On Tuesday, representatives from Together with Them- איתם ולמענם, an Israeli organization whose mission is to unify wounded soldiers, visited the Hebrew Academy high school. During a school wide assembly, Brigadier General Avigdor Kahalani, a veteran of both the 6-Day War and the Yom Kippur War, passionately spoke about his experiences as well as the importance of supporting Israel.
“It’s very inspiring that a general came to talk to us, and it means a lot to me because my brother’s in the army,” said Yudi Waks (11th).
Born in 1944, Kahalani grew up in a Zionistic household; when he was 5 years old, his father left to fight in the Israeli Independence War of 1948. As a young man, Kahalani stepped into his father’s shoes, leaving home to fight the 6-Day War in 1967. However, he returned from this war severely injured, as his tank was hit by a large bomb. When he arrived at the hospital 7 hours later, he learned that 60% of his body was burned, requiring multiple reconstructive surgeries during his year-long stay in the hospital.
Despite the severity of his injuries, Kahalani returned to the military in time for the Yom Kippur War of 1973, where he served as a 29-year old Lieutenant Colonel and battalion commander. Kahalani’s troops engaged in an extreme, defensive battle against the Syrian soldiers, the ratio of soldiers being 10 Syrians for every Israeli soldier. This battle became an important turning point in the war as a whole, and for his heroic service, Kahalani was awarded the Medal of Valor.
“The assembly pushed me to keep going forward towards my goal of joining the IDF,” said Noah Bensoussan (11th).
Through his inspiring speech, General Avigdor Kahalani demonstrated the significance of fighting for your country, whether physically or vocally. He emphasized the mental fortitude of the Jewish people, encouragingly stating, “We don’t have gold, oil, or gas, but we have our brains.”
Written by: The Warrior Word Staff