10 posts categorized "War of Redemption"

They're Ready

Today was another gift from Hashem and a very moving day - I had the privilege of visiting and spending time with one of the IDF's best units on the Gaza border. We spoke about celebrating Rosh Hashana while being on maximum alert. We also had a lengthy question-and-answer session that was really inspiring. For example:

Sergeant R: Rabbi, the guys expect me to be the Chazan on Rosh Hashana. Halacha says that the chazan must be a tzaddik. How can I be Chazan when I'm far from being a tzaddik?

LB: The fact that you think you're unworthy, R, shows that you really are humble and very worthy. Besides, you put your life on the line 24/7 down here for the Jewish people; what other Chazan in the world can say that?

Corporal T: Rabbi, will Hashem really hear our prayers? We have to rush through them because down here, we must be prepared to be mounted and combat ready in a few short minutes. Also, we have to pray in shifts to switch off our buddies in their duty stations; it's not like praying at home...

LB: T, there's no angel in the sky who'd dare interfere with an infantryman's prayers ascending from the Gaza border. You guys are pure dedication. If I weren't going to Uman, I'd be proud and privileged to pray with you right here.

***

After my visit, I met with the platoon and company commanders who told me that this particular platoon's morale, performance and unity are the best in their brigade. That's what emuna does for soldiers. By the way, this particular platoon has 15 Baalei Teshuvas now - no wonder their motivation and morale are so high, they fully believe in what they're doing.

These guys are ready. We need to spread more emuna among the IDF's fighting men, and that's exactly what we're trying to do.

Here are a few wonderful shots from David Bader's superb camera:

1. LB checking out combat readiness

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2. Questions and answers

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3. Choose your weapon

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4. A blessing for Rosh Hashana

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We all owe the courageous young man of the IDF a ton of gratitude - the least we can do is to pray for their safety and well-being. May Hashem protect them always, amen.


Where Have all the Triumphs Gone?

A physician's greatest frustration is when he's identified and diagnosed the patient's ailment, and prescribed the proper medication, but the patient refuses to take the medicine and further deteriorates from day to day.

There's a witch hunt going on now in the IDF, in the Government, in the media, and all over Israel as to why things went wrong Monday in the Gaza Flotilla fiasco. It breaks my heart how far away everybody is from the truth.

You can write a Volume of Encyclopedia Brittanica about what went wrong. The intel wasn't lousy, because there was no intel at all. Shayetet 13 was sent to do a job that the YAMAM from the Police Special Forces should have done. The soldiers were lowered to the hostile Mavi Marmara deck like pieces of meat into a frying pan. So many alternatives could have been used, to divert and neutralize the flotilla, without making face-to-face and hand-to-hand contact. We all know that the Russian Commandos or the USN SEALS wouldn't have left a Turk alive once attacked. The bottom line is that the mission went sour because Hashem wanted it to go sour. 

Israel is suffering one diplomatic and military setback after another. Why? The answer is simple. When a Jew tries to please flesh-and-blood rather than doing Hashem's bidding, he loses on both fronts. For years now, our leaders - from all parties - have been bending over backwards to placate everybody in the world but Hashem. And that's why no matter what we do, we won't benefit from Hashem's help, period. If we don't believe in our God-given right to our tiny piece of real estate here in a sea of hostile neighbors and if we don't believe in the God that gave it to us as written in His holy Torah, then we can't expect success. Like I said Sunday night in front of 200 witnesses in Bet Shemesh, it's either emuna or ballistic missiles - take your choice. That's the whole story, folks.

If the above is not clear, then please allow me to paraphrase an old Pete Seeger classic from 50 years ago:

Where Has All the Triumphs Gone
Music - Pete Seeger
Lyrics - Rabbi Lazer Brody

Where have all the triumphs gone, long time passing
Where have all the triumphs gone, long time ago
Where have all the triumphs gone, heroes took them, every one
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the heroes gone, long time passing
Where have all the heroes gone, long time ago
Where have all the heroes gone, commanders sold them, every one
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where have all commanders gone, long time passing
Where have all commanders gone, long time ago
Where have all commanders gone, our leaders bound them, every one
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where have all our leaders gone, long time passing
Where have all our leaders gone, long time ago
Where have all our leaders gone, they lack emuna, every one
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where has all the emuna gone, long time passing
Where has all the emuna gone, long time ago
Where has all the emuna gone, gone to triumphs, every one
When will folks ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Here's good ol' Pete (now over 91) singing the real deal:


Will our children survive Gog & Magog?

This morning, the electronic media in Israel was suddenly inundated with haunting scenarios about what's instore for Israel, Heaven forbid. I certainly don't agree with many of the things that Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz writes, nor with his outlook, but I do give him credit for rationality and level-headedness. Mr. Horovitz is certainly not a doomesday profit; one therefore cannot ignore or casually dismiss what he writes about the current security situation here:

Today, Syria has an estimated 2,300 missiles that can hit Tel Aviv, Hizbullah has 1,200, Iran 400 and Hamas in Gaza has dozens. (Hamas test-fired a Fajr-5 – which can travel 80 kilometers – from the Gaza coast last October.)... The central Gush Dan area, home to more than a quarter of the Israeli population, could be hit – hit hard, and hit often – in the next war... Some of the missiles arrayed against Israel, moreover, are extremely accurate. Jewish Jerusalemites can no longer assume that they are off limits. Missiles built by Syria and recently acquired by Hizbullah are accurate to within a few hundred meters. The launch crews, feeling immune in a geographical comfort zone, say, north of Beirut, can now aim for the Jews of the holy city without worrying about blowing up Al-Aksa by mistake... The catch-all description of “Scuds” shouldn’t mislead us, either. These are not Saddam’s 1991 projectiles. These are missiles that can carry half-ton payloads. When they land, they cause major destruction... Were a new round of conflict to break out, Hizbullah and/or Syria and/or Hamas could attempt to fire hundreds upon hundreds of missiles into the heart of Israel in an opening eruption... and then to maintain intense fire for as long as they could – weeks or even months. The aim would be to confine much of Israel to the bomb shelters, and thus to extract capitulative decisions from an Israeli government weakened by a panicking citizenry.

Well-known columnists from Israel's ultra-popular Ynet, Hanan Greenberg and Ron Ben Yishai warn how the coming war - likely to be this summer, many say - will not be a walk in the park. This past week, we had civil defense drills all across the country. The experts say that the drills are aspirin in the face of a terminal disease - once again, we're not talking about doomsday prophets.

Yet, the anti-emuna media is completely skirting the real issue. Yes, the threats are there. Sure, "mighty" Israel will try to deal a devastating blow to the enemy. Certainly, the damage in the meanwhile is liable to be devastating.

The real issue is Hashem. The missile threats from our enemies - having discovered Israel's Achilles heel in the recent Gaza War and the Second Lebanon War - are non other than wake-up calls from Hashem, Who has been patiently awaiting for us to come home to Him. If we don't do so on our own, we'll have prodding from our enemies. Why? The time for Geula is coming fast.

Now hear this: it's either a massive preemptive strike of Emuna and teshuva, or a very imminent war. If you'd like to hear more on the subject, drop by the Carlebach Shul on Dolev Street in Ramat Bet Shemesh tonight, Sunday, May 30th at 8"15 PM, for we'll be speaking on the subject, "Will our Children Survive Gog and Magog?" Hope to see you there.