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Sunday, April 22, 2018

A special speaker came to RKYHS,

his name was Yaakov Guttman.

He had a great story, he had an inspirational one.

It started long ago:

Yaakov’s dear dad died.

Yaakov was but a lad of 10.

His spirit went

into a state of despair and he shut down

down down from the world.

With no book read, he made his way

to the program that saves: Sinai. It was like Bnei Yisroel

coming to a beautiful mountain in the desert.

With no book read he came,

and a teacher now well known

as Sinai’s director, spent time

one-on-one teaching Yaakov how to read.

Once he mastered the book he felt

unstoppable.

Fifth through ninth he kept climbing that mountain.

In time, he joined

the school basketball team and became

its star, filled with new self-esteem.

After ninth grade Yaakov changed

his path for MTA.

When High School ended, his journey did not.

He took his gap year to a place far away, but truly

close to us all: Eretz Yisroel.

His grandfather, a fighter just like him

fought too for his cause, for freedom

of the land of the Jewish people.

There Yaakov’s climb continued, right up

to the IDF. He began again

at rock bottom, not knowing

the language, with no Hebrew book read. He found himself

in trouble with his commanders for words

he could not understand.

In time, he learned the basics; from the bottom

of his squad he scaled up to sniper, with perfect vision.

It did not come easy, visions hardly ever do.

Back in the States Israel kept calling to him.

He had to return. He did.

Yaakov worked hard

to reach his goal and become a firefighter

in a fire company in Yerushalayim.

That too was uphill; most other firefighters had family

connections. Still he kept trying, rejection after rejection,

denied his passion for so long.

He did not surrender.

In time—after five years,

though many told him to give up—

he made it, as he made it through all

the struggles throughout his life.

He made it into the fire

and rescue department.

“When you have a dream,

if you really believe

in it, you have to go forward

and get it.”

Israel brought Guttman to

love—his wife for life

and their baby boy, in Raanana.

Yaakov’s words showed me

that if he could realize his goal against all

odds, I too, a Sinai student, can reach mine

whatever obstacles and mountains are in my way.

By Reuvy Keane, SINAI freshman