By COLlive reporter
Photos: Shimi Kutner
Yehuda was a member of the famed Givati Battalion of the Israel Defense Forces. In November 2012, he was driving a military jeep on a patrol along the Gaza border.
Without warning, a missile fired from Gaza hit the jeep. Yehuda and the others seated in the back were all wounded. Yehuda’s injury was the most severe. He was hit in his head and ultimately lost his sight.
Four days later, while Yehuda was still in the intensive care unit at Soroka Hospital, the Pillar of Defense operation began in earnest. The eight-day operation began in part in response to over 100 rockets that had been fired into Israel within a 24 hour period.
Yehuda’s parents, Hannah and Israel, were at his bedside constantly from the first moment and tended to him with endless dedication. As the family was struggling with the impact of Yehuda’s injuries, Rabbi Menachem Kutner, Director, Chabad’s Terror Victims Project (CTVP) raced to the hospital to be with them.
Since then, Chabad has been with the family throughout the long, and often difficult, rehabilitation period.
Just recently, Yehuda’s little brother, Nehorai, celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. It was a beautiful simcha at the Western Wall, organized and carried out by Chabad.
Among the many emotional moments during the Bar Mitzvah, one that brought tears to the eyes of everyone there was when Yehuda helped to put tefillin on his brother. Everyone there shouted Mazal Tov with tears of joy streaming down their faces.