“Are We Here to Give Up… Or Prove That We Can?” – An Inspiring Story of Courage, Tenacity and Camaraderie Among Wounded, But Healing Survivors of War and Terror

6 September 2016

A sell-out crowd attended Beth Weizmann Community Centre on Saturday night for the premiere screening of “Tiyul: A Story of Courage.” Presented by Zionism Victoria and ZDVO Beit Halochem Australia, the uplifting documentary followed the inspirational story of 20 young injured soldiers as they travelled to India to trek in the Himalayas; the “post-army” rite of passage for all Israelis which sadly becomes largely impossible for victims of war and terror.

In his opening address Jeff Lipshatz, Vice President of ZDVO Beit Halochem Australia, spoke of the critical work being undertaken at the four Beit Halochem rehabilitation centres throughout Israel where injured soldiers and victims of terror receive specialised therapies and can feel at ease among their peers.

The documentary truly chronicled a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance for the participants as they confronted physical and mental challenges; “how I used to be and how I am now”. The crowd watched as time after time, participants in the trip proved their humour and tenacity. We watched with bated breath as Moti Dahan, a soldier injured in the Second Lebanon War, struggled with each step but refused to quit. He summed up the feeling of all the participants when he said “are we here to give up… or prove that we can?”

Following the movie, two incredible Israelis, First Lieutenant Ohad Roisblatt and Shiri Mirvis, shared their miraculous stories of survival and provided insight into their ongoing recovery. Ohad was injured in Operation Protective Edge and took part in the tiyul. As he spoke of his harrowing journey he was optimistic for the future, saying “when you really accept that you’ve changed, you can deal with it. Shiri survived the bombing of Mike’s Place, a pub in Tel Aviv where she tragically lost 3 friends including her high-school sweetheart. Although she still battles ongoing post-traumatic stress disorder Shiri has developed a love of rock climbing, travelling all over the world.

The screening of “Tiyul” was part of ZDVO Beit Halochem Australia’s Awareness week, which aimed to raise awareness of Israel’s 51,000 injured soldiers and victims of terror who are, in part, supported by the generosity of the Australian Jewish community.