Nadav on his ascent up Mount Everest.

This past May, Israeli mountain climber Nadav Ben-Yehuda was on his way up Mount Everest.  Just 24 years old, he was seeking to be the youngest Israeli to ever reach the peak of Everest.  Everything was going fine and according to schedule when disaster struck just 300 meters from the peak.

The disaster was not any danger for Ben-Yehuda.  Rather, he came across a Turkish climber, Aydin Irmak, who lost consciousness while on his way down from the peak.  Ben-Yehuda cast aside his dream of reaching the peak and began to help this stranger.  He revived Irmak and and then carried him on his back for 8 hours until he reached their camp.  Nadav not only gave up on his goal of reaching the top of

Ben-Yehuda and Irmak after the successful rescue.

Mount Everest through this selfless act, but he also put his own health at risk.  His gloves got in the way of rescuing Irmak so he removed them, exposing his hands to frostbite to the point that he almost had to have some fingers amputated.

Israeli President Shimon Peres met with Ben-Yehuda to congratulate him on this act of heroism.  During the meeting, Peres presented Nadav with an Israeli flag for him to place at the top of the next mountain he would climb.  This past weekend, Nadav overcame the serious injuries he suffered while rescuing Irmak and reached the top of the 5,042 meter Kazbek Mountain in Eastern Georgia.  He planted the president’s flag at the peak.

President Peres congratulated Ben-Yehuda for this achievement and praised his “strength of spirit, determination and love for Israel.”   Ben-Yehuda commented that despite the obvious frustration over not reaching the peak of Mount Everest, he sees all the good things which have happened to him since giving up on his quest to conquer Everest to save the life of a stranger.

Reported by DOV LIPMAN for United with Israel.

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