I would like to share with you very moving moments that I experienced yesterday (on Shabbat) while watching the final game of the wheelchair tennis tournament at the Paralympics Games.
Noam Gershony served as a pilot of Apache Helicopter during the second Lebanese War on 2006. (He was 23 years old). He was on the way towards the Lebanese border to assist IDF troops when his helicopter crashed to the ground. His co-pilot was killed, while Gershony was rushed to the hospital with life threatening injuries. He began a long and arduous recovery process and never gave up…
Yesterday he won a gold metal becoming the first Israeli to win a Paralympics Gold since 2004.
I believe this was much more than winning in a prestigious sports competition, it was a symbol of our destiny in our beloved country. It gave us so much pride to see the pilot who endangered his life for our nation, and against all odds with self discipline, faith and courage managed to overcome his handicap and reached the highest possible achievement in the sports world. He certainly symbolized the triumph of the human spirit!
“I can’t put into words how it felt to hear Hatikva and see the flag at the top of the pole,” said Gershony, who couldn’t stop the tears as the national anthem sounded. “I never thought I would have the chance to represent the country and certainly never believed that I would be able to bring it such honor”.
Please view the ceremony with “Hatikva” …
As long as deep in the heart,
The soul of a Jew Yearns,
And towards the East
An eye looks to Zion.
Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.