Dima and Anna made aliyah with their family from Russia. In their sparse room, the two created an exciting imaginary world. When their father was cleaning the house, they would sail on a stormy sea, cross remote islands and dance with other children. Even when they grew up, their imaginary landscapes remained in their hearts and took on a different meaning for Anna after Dima was killed.
In memory of Dima Levitas
Son of Marina and Alexander, Dmitri (Dima) was born in the Soviet Union on the 16th of Tishrei 5749 (September 27, 1988). He was their second child and was brother to Anna and Daniel.
Dima was 4 when the family made aliyah to Israel in 1990. Anna, Dima’s sister, wrote the following: “When we were kids, we had a favorite game that we would play every week. We would imagine that our beds were boats and each of us would arrange our bed like the boats we imagined. And we would wait for dad to come to wash the floor in our room. When he finished, there was a massive ocean spread out in front of us. I would say ‘Dimi, the floor is an ocean and you can’t step on it. Whoever does will drown.’ And he would look at me with a broad smile – he was ready for our weekly adventure. Thus, we would sail on our boats for days and nights, we would fish in the ocean with a huge net that we would throw into the water and finally we would light a fire and fry the fish.
Dima Lavitas z"l
I loved the feeling of danger of being little kids in a small boat in the massive ocean. But more than anything, I loved knowing that every time that my brother would fall off the little boat into the water I could save him. I would throw him a blanket and pull with all my might. He would get on to my boat and now we were both on one boat. He was my guest and we would do everything together. We would fish and light a fire; clean the boat and set the sails. Our game would go on until we saw a distant shore.”
Dima and Anna made aliyah with their families from Russia and settled in Kibbutz Gesher in Israel. In their simple room, the two created wild and exciting imaginary worlds, which took on a different meaning for Anna when Dima was killed during Operation Protective Edge. Anna Levitas describes her brother Dima Levitas z”l and the video “Free Imagination”.
Dmitri joined the army on March 18, 2007. He served as a combat solder in Armored Brigade 7. He did the officers course and continued on as a professional soldier in the unit. Several months before his death, he completed the company commander course and planned a long-term service in the army. His mother recounted that during the month before his death he did not get to be at home because of Operation Brother’s Keeper. On the last occasion that she saw Dima, he was smiling and wearing a pink shirt. He hugged his mother and asked how she was. He was in a good mood. That moment is burned into her memory.
In June 2014, there was increased rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel and as a result Israel initiated Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza. The operation started on July 8, 2014 with aerial bombardment and nine days later, ground forces entered Gaza to deal with the sources of missile fire and the terror tunnels, missions that were completed by the end of the operation in late August.
Captain Dmitri Levitas fell in battle during Operation Protective Edge on the 25th of Tammuz 5774 (July 22, 2014). Captain Natan Cohen fell together with him. Dmitri was 25 five years old on his death. He was buried in the military cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
He was eulogized as a “sociable and egoless angel” by his friends on the kibbutz and in his unit. He was described as a true friend who first worried about his friends and his fellow man and only then about himself. This was also reflected in his military service. Dima was thought of as an officer with stature, for whom professionalism and attention to detail were his guiding light. He quickly gained the confidence of his commanders thanks to his nature and then he would take the reins.