Many have heard the tales of the incredible ZAKA volunteers, who spent over a month working day and night in the South of Israel, cleaning up the remains of the October 7th massacre. When we went to ZAKA hero Natan Kenig, and asked him which tragedies stuck with him the most, we were surprised by his answer.
The face that often comes to Kenig’s mind as he weeps for those lost, is that of 28-year-old soldier Roi Bibar.
Some may not realize that ZAKA did not do their work alone: They toiled alongside brave military soldiers, who shielded them from rockets and live grenades. With each house Kenig entered, Roi would go in first, to check for live explosives. Many times, Kenig says, Bibar’s heroism saved ZAKA volunteers’ lives. He was a hero to heroes.
Tragically, shortly after returning home from 40 grueling days of hauling bodies, Kenig turned on the TV to learn that Bibar had been killed in combat in Gaza. This painful personal loss compounded the immense sadness Kenig felt, which can only come from handling the dead bodies of over a thousand innocent civilians.
The week that Kenig learned of Bibar’s passing was a rough one. Debts loomed overhead, and Kenig and his children were kicked out of their home. Though he had committed his life (in October and over the past 20 years) to helping the Jewish People, there was no one to help him. He was on Israeli TV bringing journalists to tears with the footage he recorded - meanwhile he was homeless.
Unfortunately, there is no financial safety net for the selfless heroes who do the mitzvah of ‘kavod hameis’ (Jewish burial). Natan Kenig is now left to support his family and repay immense debts, after unthinkable trauma.
Jews worldwide are uniting to say “thank you” to Natan Kenig by donating to his family’s personal emergency fund. For Bibar, it is too late. But for Kenig - and his children - there is more life to lead. Together we can make sure they are provided for.