A Miracle for Chanukah ’09: TV Interview with Recovered Injured Groom Aaron Karov

You are not going to believe this. A true miracle for Chanukah ’09.

Lt. Aaron Karov, who last year went to fight in the Gaza War less than 24 hours after his wedding, and was the most severely injured soldier from the Gaza War, is now nearly fully recovered and giving TV interviews.

The doctors, who had initially given him up for dead, are in shock about the miraculous progress he has made.

Thank you G-d!

If you speak Hebrew, you’ve got to watch this video about Lt. Karov’s miraculous recovery. It is unbelievably moving and inspirational. If you need help with the Hebrew, you can read the summary below of what Lt. Karov says in the interview before you watch this phenomenal video.

Interview Highlights
Aaron Karov: “I wanted to say a few things to the Jewish people, to all the people who prayed for me. I want to say ‘Thank you!’ If I could only kiss every single one of you…”

“We don’t despair. It doesn’t matter what happens. We don’t despair.

When Karov first regained the power of speech, the first thing he did was call his wife, Tzvia, to say “I love you.”

“We have to contribute to Israel. If we don’t contribute to our country, who will?…As much as possible, we should go into leadership positions in the army.”

The interviewer: “And you never ask G-d questions? Why this happened?”

Karov answers: “Not at all…”

“I, Tzvia, and G-d, we are walking together. I always feel that there is Someone else together with us…A entity of goodness.”

Here’s a full translation of the entire clip:

12 hours after his chuppah, he was already inside Gaza. His title of 2nd Lieutenant in the Paratroopers unit met up with his title as a newly-married groom, and the army won. Aaron Karov and his soldiers were going from house to house to locate weapons until he came across the explosive that turned him into the most critically injured soldier in the entire Cast Lead Operation. This is how this young man whose parents and wife had been told that he was killed sounded this past week.

Interviewer (Sivan Rahav Meir): Hello Aaron Karov
Aaron Karov: Hello
Interviewer: How are you?
Aaron Karov:Thank G-d. Amazing.
Interviewer: Amazing?
Aaron Karov: Amazing? Why not?
Interviewer: Why did you finally decide to speak in front of the camera?
Aaron Karov: I want to say a few things to the Jewish people. To all the people who prayed for me. I want to say “Thank You!” If I could only kiss every single one of you…
Interviewer: That’s what you would do
Aaron Karov:Yes.

He would like to express his gratitude to the people who sent him the thousands of letters that he is now slowly reading through. His family created an album full of comments from internet articles that appeared about his story.

Interviewer: You are the only person in this whole country who receives only good comments on his internet articles!
Aaron and Rabbi Karov (Aaron’s Father): [Laughing]
Rabbi Karov: There is one comment here that says “I hope that one day you will be able to read this comment.”

A year ago, kassams were falling on Beersheva, Ashkelon, and Kiryat Gat. The IDF prepared itself to enter Gaza. 2nd Lt. Karov was released to return home only a day prior to his wedding.

Aaron Karov: We got married. It was amazing. And then we went to our home in Kedumim. And then my company commander called. He said “You have to come back. My wife and I cried and…finally I left. I went to the Tseelim base.”
Interviewer: She wasn’t angry that you left like that for the war? Even you yourself, aren’t you sorry sometimes that you had to go?
Aaron Karov: I’m saying, she and I knew that I had to leave for the battle. Why? Because I had been with those soldiers since the beginning.

Instead of 7 days of joy and celebration of the Sheva Brachot, Karov was searching for weapons house by house until the terrible event.

Aaron Karov: We entered into the back of the house. We went up about four steps. We turned left, and then we got to the door. The bomb exploded. I flew back.
Interviewer: All of this you don’t remember. You are reenacting it. People told you.
Aaron Karov: People told me. I don’t remember anything from approximately 8 or 9 steps from before the injury. Nothing.
Interviewer: I’ll tell you what I remember. That at our news desk they said that morning “That young man, the groom who went to war, has apparently been killed. He’s so critical that he won’t survive.”
Aaron Karov: Many people said I was in critical condition, even when my wife went, she arrived with the officers, and her friend came and asked them “What’s the diagnosis for this one…” And they did this [hand movement indicating that he was dying].
Rabbi Karov: The officer who came to tell us, his message was clear, that this was the end. He didn’t say it that way. He said, “Aaron has been injured very critically. We have to hurry to the hospital.” And he added: “To say goodbye to him.”

