While half a year has passed since the end of Israel’s 50-day Operation Protective Edge to stop Hamas rockets and terror tunnels last August, IDF soldiers are still recovering from their physical wounds.
This is the case of Daniel Wein, a 23-year-old combat soldier from the Nahal Brigade who was shot in the left leg on the fourth day of the operation in Gaza. Daniel, who grew up in Australia and made aliyah with his family seven years ago to Samaria, spent a couple of months recovering in the hospital.
“I don’t remember everything that happened after I was shot in the side,” Wein told Tazpit News Agency. Wein’s older brother was also fighting in Gaza during the war.
As part of his recovery at Sheba Medical Center where he had to use a walker, Wein who is sniper in the Nahal Brigade unit, took some art therapy classes and has since created dozens of artworks depicting his road through pain and hope.
“I’ve painted in the past and my mom is an art therapist,” Wein explained to Tazpit. “Painting helped me get through the rehabilitation.”
Wein’s artwork has recently caught some public attention.
In a unique art competition for soldiers in uniform, organized by The Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers (AWIS), together with The Israel Police and Israel Border Police, Wein’s artwork depicting his journey to recovery recently won first place.
Last Thursday, March 12, Daniel’s works were presented in the “Colors in Rifle Barrels” competition exhibition, which displays more than 81 paintings, sketches, photographs, and sculptures created by 47 IDF soldiers.
A panel of judges, consisting of art specialists from the Avni Institute of Arts and Design in Tel Aviv, reviewed the artwork along with representatives from The Israel Border Police, IDF, Education Youth Corps and AWIS’s chairman and Israeli war hero, Avigdor Kahalani, among others. Among the 200 submissions, a few dozen were selected for the exhibition.
Wein, along with four other IDF soldiers, won a one-year scholarship to the Avni Institute of Arts and Design.
“I’m excited to see what people will think about my art,” said Wein in regard to his work being displayed in the “Colors in Rifle Barrels” exhibition.
“I’m not sure if I will pursue a future career in art but it’s an option,” he said.