Readers around the world have been moved this month by the story of Natan Kenig, a ZAKA volunteer of 20+ years. Kenig was one of the first to reach Kibbutz Be’eri after the October 7th Simchat Torah massacre. For 40 grueling days, he worked under constant rocket fire, clearing bodies from the most brutal and grotesque scenes he had ever experienced. Even after two decades of responding to terror attacks and other tragedies, he was not prepared for the carnage of October 7th.
And so, Kenig returned home and found that he was not well. He could not sleep, eat, speak. Panic attacks and flashbacks punctuated his day, and night terrors engulfed his nights. His doctors were clear: He is suffering from severe PTSD and needs intensive treatment immediately. Without it, he may not live. There are four children relying on him to get through this.
Jews from around the world have begun to unite to support Kenig, to show that they understand the severity of this sometimes misunderstood disease. PTSD can destroy lives. The people who have known Kenig, however, closely or from afar, know that he is a hero, and after all he has given, he deserves a chance at a healthy life.