20 October 2015

Who Really Fights For Us?

7 Marcheshvan 5776
(Don't forget to ask for rain!)

The following was posted by "Dvir" in the comments section on Dov Bar Leib's blog...
This was posted by someone on Facebook from Chabad.
Basically an Arab was following a Chassidish lady in Jerusalem for about 20 min. After which he disappeared. The woman immediately called in his description to the police. They were able to make the arrest and brought him in for investigation. During which he revealed that he was planning to stab her but couldn't get close to her, since she had with her two big bullies one and the right side and one on her left side. After realizing these bullies weren't leaving her side he gave up. The police went back to the woman to confirm she was alone like she had told them. She confirmed she was alone but said the whole time the Arab was following her she kept repeating the pasuk מימיני מיכאל ומשמאלי גבריאל  ("On my right Micha'el and on my left Gavriel").
There have been other such stories especially during Israel's past wars...
...During the Independence War, Ira Rappaport’s Israeli platoon fought the Jordanian military for Mount. Zion and found themselves surrounded by hundreds with only twenty five bullets left. With a sad end seemingly near, the men agreed to go out with a bang and readied themselves to make good use of every last bullet. Then, just when the small platoon were about to face the inevitable, something incredible happened. The Jordanian soldiers dropped their weapons and began suddenly running away, screaming “ABRAHAM!”. Several years later, Ira would come across a familiar face with an unlikely answer, as to what had actually occurred on that miraculous day. This was a former Jordanian soldier who had fought against Ira on Mount. Zion. According to him, his army all witnessed a vision of Abraham defending the Jews in the sky above the Israeli platoon and had no choice, but to drop their weapons.
...During the Yom Kippur War, A small impossibly outnumbered Israeli force held back a large portion of the Syrian army, for four days in the Golan Heights. The Syrians were armed with hundreds of tanks, but gave the Israeli forces a false sense of security revealing only a few of their tanks in battle formation for months before the massive attack they had planned. If this attack was successful they could have taken Israel. They had three infantry divisions and over a thousand tanks. At one point, it was said to be just three Israeli tanks against one hundred and fifty Syrian tanks. A sergeant, out of shells wanted to leave his position, but was ordered to stay put. With no ammo, he was up against impossible odds. It would take a miracle to save him; to save Israel, and that’s just what happened. The Syrians retreated, just when the Israeli force was on the verge of collapse! It has been theorized that the Syrians didn’t know the tanks were out of shells and seeing only a few tanks changing positions, they may have believed that Israel had more tanks than they actually did. However, a Syrian soldier swears an army of Angels surrounded those few tanks Israel had and considering the rate of miracles surrounding the small country of Israel, that could truly be what happened in what is now known as, the Valley of Tears. (Source)
And who can forget the story about the appearance of "Mama Rachel" in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead?...
Two days have passed since the ceasefire in Gaza took effect, and one of the most widespread legends of the days on the battlefield has received rabbinical approval. On the last days of the war, rumors spread about a woman presenting herself as Jewish matriarch Rachel appearing to IDF soldiers and warning them of explosives, booby-trapped houses and terrorist ambushes within the Gaza Strip.
Former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, who is considered one of most prominent religious leaders in Israel, recently prayed several times at Rachel's Tomb for the safety of the troops. When asked about the rumor, the rabbi said, "The story is true. I sent her." (Source)
Well, believe it or not, but these stories are all very consistent with our tradition as recounted in the Tanakh...
"And it was when Joshua was in Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and saw, and, behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand; and Joshua went to him, and said to him, Are you for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, No, but I am the captain of the host of the Lord; I have now come...." (Yehoshua 5.13-14)
Rashi - The "man" reassured Yehoshua that he was not an enemy, but an angel who had come to guarantee success in the battle of Jericho.
"And the Philistines came up once again and spread out in the valley of Rephaim. And David inquired of the Lord, and He said: 'Do not go up; circle in back of them, and come upon them from against the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of steps in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall bestir yourself; for then the Lord has gone out before you to smite the camp of the Philistines.'" (Shmuel Bet 5.22-24)
Rashi - (the sound of steps in the tops of the mulberry trees): which are the sounds of angels treading in the treetops whom I have lent to your aid.
And then there is perhaps the most famous one of all. The battle which could have been considered Gog uMagog if Hizkiyahu HaMelech had sung a song of thanksgiving (Sanhedrin 94a)...
"...Be strong and of good courage; do not fear and do not be dismayed because of the king of Assyria and because of all the multitude that is with him, because He Who is with us is greater than those with him. With him is an arm of flesh, and with us is the Lord our God to help us and to wage our wars," and the people relied on the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah.
[Sancheriv responded]...And now, let Hezekiah not deceive you, and let him not entice you like this, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom could save his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers; surely your God will not save you from my hand."
...And King Hezekiah and the prophet, Isaiah the son of Amoz prayed concerning this, and they cried out to Heaven. And the Lord sent an angel, and he destroyed every mighty warrior and ruler and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria, and he returned shamefacedly to his land, and he entered the temple of his god, and some of his own issue felled him there with the sword. And the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria and from the hand of all, and He led them from roundabout. (Divrei HaYamim Bet 32.7-8, 15, 20-22)
It's well worth your time to read the entire account. These are the words and the memories of past triumphs which strengthen our spirits and inspire our faith even today!

We must remember: "... If the Lord will not build a house, its builders have toiled at it in vain; if the Lord will not guard a city, [its] watcher keeps his vigil in vain." (Tehillim 127.1)