We first came to know Ohad Ben Yishai under not the most pleasant of circumstances. Ohad's story was not supposed to take the turn that it did, but fate dealt him a blow and decided otherwise. He was one of the most seriously injured soldiers during Operation Protective edge.
His memory was severely impacted, his speech was affected and he was confined to a wheelchair unable to walk. It was almost like starting his life from scratch. His good fortune was that he and his family did not give up hope and were determined to put all of their efforts into his battle to return to a normal life.
Today, almost 2 years after his injury, Ohad is reaping the benefits of his determination. He has not fully recovered and still has a long journey ahead, but he has progressed more than anyone could have dreamed of.
His Golani brigade's tradition is that every class that is drafted go on an overseas trip together upon their release from their compulsory service. His group were planning a trip to Nepal and Thailand together. Despite Ohad's injuries, his comrades-in-arms were determined to include him in their vacation.
This trip was not taken for granted as Ohad is still not independent as he cannot do many things on his own. His friends refused to break their tradition and would not accept travelling on vacation without him. Ohad's whole family was recruited, and together they made the impossible possible.
The highlight of the trip was when they all celebrated the Seder with his family, friends and many Israeli tourists on the island of Koh Samui. The Israeli tourists were excited when they heard that Ohad would be celebrating the Seder together with them. He was enthusiastically welcomed with a lot of love and appreciation.
There is no holiday that symbolizes freedom more than Passover, and there is no doubt Ohad’s long journey is getting closer and closer to what he seeks the most, to be independent, which means to be free.