During the Second Lebanon War, officer Asael Lubotzky, then 23, was critically wounded by an anti-tank missile during one of the bloodiest battles of the war, the battle of Bint Jbeil. Doctors were unsure if Lubotzky would live, and feared that if he survived he would lose his right leg.
Lubotzky not only survived the injury, but went on to learn to walk again, to marry, and to write a popular book about his wartime experiences and those of his comrades in arms. On Wednesday, he and his wife welcomed their first child, a baby girl.
As he entered the rehabilitation center in Tel Hashomer hospital four years ago, Lubotzky wrote, “For me, the Lebanon War is over. I knew that I would never return to this battle, to the Second Lebanon War.
“But now I face war on a different front: the battle for life. To recover from the wound, to survive the infections, to get through the surgeries and treatments, to deal with the pain, to learn to walk again and to return to normal life.”
He wrote the book Min Hamidbar V'haLevanon (From the Desert and Lebanon), in which he related his own story and the stories of those who served with him during the war – both those who survived and those who were killed. The book also recalls his experiences in the Summer Rain operation in Gaza, conducted shortly before the Second Lebanon War.
The book became a bestseller and won critical acclaim.
In 2009, Asael married Avital Shimal. He stood under the chuppah (marriage canopy) and broke the glass using the leg doctors had almost amputated three years earlier.
He is currently studying medicine in Jerusalem.