(April 16, 2018 / JNS) Yitzhak Dreksler, an Israel Defense Forces’ soldier who was seriously injured during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, passed away on Saturday afternoon following medical complications directly relating back to the injuries he suffered in battle.
Dreksler serve in the Orthodox Nahal Hareidi Battalion and in the Armored Corps during reserve service. During the war, a rocket struck his tank in the Golan Heights, but he escaped the burning tank, suffering severe and debilitating burns. After undergoing 70 surgeries, he was declared a disabled IDF veteran on 95 percent disability.
He went on to help found the haredi town of Emmanuel in Samaria and spent the last years of his life in the Orthodox town of Elad, where he dedicated his time to commemorating fallen religious soldiers, helping to found the Netzah Yehuda Battalion in the Kfir Brigade and advocating for haredi Israelis to enlist in the IDF.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman honored him in a tweet, noting that Dreksler “was a yeshivah student who left his studies and his pregnant wife, and went to serve as a reserve soldier to protect the country and the nation.”
He added: “I salute you.”
Dreksler noted that religious soldiers during his youth were warmly accepted by their families and communities.
He is survived by six children, including two military officers, and many grandchildren.