinian terrorist last Wednesday.
"You know how heavy is the price we pay, and how horrific is the loss" the President told Eliyav's family, who are currently sitting the seven-day shiva morning period. "Like your wonderful and dear son, and husband. At one terrible moment, the Israeli people become aware of such incredible people – while of course, you knew all along."
Eliyav's widow, Rinat Gelman, told the President that they had lived in Karmei Tzur for three and a half years during which Eliyav had been released from the army, and studied information technology in Holon.
Moriah, Eliyav's younger sister, recount to the President how her older brother was always looking out for her and the rest of the family.
"As his little sister, the youngest in the family, I can tell you that he always looked after all of us. He knew what each of us were up to, and knew how to give advice and guidance. He knew to ask how were doing – even me, the youngest sibling. He knew how to take something big, and break it down so we could appreciate it."
Itamar, Eliyav's younger brother, described him as a dedicated Jew and a man of great faith.
"All of us have faith, but Eliyav was a true man of faith; even when things didn't work out, he faithfully persevered," he said. "He knew when to ask and when to criticize, and knew to look at himself from time to time and soul-search – he was always striving to improve.
"He could be disappointed, but never disheartened, because he strongly believed in his path and never wavered. As his younger brother, I feel that I learnt so much from him, and do so much as he taught me to do."
Rivlin himself lamented that this was far from the first condolence call he had paid to the family of an Israeli killed in a terrorist attack, but that hearing about Eliav had inspired him.
"I have visited many homes across Israel in the past months, we all understand that we are forced to live with the sword," the president said. "We have returned to our land, and no one will prevent us from keeping our faith.
"You have told me of a great scholar, a devoted soldier, and a family man – thank you for your strength, for your son that you educated so well, for the family have raised."