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Yarden Pizam had three weeks of hugs from her father. When her father, Shai, left their house for the final time, his wife Ma'ayan asked him if it is not hard for him to part from Yarden. Shai smiled and answered: "It's not hard for me. Now, more than ever, I know what I am fighting for."

Ma'ayan, Shai's wife, described Shai as deeply connected to his students. "They were deep in his heart, each and every one of them. Only Shai was capable of combining so much and so precisely. He combined serious and significant Torah study with happiness, laughter and fun."

Shai Pizam HY"D, fell in battle at the age of 23 in Khan Yunis, in the Gaza Strip. He left behind his wife Ma'ayan, his three week old daughter Yarden, parents, family, friends and students from "Yeshivat Har Etzion L'Tzeirim" that he established together with Rabbi Amichai Gordon.

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Ma'ayan describes his special connection to the students there. "Shai shared his excitement about building a new Yeshiva. How the Yeshiva would grow and more and more students would come. I believe we have a responsibility and duty to take what he started and make sure that his dream becomes a reality."

Shai's mother, Carmit, shared that the most important value to Shai was to learn Torah, and to teach Torah in a way that would cause younger students to love Torah, Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael.

Rav Amichai Gordon describes his partnership with Shai. "We are indebted to Shai for his contribution to our new Yeshiva. Shai carried the weight of the Yeshiva on his shoulders from its inception and was part of the team that developed the character of the Yeshiva: Tefilla, learning Seder, Yamim Noraim, and the atmosphere of friendship, trust and family.

Shai died at a young age, but left behind a broad legacy. His legacy expresses itself in dozens of students that he educated, and the mark he left on their hearts forever. His legacy expresses itself in the Yeshiva that Shai had such a tremendous impact on in such a short amount of time.

The students took it upon themselves to make sure that Shai's legacy continues to be with us in order to help us be better and happier people. The students took it upon themselves that Shai's death will not dim the light of goodness in the world, but will only increase it. We took it upon ourselves that his spirit will always live within us.

Just recently, they established the cornerstone of the Beit Midrash of Yeshivat Har Etzion L'Tzeirim in memory of Shai as part of their commitment to him and his legacy, and have appealed to the public to contribute to the cause.