The close knit community of the Zayit Ra’anan synagogue in Efrat, a town of 11,000 people in the Judean Hills just south of Jerusalem, has lost another hero.
Roey Weiser, 21, a sergeant in the Golani Brigade of the IDF, was killed in the early hours of Shabbat/Simchat Torah, when Hamas terrorists pored across the border in their murderous spree.
Weiser was defending the border on a base near the Erez Crossing when it became overrun with terrorists. According to the few survivors of the battle, Weiser took it on himself to try and distract the armed terrorists from behind, but was killed while engaging the enemy.
Through his actions, at least twelve soldiers were able to escape and were subsequently rescued. Survivors have called and visited the Weiser family in Efrat, which is still waiting to bury Roey, to tell them about his bravery and heroism.
The Weisers live in the Zayit neighborhood in Efrat, and Roey’s father, Yami, was close friends with Ari Fuld, who was murdered in a terrorist attack by a Palestinian terrorist at the Gush Etzion Junction in 2018. Fuld is remembered for his heroism in chasing and killing the terrorist who mortally wounded him before he could kill anyone else.
The Zayit Raanan synagogue is also the community of Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife Lucy and daughters Maia and Rina were brutally murdered in a terrorist attack in the Jordan Valley during Pesach earlier this year.
Like many in the community, Roey Weiser held a dual nationality and was also an American citizen. His father Yami and mother Naomi both made Aliyah from Silver Spring, Maryland, and New York, respectively, as children.
Roey was a dedicated and passionate young man, who before his conscription, was a volunteer local firefighter, and much beloved in the community. He always put others first and cared for those around him, even in his final moments.
A religious and committed Jew, his family relates how on the most recent Yom Kippur, Roey was worried that he wouldn’t be able to get to a synagogue for the Neilah service so he asked his father to drive down to his base with as many Machzorim as possible so he and his unit could pray wherever they were.
Roey was described by friends as a leader, caring, passionate and sometimes a jokester, who always had a smile on his face.
“He died a hero, but he was always a hero throughout his life, whatever he did, to us and everyone around him,” said his father Yami.
Unfortunately, an overload in the system due to the overwhelming number of Israeli losses, slowed down the release of Roey’s body from the IDF.
Through a mass mobilization of friends and relatives, using all of their various contacts, Roey’s body was processed on Tuesday and set for release for burial on Wednesday morning.
The Zayit Ra’anan community has once again had to deal with painful loss, but its residents, and particularly its youth, have come together to give strength to the family through a series of prayer vigils, standing on the streets with Israeli flags in solidarity, and making signs of support.
This incredible community of committed and passionate Jews and Zionists, many of whom made Aliyah from the US, Canada, the UK and elsewhere, is once burying one of its own.
Roey will be given a sendoff fitting for a hero and will be always fondly remembered by all who knew him.
May Roey Chaim Weiser’s memory be for a blessing!