The Karov family agreed to present several family films from this difficult year that give us a sense of his remarkable recovery. For the first few days, he lay like this. On life support and in an induced coma. The Chassidic singer Avraham Fried came to his bedside to sing him a wedding melody, when it appeared that he was comatose.

After three weeks in that department, he was released to the rehab department of the hospital. His doctor parts from him and salutes him.

Doctor: As a doctor in the Golani brigade, even though I am a Major, I salute a brave 2nd Lieutenant. I’ll be seeing you.

Nurse: Slowly, slowly. What? You don’t want to go back to your room?
Here is the documentation of the first step.

Today Karov explains where he got the strength to fight the battle, not the one on the battefield, but the one that he faced every day in the hospital department.

Aaron Karov: We don’t despair, no matter what! We do not despair. From the very beginning, when it wasn’t me, when it was my family, they didn’t despair for one moment.

After that, came the first words. Karov refuses to be emotional when he tells what he said when the power of speech returned to him.

Aaron Karov: “My sister, Miriam, was with me. She said, “Call Tsvia.” Tsvia wasn’t there. She was at home. So I called Tsvia and I told her, “I love you.”

And these are rehabilitation exercises with his father (footage of them punching a punching bag). And to this day, he follows a daily rehab regemin. His rehabiliation has shocked doctors with its speed. And he is about to leave for a series of plastic surgeries in the US, to improve the appearance of his face, about which he is not embarrassed.

Aaron Karov: “OK, that’s it, OK, so let’s say that small children look at you like this [shocked expression]. OK. And older children and adults walk behind me and then look at me. Because it’s not nice to look at me this way, so they look at me that way. It’s OK. What can you do?”

There’s one thing that he doesn’t want to talk about: politics. He doesn’t want to give his opinion on the freezing of building in the settlements, on the refusal of soldiers to evacuate settlements, on the Goldstone report that writes about the same military operation that he participated in. Karov studied at the Hesder Yeshiva in Gush Katif, and he is only willing to say that the disengagement was a mistake in his opinion. And to talk about the motivation to serve in the army.

Aaron Karov: We have to contribute to our country. If we don’t contribute to the country, who will? The people who don’t serve?! What can we do? As much as possible, we need to serve in the upper ranks of the army.

Interviewer: You talk a lot about G-d, and about faith.
Aaron Karov: All the time. I really feel that it’s Tsvia, me, and G-d. We’re walking together. We’re together. I always feel that there’s Someone else. That there’s Someone else besides Tsvia, and that’s G-d. An entity of goodness.
Interviewer: And you don’t sometimes ask Him questions. Why?
Aaron Karov: Absolutely not.
Almost a year has passed since the 10 pieces of shrapnel entered his body including his brain, a year of 10 difficult operations, and countless hours of exhausting rehabilation. It wasn’t surprising to learn at the end of our interview that Aaron Karov grew up and became who he is today on the street called HaTivka, the Hope.
Aaron Karov: “The person responsible for all of the injured soldiers, at six someone told him ‘At Belinson there is someone who’s going to die. In a few minutes he’s going to die.’ And now, thank G-d, I’m not. I’m not. I’m not. What are you going to do?”

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2 comments

  1. Dora Cohen

    I am so proud of you and so thankful to Hashem for your recovery! You have such a positive attitude in life and such faith in Hashem that HE saved your life! You are an inspiration to all of us! Thank you, thank you, thank you for protecting our country Israel! We love you!
    Dora and family from Toronto, Canada

  2. Our family in New York are wishing you brachot ve brachot in your future.
    The family that raised you has alot to teach all of us, and you have taught us so much. We wish you all the best, and we deeply thank you for being on of our Chayalim. Our tefilot are with you for your full recovery.

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