Photo Credit:
Aharon Karov

If you had known what would transpire in Gaza, would you still have left your wife of 24 hours and gone to war?

Absolutely yes. Of course, I do not speculate about things that could have been, but in every other respect I know that whenever I go to the army it is full of danger and this is the choice in life I have made.

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Would your wife agree to that as well?

I am sure she would because her own brother and other family members have been injured in battle and her love for Israel and her fellow Jews has never wavered.

Is it true that you gave away the marathon medallion you were awarded?

It’s true. In Ariel, we commemorate the Second Lebanon War of 2006 by raising funds for the injured soldiers and for the families whose beloved parents, siblings or children fell in that war by running races. One of my friends who fell was named Benayahu Rein. I ran a 10-kilometer race to raise funds for his family. We had grown up together in Kanfei Nesharim and we both moved to Ariel. After finishing my race, I gave my New York City Marathon medallion to his family to demonstrate my great love for him and his family and for his heroism. He was truly a hero, not me.

How do you maintain your optimistic spirit after having gone through such a painful ordeal?

It is my undiminished and undiluted belief that Hashem looks after our people, our nation and our country, and that is my job to protect my brothers and sisters and all other members of our people, no matter the risk. This is what I believe in.

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Daniel Retter, Esq., is the author of the sefer “HaMafteach” (Koren Publishers), an indexed reference guide to Talmud Bavli and the Mishnayos in Hebrew and English. A frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, he practices immigration, real estate, and business law in New York City. He can be contacted at dretter@retterlaw.com.