Ezagui — a misfit in an Orthodox world, a devoted son, and an enthusiastic soldier — has written a thoughtful and humorous memoir that reflects his uniquely charming and self-deprecating personality. His honesty, whether writing about his relationship with his family or his colleagues in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), or about his phantom pain, makes his story even more compelling.
Ezagui’s early life certainly was not an indicator of what was to come. As a child, his parents moved him from public school to an Orthodox school where he was bullied by his classmates for not being “truly” Orthodox. He finished school struggling with feelings of inadequacy. After graduating Ezagui joined the IDF, where he found the structure, education and emotional support (he describes his superiors and colleagues as remarkably supportive and empathetic) that he sought.
Describing his injury and the difficulties it brought — from persistent pain to a dependence on drugs — Ezagui goes on to explain how he ultimately endured, and came away from the experience a stronger person who knew he wanted to return to active military duty. The story of how he achieved that goal, surpassing physical challenges through his strength of will, is incredibly inspiring.