Miracles of War
“In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.”-David Ben Gurion
We are now in the month of Kislev; the month of Chanukah which is a month full of miracles (nes in Hebrew). In order to keep up with the spirit of the month, I will tell you a few miraculous stories that happened in real life to Israelis throughout the history of Israel and throughout its numerous wars.
Before I begin I should also tell you that the biggest miracle to happen to Israel is the fact that Israel has been through 13 wars (15 including the civil war before the declaration of Israel which was between the Jews, the Arabs, and the British; and the Reprisal Operations from the 1950s to 1960s), where we were heavily outnumbered for most of them, yet Israel has never lost one war thanks to Hashem. It is even said that Israel cannot afford to lose a single war because just one defeat and there will be no more Israel.
The year is 1948 and Israel has just been declared a state by Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion. Although the Israelis are rejoiceful they are terrified as well. The surrounding Arab countries of Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen have called war on the new state, full of untrained Jewish refugees. The unarmed Israelis only had five machine guns and one tank! However, the Jews weren’t going to give up. In one battle, they lined up cars, trucks, buses, taxis, and anything with an engine and they then removed the exhaust pipe to make them sound louder. Then the Israelis started all the engines at the same time and scared the Arabs into thinking the American army had arrived. The Arabs panicked and ran away leaving all their weapons behind, helping the Israelis get weapons for self-defense and eventually win the war.
A miracle in the Sinai War (Suez Crisis) was the fact that two historic rivals, Britain and France worked together. This alliance helped Israel gain control over the Egyptian Suez Canal in the Sinai Peninsula and the alliance ultimately helped Israel win the war.
The Six Day War is by far the most miraculous war Israel has ever been in. Historians just can’t explain the victorious outcome that Israel had at the end of this war. In June 1967, the militaries of Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq were defeated tremendously by the Israelis in only six days. It didn’t require a full week for the Israelis to acquire all of our beloved capital, Jerusalem (east and west); and also the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria/West Bank, Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, and even the straits of Tiran and island of Sanafir. Military academies around the world tend to skip over this war in their military history classes because the Israeli victory could not be logically explained. Amazing!
The War of Attrition, which was a part of the Cold War, was incredible because the Soviet Union superpower was on the enemy side and even this couldn’t defeat Israel.
The year is 1973 and Israeli Jews are fasting because it is the holiday of Yom Kippur. Then all of a sudden the country of Israel is surprised attacked. The Yom Kippur War between the Jews and the Arabs began on the holiest day of the Jewish year. During this war, a miracle that happened was in a battle in the Golan Heights under general, Avigdor Kahalani where only 100 Israeli tanks were able to stave off the bulk of a Syrian army (1,260 tanks) for four full days. The Israelis were about to collapse and surrender. However, the Syrians had already surrendered first. The Israeli victory which should have been impossible prevented the Syrians from overrunning Israel; and the Valley of Tears, the third biggest tank battle since War World II, was what eventually saved all of Israel and even helped Israel win the Yom Kippur War.
Operation Litani was miraculous in that it was a quick war where the PLO terrorists in Lebanon fled almost immediately after the Israelis entered.
A miracle in the 1982-1985 First Lebanon War was the full expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon and the Israeli achievement in the destruction of the Syrian air defense system which only took a few hours. After the First Lebanon War was won militarily by Israel, the Israelis left the South Lebanon security zone conflict in 2000.
The First Intifada was between Israel and terrorist groups, Hamas and Fatah. Even during these terrible terrorist attacks, miracles were happening. In 1989, an IDF soldier named Gadi Rimon was shot by a terrorist and assumed dead by the terrorist. However, when a nearby Israeli named Shlomo Bergman passed by, he saw Gadi and realized Gadi was not dead but critically injured. Shlomo quickly took Gadi to the hospital, and because they came just in time Gadi was saved. After Shlomo took Gadi to the hospital Shlomo left because he had done all he could. When Gadi’s family came later on and found out Gadi is alive and recovering they wanted to thank the person who saved his life but they didn’t know who that was. The Rimon family searched for this person for a very long time. Fortunately, one day the mother of Shlomo unintentionally passed by a shop in Ashdod where she noticed a letter describing her son. She ended up entering the store and meeting Gadi’s mother, a worker at the store. The mother of Shlomo realized she had actually met Gadi’s mother before. In fact the mother of Shlomo wanted to abort Shlomo because of financial reasons, but because of the support from Gadi’s mother who was a total stranger at the time, she didn’t abort. Since, Shlomo was not aborted thanks to Gadi’s mother, Shlomo ended up saving Gadi later on. The miracle of giving came full circle.
The Second Intifada much like the first one was between Israel and terrorist groups, Hamas and the PA. An Israeli atheist named Rubin survived a huge terrorist attack and after witnessing several miracles that saved his life in this war, he became an Orthodox Jew.
In the 2006 Second Lebanon War a miracle occurred that numerous missiles launched by terrorist group, Hezbollah in Lebanon hit Tzfat
(Safed), Israel but didn’t cause any Israeli deaths. One missile hit a Tzfat mall full of people and science would say that the missile should have exploded on impact because of the distance and speed it was going. However, rather than the missile exploding it hit the roof of the mall causing minimal damage on the building and did not explode, no Israeli was injured. The citizens in the mall had no clue that a missile even hit them.
The Gaza War also known as Operation Cast Lead was fought between Israel and Hamas. An Israeli general called Karov was seriously injured when metal fragments hit him in Gaza. Most medical doctors considered his condition so severe that he would not survive. However, after Israelis throughout the country prayed for Karov he slowly started to get better. In a matter of weeks Karov was miraculously healed. Karov now tells his incredible story to Israelis.
The 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza was miraculous because it was the first war where the Iron Dome (anti missile defense system) was used. 421 Hamas rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome, which saved countless Israeli lives and 152 rockets fired from Gaza crashed back into Gaza. These are no coincidences but clearly divine help.
The 2014 Operation Protective Edge in Gaza was fought between Israel and terrorist group, Hamas. Hamas tunnels were found and destroyed by the IDF. In one event, Hamas terrorists left a tunnel to a farm where they were hoping to be covered by wheat so as not to get caught. However, the Israeli farmers were keeping a Shmitta year where harvesting is not allowed and the land was empty. Since there was no tall wheat to cover the terrorists they were quickly spotted and stopped by the IDF. This in turn saved Israelis from what could have been a devastating terrorist attack.
Hashem always watches over his children. From the Maccabee victory of Hanukah to something like the Gulf War where Iraq fired huge ballistic Scud missiles to Israel that missed densely populated areas, we see Hashem protecting us. All these miracles are no coincidence but proof that Hashem truly takes care of us.