February 6, 2015

February 6, 2015

Dear Friends,

I hope that you week went well for you and your dear ones.

One of the hardest parts of being injured is coming to terms with the challenges that some of us have to live with.  Challenges we did not choose. It may seem strange, but one of the best ways to overcome our injuries is by learning how to overcome challenges that we ourselves choose.

This years challenge event is big and will inspire all of our almost five hundred brothers…. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro!  For the past three months, 12 of our brothers have been training to deal with the snow, cold, and thin air of the eight day climb, and yesterday the challenge began.

Photo of the climbing team training on the stairs of a Tel Aviv sky scraper.

A few words about two of the members of this team:

Vlad Kazachkov – 28 years old, married to Rotem. Vlad served in the Golani Brigade, and was injured in the Second Lebanon War. He was awarded a medal for his bravery in the battle of Binth Jbel, where 7 soldiers were killed (including the commanding officers) and 24 more injured. Vlad took charge and commanded over the remaining part of the unit for the rest of the battle, evacuated multiple injured under fire, as well as the bodies of his fellow soldiers.

Here is a link to a video of the ceremony where Vlad received the medal:

Currently Vlad works for a large construction company, after finishing a degree in engineering.

Yechiel Gutman – 35 years old, married and a father of three. Served as an officer in the Armored Forces. Was severely injured to his head when an anti-tank bomb exploded underneath his tank. Three other soldiers on the team were killed.  Currently he works as a Community Center Manager.

There are 10 other of our lions participating in this challenge. We wish them luck, as they will be the example for all of us.

Shabbat Shalom from Israel,