Thursday, November 22, 2012

Déjà Vu, The Bible: Did Our Waiting IDF Reservists Feel Like....

Just before I took a walk around the neighborhood, I caught some very upsetting interviews with our IDF reservists as they began making their way home, since the cease fire cancelled the ground operation which was to destroy the terrorist rocket launchers.  They were angry and disappointed.  The had wasted a week waiting to get the job done and clear out the terrorist missile launchers in Gaza.  The potential personal dangers of such an army action seemed unimportant to them.  They know that by not doing that difficult job, the murderous terrorists will just get stronger and kill Israelis again.  I guess some outsiders would think that the soldiers would be happy to be spared battle, but that isn't the case.

IDF soldiers spell with their bodies: "Bibi is a loser" following the cease-fire with Hamas
As I walked in the dark, misty night, listening to the thunder in the distance, I began picturing a Biblical scene.  Déjà vu, how did King Saul's soldiers feel sitting around, waiting for action while Goliath kept on taunting them with murderous threats and insults?

1 Samuel Chapter 17 שְׁמוּאֵל א
ב וְשָׁאוּל וְאִישׁ-יִשְׂרָאֵל נֶאֶסְפוּ, וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּעֵמֶק הָאֵלָה; וַיַּעַרְכוּ מִלְחָמָה, לִקְרַאת פְּלִשְׁתִּים. 2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched in the vale of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines.

ד וַיֵּצֵא אִישׁ-הַבֵּנַיִם מִמַּחֲנוֹת פְּלִשְׁתִּים, גָּלְיָת שְׁמוֹ מִגַּת: גָּבְהוֹ, שֵׁשׁ אַמּוֹת וָזָרֶת. 4 And there went out a champion from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
ח וַיַּעֲמֹד, וַיִּקְרָא אֶל-מַעַרְכֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל, וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם, לָמָּה תֵצְאוּ לַעֲרֹךְ מִלְחָמָה: הֲלוֹא אָנֹכִי הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי, וְאַתֶּם עֲבָדִים לְשָׁאוּל--בְּרוּ-לָכֶם אִישׁ, וְיֵרֵד אֵלָי. 8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them: 'Why do ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. ט אִם-יוּכַל לְהִלָּחֵם אִתִּי, וְהִכָּנִי--וְהָיִינוּ לָכֶם, לַעֲבָדִים; וְאִם-אֲנִי אוּכַל-לוֹ, וְהִכִּיתִיו--וִהְיִיתֶם לָנוּ לַעֲבָדִים, וַעֲבַדְתֶּם אֹתָנוּ. 9 If he be able to fight with me, and kill me, then will we be your servants; but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.' י וַיֹּאמֶר, הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי, אֲנִי חֵרַפְתִּי אֶת-מַעַרְכוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל, הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה; תְּנוּ-לִי אִישׁ, וְנִלָּחֲמָה יָחַד. 10 And the Philistine said: 'I do taunt the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.' יא וַיִּשְׁמַע שָׁאוּל וְכָל-יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֶת-דִּבְרֵי הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי הָאֵלֶּה; וַיֵּחַתּוּ וַיִּרְאוּ, מְאֹד. {פ} 11 And when Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid. {P}
Nobody paid much attention when David the shepherd showed up with some supplies for his brothers.  Back at the ranch, far from the frontlines, everyone assumed there was heavy fighting going on.  So in order to feed the troops, an army marches on its stomach, nu,  David's father Jesse had sent him.

יט וְשָׁאוּל וְהֵמָּה וְכָל-אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּעֵמֶק הָאֵלָה; נִלְחָמִים, עִם-פְּלִשְׁתִּים. {ס} 19 now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, are in the vale of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.' {S}

G-d had commanded King Saul to destroy the Philistines.  No doubt, David was surprised to see the army and king just sitting around, quaking in fear.  King Saul had all of the most up-to-date armor of the time, but it wasn't being used.

After David heard the taunts he volunteered to take up the challenge and fight Goliath.

לב וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל-שָׁאוּל, אַל-יִפֹּל לֵב-אָדָם עָלָיו; עַבְדְּךָ יֵלֵךְ, וְנִלְחַם עִם-הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי הַזֶּה. 32 And David said to Saul: 'Let no man's heart fail within him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.'
It took David a bit of convincing, but King Saul finally accepted his offer.

לט וַיַּחְגֹּר דָּוִד אֶת-חַרְבּוֹ מֵעַל לְמַדָּיו וַיֹּאֶל לָלֶכֶת, כִּי לֹא-נִסָּה, וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל-שָׁאוּל לֹא אוּכַל לָלֶכֶת בָּאֵלֶּה, כִּי לֹא נִסִּיתִי; וַיְסִרֵם דָּוִד, מֵעָלָיו. 39 And David girded his sword upon his apparel, and he essayed to go[, but could not]; for he had not tried it. And David said unto Saul: 'I cannot go with these; for I have not tried them.' And David put them off him.

What's reason David took off King Saul's armor?  The English translation is "for I have not tried them."  That could mean, "because I'm not used to wearing them," but I have a different idea.  The Hebrew is ".כִּי לֹא נִסִּיתִי"  The Hebrew spelling is נִסִּיתִי nisiti which does mean I tried, but the letters נ ס  when together spell נס nais, which means miracle.

When David was explaining to King Saul why he wasn't afraid of Goliath he told how G-d had miraculously helped him kill a lion and bear.  Could David have really meant that G-d won't make the miracle, be with him, help him kill Goliath if he puts his faith in that armor?

Our great victories, and that includes modern Israeli wars, is not due to the weapons we have, it's due only to G-d's miracles.


Netivotgirl said...

Great post as usual Batya. And, an even greater photo of our IDF heroes!! I often thought of the horrific tension they must have felt, waiting, and waiting and WANTING to go in there and 'kick some butt' as we used to crudely say on my field hockey and track teams. ('scuse my 'french'....)

Hadassa said...

I remember how happy soldiers in the Gaza Strip were slightly over 12 years ago when they were finally given orders to fight back. The ones stationed at the Netzarim Junction didn't want to go home! After all the years of taking abuse and not fighting back as soldiers are trained to do, they didn't want to give up the mitzva of protecting their country and their people.

Anonymous said...

G-d bless israel. i too, as a noahide, felt very disappointed. then this morning my friend, shelli, said she was very happy her two sons are back. not happy because the enemies are still free. i wondered why this happened. then i also remembered how Hashem usually chooses to win wars with minimal people, so it will be realised that Hashem rules. sometimes openly, sometimes via nature or other means. but only He Rules. with J s praising the iron dome etc, mentioning Baruch Hashem, i am not surprised at how it turned out. atleast you Js know No matter what, no one can touch you all except if Hashem says so. and that only u p to a limit.

Anonymous said...

correction. i meant praising the iron dome and not saying Baruch Hashem.

Batya said...

iNetivotgirl, Hadassa, 10, thanks for the support. I'm glad you agree with me. Sad that's the situation here. where's King David? The original didn't look kingly, so it took a while untl he was recognized.

Keliata said...

Powerful and beautiful video of the soliders. They no doubt want this war (it's a war, not a conflict) done and overwith.

It's a pet peeve of mine that this ongoing war is rarely if ever cited as a war.

It's also refreshing to read coverage of the war from people living through it versus the horribly biased media reports in the US

Batya said...

Keli, I"m so glad to hear from you; it has been too long.

Keliata said...

Thank you, Batya!