This week our community is hosting its 13th delegation of wounded IDF soldiers.
At breakfast today, Hilal Besan shared his story. Hilal comes from a Druze family and he finished his army service with distinction. Hilal is a triplet, and one of his brothers worked as a prison guard until he was killed in 2010 while trying to save others from fires raging across the country.
Hilal and his wife have one child, and after the tragedy they adopted his brother’s children. The children live right next door with their mom, and are co-parenting all three. So when people ask Hilal how many children he has, he answers, “One plus three.”
In 2012 Hilal left his job and decided to honor his brother’s memory by becoming an officer in Israel’s prison guard unit. Two years later, while he was transporting a prisoner from his cell, the prisoner asked to use the bathroom where he managed to retrieve a pistol which had been smuggled in for him. He started shooting and Hilal immediately tried to subdue him. The prisoner shot Hilal twice in the chest, but his adrenalin kicked in and he didn’t even realize how critically he had been wounded. With the help of fellow officers he was able to tackle the prisoner and calm the situation, preventing many potential deaths. For this, he later received Israel’s highest medal of honor.
But at the time, Hilal was critically wounded. He lost a tremendous amount of blood and spent 45 days in intensive care. Twice he was actually considered clinically dead but the doctors were able to revive him.
When Hilal shared his story at breakfast, there was not a dry eye in the room. What incredible sacrifices this man has made!
In this week’s parsha we read about the birth of Jacob and Esau, who represent the powers of good and evil, respectively. Jacob represents kindness, patience and peace. Esau represents evil, terrorism, murder and sin. With their birth, the eternal battle between good and evil began.
Our job is to subdue the evil. We know we will be victorious. We know, without a shadow of doubt, that we will win this war. When we meet heroes like Hilal, it reminds us of the power of good, and motivates us to dig deep and find ways to help those around us in small ways or large. We, like Hilal, will be victorious!