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Who by the Land of Fire

Aharon Granot

For 32 days, Guy Gabay wandered the icy forests of Tierra del Fuego, subsisting on mushrooms, blueberries, and rainwater. While many back home assumed he was no longer alive, Guy was making his own personal journey. Alone with the rain, the ice, the animals and the hunger, Guy was learning a new language — the power of prayer, and the capacity to petition for salvation. Ten years after his amazing rescue, he’s still thanking Hashem.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Guy Gabay started out life predictably enough. He grew up in the central Israel town of Yehud, where his father Moshe worked as an electrician and his mother Shosh as a naturopath and life coach. In school, he joined the track for gifted children, and when it was time to enlist in the army, he became a logistics officer in a combat unit — leaving the military a full eight years later with the rank of major. Later, as Guy was making the adjustment from army life to the civilian life of a university student, the Gabay family was undergoing its own unplanned transformation. It turned out that an Arachim seminar was being held at the same hotel where Moshe and Shosh Gabay had decided to vacation, and they soon found themselves participating. “We began to keep mitzvos. The seminar attracted the whole family toward the teshuvah process,” says Shosh Gabay, today a lecturer in the Israeli kiruv world. Their middle son and daughter joined them in their religious journey, but Guy, the oldest, had little interest in organized religion. Still, as he completed his studies at Ben-Gurion University, Guy says he suddenly felt overwhelmed by confusion. “I needed to clear my head, get a change in location and discover what I wanted out of life.” He’d never done the traditional Israeli post-army trip to the Far East or the Amazon forests, but now Guy felt a need for drastic change, so he decided to embark on a yearlong journey to the remote corners of the world.

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