Photo Credit: RHCC
Astar Moshe and Shlomi Tobi at Rambam hospital with their newborn baby.

The lives saved at the Nova nature festival took on new meaning a few days ago at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, when two survivors of the massacre became parents.

“The moment came when the delivery room ID was placed on my hand, right next to my Nova admittance band. Seeing them on my hand, side-by-side, I started to cry,” said the new father, Shlomi Tobi, 37.


Tobi and his partner Astar Moshe, 35, arranged for her to give birth at Rambam. When Shlomi stood next to her, cradling his newborn son, the intensity of the moment was palpable to all who had accompanied them through the birth. This was the moment when the survivors of the Nova Blood Bath brought new life into the world.

“It is not obvious, and not at all understandable,” said Astar who was sitting up in bed at the maternity ward, holding her newborn with Shlomi by her side. “We could so easily have been part of those who are no longer with us today, or part of the hostages, waiting to return home,” she said tearfully. “Thank God for this treasure we hold in our hands.”

The events of October 7 trapped Shlomi and Astar in southern Israel, at the Nova nature party, which was in full swing when the missiles and gunfire began to close in around them. “A party that became a defining event,” Astar recalled. “We didn’t understand what was happening. We thought it was a code red attack that would soon pass – the usual things. We never imagined such a massacre,” she said.

“You were such a hero,” Shlomi tells her, “You led us away in a mad dash.”

Already a couple of months pregnant, Astar was mobilized by the horrors around her. Every maternal instinct kicked in and she led her partner and some friends in a frenzied run to escape. “All I cared about was keeping the treasure in my womb, my partner, and my friendships. We couldn’t look back. There was only death and terror behind us. We had to keep moving forward all the time,” she recalled, then explained, “There were moments when Shlomi told me, ‘Astar, you’re pregnant. Come on, let’s stop, rest a bit.’ I couldn’t agree to stop for a moment. I told him that if I stopped, I didn’t know if I could continue.”

Shlomi recalls, “Everything was random. We didn’t know where we were going or what we were running from. People were being shot and falling, right by us. Gunshots came from everywhere and we followed her.”

They ran for 20 kilometers until they arrived at Moshav Patish. “An amazing family took us in and cared for us. They checked that she was okay, and we could begin to relax. That’s when we started to get what just happened.”

Over the past six months, the couple has faced considerable challenges in returning to their normal routine. “After going through something like this, it’s not easy to act as though everything is fine,” said the new mother. “The feelings accompany us every moment of every day, but each one has our own defense mechanisms to rely on.”


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