Gadi Eizenkot
Gadi Eizenkot Flash 90

A haredi soldier serving in the Israeli Air Force (IAF) recently had an emotional chance encounter with IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, as reported by Channel 2.

The soldier, identified only as A., is married and the father of a half-year-old baby son.

Around half a year ago A. was injured in a lethal bus crash in the Binyamin region of Samaria, an accident which claimed the life of 19-year-old female soldier Stav Partosh.

During the medical treatment and checks that he underwent following the crash, the doctors discovered a tumor in A.'s head.

The report noted that A. repeatedly requested that an MRI scan be set up for him, but it was scheduled for far-off date several months later despite the potential dangers posed by the tumor.

"Every time they gave me the runaround, they denied my requests for this important check that is required in order to diagnose the level of the tumor and to choose the method of treatment," A. explained to those close to him.

"I felt that I was being abandoned again. It wasn't enough that the (haredi) society that I live in excommunicated me, harmed me and caused me serious financial troubles, but also in the army, the body that I fought to enlist in, I find myself in a war for my life."

On Memorial Day two weeks ago A. visited the grave of Partosh at the Har Herzl military cemetery.

Several minutes later he was surprised to see Eizenkot, the IDF Chief of Staff.

"I didn't plan anything, everything was spontaneous. I was there by coincidence," A. recounted in a talk with his lawyer Eyal Paltak. "I walked up to the Chief of Staff and spoke with him from the heart, from my soul."

"I told him: 'Chief of Staff, do you want another family in Israel to be bereaved?' I told him about what happened. He was very attentive, he understood my distress. His aides took down my details. He didn't cut me off once. Only after I finished he hugged me warmly and wished me a full recovery. I was very moved by what he said."

Several hours after the chance encounter, A. received a phone call in which he was told that an MRI scan had been scheduled for him in the coming days, and a taxi was even sent to his home to bring him to Tel Hashomer Hospital for the check.

"All in all I voiced the cry of my family. I was helpless. I'm afraid that God forbid my wife will be left alone with the baby. I want to say that I truly felt that the Chief of Staff understood me, that I touched his heart and I want to thank him for listening to me and making sure they took care of my problem. That isn't something to take for granted."