Caliber 3 is named after Captain Hagai Haim Lev.
Hagai dedicated his life to protecting the people of Israel. Two weeks before he was killed, he traveled as part of a military delegation (uniformed witnesses) on a tour of the concentration camps in Poland. When asked why he is going there, Hagai said: “It is my job as a commander in the IDF to remember our history and teach the soldiers why we are fighting here and who we are defending.
The values that Hagai lived his life by, and then fought and was killed for, are the values we teach and pass on here at Caliber 3.
Captain Hagai Haim Lev
The son of Noah and Shimon
Was born at Even Shmuel on the 22nd of Tishrei, 5739
Fell during a military operation
On the first of Av, 5762 (10/7/2002)
He was laid to rest in the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery
He left behind a wife, parents and five brothers and sisters
Captain Lev was 24 years old when he fell
The son of Noa and Shimon. Born on Simchat Torah, the 22nd of Tishrei 5739 (23.10.1978) in Even Shmuel. A day of holiday and joy, and as such he was named. The fifth child of six, brother to Einat, Nadav, Amichai, Yael and Gitit.
Redhead and freckled, with the personality of a red-head and a huge smile. When Hagai was five years old, the family moved to Efrat in Gush Etzion. In kindergarten, Hagai was a head taller than the rest of the children and the most mischievous. On every vacation, Hagai collected friends with whom he went for trips and nature walks. While growing up, they would go hiking and abseiling in Sinai.
Hagai was active in "Bnei Akiva" and helped organize social events at every opportunity. In the 11th grade, he became a Bnei Akiva leader. His sixth-grade students loved him and kept in touch with him over the years. Hagai spent his high school years at the Kfar Avraham technology yeshiva, where he specialized as an electrician’s assistant. When he finished his studies, Hagai decided to attend an army preparation program in Atzmona, in Gush Katif, to strengthen himself religiously and spiritually and prepare for the army.
In Atzmona, Hagai found his place. He would sit for days and nights in the beit midrash, Hagai stayed in the program for a year and a half and stood out as a serious and beloved student. He kept in touch with the mechina in Atzmona until the day of his death.
.In March 1998, Hagai was drafted into the Elite Reconnaissance unit. From the first moment in the army, he was seen as a disciplined, strong and serious soldier, an integral part of the team. His friends and commanders always noted his physical strength and his willingness to help and encourage friends at all times. During his military service, Hagai was briefly in Lebanon, and spent most of the time in the Gaza Strip. After taking an officers' course, he became a commander of his unit.
In May 2001, he fell in love and married Nurit. The two lived in Neve Daniel in Gush Etzion. Hagai began serving as a lieutenant colonel, while maintaining continuous contact with his soldiers. Although he was newly married, Hagai reached a joint decision with his wife to sign on to the army permanently.
Hagai began in his position of lieutenant colonel and was scheduled to take the company commanders' course in November 2002.
On Sunday, The first of Av, 5762 (10.7.2002), the Givati forces set out on a routine mission to search for weapon smuggling tunnels in Rafah. Hagai was given charge of a patrol force responsible for carrying out the mission, and his team positioned themselves by a nearby house.
The night passed relatively quietly and in the morning Hagai ordered his soldiers to prepare to move. He entered the room and placed himself in a position that would allow him to observe with minimum of exposure. Two shots were fired at the house, one bullet hit Hagai. Hagai was taken to Soroka Hospital where he was pronounced dead, at twenty-four years old.
Hagai was buried in the military cemetery on Mount Herzl. On his tombstone was engraved a verse that was said of King David: "And he is a redhead with beautiful eyes and good looks" (1 Samuel 16:16, 12). He is survived by his wife, parents and five brothers and sisters. After his death he was promoted to the rank of major.