40 years ago, Israel lost many brave soldiers in the opening attacks by the Syrian Army on Yom Kippur. Avraham Godlovitzch (64, on the left), who had immigrated to Israel just nine months before the war broke out, would surely have been among the fallen. But, as he was crawling out of a halftrack with a bullet in his leg, Sami Sagi (59, on the right), came briefly into his life. Sami had managed to escape his own tank after it was struck by a shell killing the officer inside, and scrambled through the haze of Syrian fire. Amidst the chaos, the young man from Kfar Saba saw the new immigrant struggling. Avraham couldn’t stand up and signaled Sami to leave him. But just as he had refused to break his first fast for Yom Kippur, Sami refused to abandon Avraham. The smaller Sami carried Avraham on his back for two days, from the Golan Heights down to the Sea of Galilee, where they finally came across fellow IDF soldiers. For two days they evaded the Syrians, eating along the way—since the start of the fast—only a bunch of grapes Sami found by an abandoned building.
40 years passed and they remained on each other’s minds, but could not find one another—until last month.