A life committed to motivate others

April 3, 2019 by Henry Benjamin
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Escaping death by the minutest of margins, the gravely injured Israeli soldier Aharon Karov now motivates people around the globe to find their inner strengths, a technique he learned by The founder of the Feuerstein Institute in Jerusalem.

Aharon Karon

Aron is in Australia with Chaim Guggenheim, the vice-president of the Institute on a motivation and fundraising visit.

Aron told J-Wire” Ten years ago, the situation in Israel was very similar today with rockets being launched from Gaza…and the threat of an incursion was looming likely.”

He had arranged his wedding on a Thursday evening and after celebrations on January 1, 2009 were concluded, Aharon and his newly-wed wife head home in Shomron.

In the morning he received a phone call from his commander – “we are going into Gaza”. This was the beginning of Operation Cast Lead.

Aharon, a second lieutenant in the IDF, had a choice but he decided he wanted to defend his country.

He said: “After a few days, we were ordered to enter a home in the Al-Shati refugee campin the Gaza Strip. We entered the house but the house was booby-trapped and a bomb exploded.” Aharon was thrown into the staircase and entire building collapsed on to him. Doctors who attended him but messages were sent to the army and his family to prepare for burial. They believed he was dead.

He is airlifted by a helicopter but a medic said he saw signs of autonomous breathing. The paramedics performed a tracheotomy – first time ever performed in a chopper. Aharon was transported to Beilinson Hospital in Ramat Gan where he was operated on in a single 18 hours session.

In the ICU he remained between life and death.

After 15 days Aharon regained consciousness and started to communicate with his surroundings.

He could not see with his left eye and his nose had gone and he today he has an artificial one. He said: “My teeth “were left in Gaza”. There 600 pieces of shrapnel in one hand. I cannot do a thing. I am just lying in the hospital. He was unable to speak due to brain damage and communications were using sign language.

During the first three months he remembered nothing and did not recognise anyone including his parents.

The road to recovery

He told J-Wire: “I was a 2nd lieutenant who told my soldiers what to do and organised many things including my wedding and suddenly I am totally dysfunctional and could not even dress myself.”

At this time Aharon had lost his will to do anything.

Six months after the injury he met Professor Reuven Feuerstein who founded the eponymous Institute who challenged him to learn a tractate in the Talmud and to start learning English. It was a year’s project.

Feuerstein told him there is a Jewish saying “we don’t rely on miracles”.  He advised Aharon: “Don’t rely on miracles…do what you need to do.”

In hospital

Aharon says the fact he is here is a miracle. He added: “God let me live.”

Feuerstein taught him that now you have the miracle you have to move on.

Feuerstein made him realise that he had strengths within him and he rekindled the motivation in him to move forward.

Aharon has now attended the Feuerstein Institute in Jerusalem for over nine years.   The institute has given Aharon the tools he needed to advance the motivation Feuerstein he rekindled. Aharon has fully recovered his speech and now travels around the world motivating others.

The Institute has helped Aharon attain a degree and he is currently studying for a second. Today the 29-yr-old is a father of three and works as a national youth co-ordinator for the Orthodox Union in Israel and ran the half marathon in New York.

Chaim Guggenheim, the vice-president of the Institute, is travelling with Aharon within Australia. He told J-Wire: “All this comes out from the understanding and ability to have you the inner strengths and the inner strength to translate them.

Aharon’s message is: “Everyone I meet has the inner strengths. What we call potential. You have to realise you have it and you have the ability to translate.”

He said he does not rely on miracles but meeting Professor Feuerstein was a miracle.  He made me realise that anything I can set my mind to do I can. You must always strive for more. Professor Feuerstein sees this as a major lesson.

Aharon Karov will speak Friday night at Bnei Akiva and Shabbat afternoon at Mizrahi. On Sunday there will be a fundraising event at the home of Roni and Deena Goldschlager. The Institute has had a supporter base in Australia for the last three years.

In Sydney, Aharon addressed the Central Synagogue, Kesser Torah College and private meetings.

The Feuerstein Institute believes that everyone – regardless of age, etiology or disability – has the immeasurable ability to enhance their learning aptitude and heighten their intelligence. To help others tap into their latent abilities, we employ the Feuerstein Method, a unique educational tool that has already helped hundreds of thousands of people to improve their learning, thinking and analyzing skills.


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