Erez Idan promised his mother that he would call at 22:30 after returning from the patrol. When the telephone rang at the promised time, someone else was at the other end of the line. Studio Neko, the creators of the memorial clip, describe the image that best conveyed the cutting off of his life – his long braid that was cut off prior to his joining the army.
In memory of Erez Idan - 3rd Kislev 5744 (November 9, 1983) – 24th of Tishrei 5764 (October 19, 2003)
“Erez had a pony tail and he wanted to keep it until he joined the army. A day before he joined, we gave him a haircut. What a big deal that was…a real family project. Everyone stood around – grandmother, friends and his mother who was unsuccessfully trying to cut his hair. They gathered it in a braid and each person in turn tried to cut it off. We tried scissors and a hairdressing razor. He had long and tough hair and it took us over an hour to finish the job.”
(Tomer Idan about his brother Erez. From the book “Longing for a Hug”, published by the One Family organization.)
Erez Idan was a mischievous child who knew exactly what he wanted and how to get it. Erez’ first love was the sea. From the age of 8, he wind surfed at the Laguna Club and since then, at every opportunity, he would wander down to the beach, even at the expense of his studies. From Grade 11 on, he was focused on the army. He knew that he would contribute the maximum in any unit that he serves in and that is exactly what happened. On March 19, 2002, he joined the Duchifat Battalion. The basic training was very difficult but Erez wrote down the following in a notebook he took with him everywhere: “Difficult is good, pain is even better” and “hard is only in the case of bread, and even then you eat it.”
Erez Idan z"l
At the end of basic training, he was sent to the squad leaders course, which he finished successfully, and was then sent to command a unit of yeshiva graduates. He had a great relationship with them, even though he had little connection to religion. His soldiers described him as going from tent to tent at night and devoting much of his free time to conversations with them. When they finished basic training, Erez had to leave them in order to prepare to become an officer.
On the 24th of Tishrei 5764 (October 19, 2003) at 15:25, he had his last conversation with his mother. He told her that he was going out on patrol. His mother asked that he call her on his return and he promised to do so around 22:30. Erez did not return from the patrol and at the agreed-upon hour, the family received notification that he had been killed. Erez left the outpost in Ofra on a foot patrol with three soldiers under his command: Roi Yakobi, Elad Falk and Gilad Shahaf. In the village of Ein Yabrud, near Ofra, they were ambushed by five terrorists. Erez, Roi and Elad were killed and Gilad was badly wounded.
According to Bagira Idan, mother of Erez Idan z"l, the goal of the video clip is to recreate a moment from Erez's life which occurred before he joined the army. Erez had wild hair – he had no choice but to cut it. Erez's family gathered for a haircutting ceremony, and the whole family took an active part. His mother recounts how many years later the memory of cutting his hair stirs strong feelings of guilt in her.
Comments from the Neko Studio, the producers of the memorial clip:
Already early on in the project, we got wrapped up in it and as we progressed, we felt that we were getting to know Erez better and better. We learned how special and charismatic he was and that he was a born leader. Erez reminded Yoav, the animator of the clip, of his younger brother, who also grew his hair long in high school and loved to wind surf.
The challenge facing us was to convey this moving story as a unit and therefore we focused on the connection that was created in retrospect between the cutting off of his hair and the cutting off of his life. We considered other ideas, but we quickly realized that the connection, between the end of his time in high school and the beginning of his time in the army, is the visual component that best conveys the message.