Sergeant major (res.) Arik Kraunik
On the morning of October 7th, when Arik heard the words, "there's shooting in the kibbutz," from his walkie-talkie, he was skeptical, but he told his daughters to go to the bomb shelter in their home.
While his family took cover, Arik fearlessly ventured out to confront the terrorists who had infiltrated their peaceful community. He then engaged in a direct battle with the assailants at the gate of Be’eri. Tragically, Arik became the first casualty in Kibbutz Be’eri, sacrificing his own life to protect his fellow residents.
Arik's character was marked by his constant concern for others, making it no surprise that he played an integral role in the events of the kibbutz. Beyond his duties as the head of security, he also served as the beloved coach of the basketball team, always welcoming people into his home with open arms. Arik was known to be an ardent fan of Arik Einstein, and his warm and approachable nature made him someone whom everyone felt they could rely on not only for assistance but also for a listening ear.
Tamar, Arik's eldest daughter, recently completed her officers' course, a few short weeks after her father's tragic demise. Speaking about her father's character and his final act of heroism, she said, "Dad would always put others before himself... on his last day alive, he rushed to the scene first and was killed first." These words capture the essence of Arik's selfless nature and his unwavering dedication to the safety and well-being of those around him.
Arik is survived by his wife Sigal and their four children: Chen, Tamar, Hagar, and Noa. The legacy he leaves behind is one of courage, compassion, and a deep sense of community. His memory will forever be cherished, and his sacrifice will serve as a reminder of the indomitable spirit that resides within the people of Kibbutz Be’eri.
יהיה זיכרו ברוך 🕯️
About The Author
Liana Weinberger is a Tel Aviv University student and IDF reservist. She started the Fallen Soldier Tribute to commemorate each fallen member of our nation and give meaning to the growing list of those taken from us.