* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin ([email protected])
Four months ago, a kidney was donated by 32-year-old Rabbi Naaran Ashchar, who died yesterday from an injury sustained when his tank turned over on the northern front. Because of his recent kidney donation, the IDF had refused to allow Ashchar to enlist for reserve duty. Only after insisting was Rabbi Ashchar granted permission to enlist. The following testimonial was sent by Yair Bahalul, recipient of the rabbi's kidney:
"For six years I underwent dialysis until he arrived and saved me. The transplant coordinator just told me this: 'Your donor wants to donate his kidney as soon as possible; he simply must do this right away.' The rabbi underwent the procedure with perfect equanimity and a joyful heart. He told me: 'From now on, we are brothers.' And he told his family and his children: "From now on, you have a new uncle.'
During our hospitalization, we were often together. We walked with difficulty, but would speak with each other for hours. He would come to my bed or I would go to his and we would talk. He told me about his educational endeavors. He would speak about difficult cases, about the students that he helped. And I told him everything there was to know about my personal life.
I wanted to get to know him better and to learn from him. On Rosh HaShanah, I sent him a package of treats with the wish that he should have a good and sweet year. You cannot imagine how much we planned to do, much more than a celebration of his donation and our friendship.. On the eve of Simchat Torah, we thought the party was about to happen, but then war broke out. Several days later, he contacted me to say he was in the north. I told him to take care of himself. What a remarkable and noble human being he was, a gentle soul. I never saw him angry. He always spoke to me in dulcet tones with a calm and pleasant demeanor. Whoever did not know him missed out.
After he was critically injured I came to visit him twice in the hospital. I was worried about him. Last Thursday I had the honor of entering his room and singing songs to him with family and friends. I looked at him and believed that he would certainly get through this because he was such an amazing person, someone who was all about giving.
I am asking everyone to do something good in his memory, because he was entirely and uniquely good.
How proud I am knowing that his kidney is part of me.”
And this is a song Naaran Aschchar recorded, from the Shabbar prayer: