Tuesday, August 26, 2014

As King David Said, It's Not The Modern Weapons That Give Us Victory

Not only the Bible is full of miraculous victories, but the State of Israel experienced them, too.

Today, I attended the community's "senior citizens" activity. Since I work part-time, I go only when I'm asked to translate. My neighbors don't mind that I editorialize in my translations. They insist that it is actually helpful. I've gotten to know an awful lot of wonderful things about my neighbors by attending these events. Today's program featured our rabbi, HaRav Elchanan Ben-Nun, who told us about his army experiences during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Rav Elchanan was already married and a father at the time of the war and is mentioned in the popular book  Adjusting Sights by Chaim Sabato.

Our "seniors" group ranges in age from around fifty to ninety and come from the USA, Scotland, the FSU, Canada, New Zealand and Israel. Events featuring speakers have two translators, one for English and one for Russian.

Even though I was in Israel during the Yom Kippur War and I've known Rav Elchanan for thirty-three years, I had never heard his story. First I was surprised that in Kibbutz Ein Tzurim, where they were that Yom Kippur, they didn't hear the siren we heard in Jerusalem. And although in other parts of the country, soldiers were called up during the fast and buses were gathering in central locations, they hadn't a clue that war had broken out.  They did hear as soon as Yom Kippur ended and he had to quickly prepare to fight.

What amazed and shocked us the most was his description of the total lack of preparedness in the IDF. Those responsible for the  reservists hand nothing ready. There was no master-list of tank crews and officers. There was total anarchy in handing out necessary equipment and certainly nobody signed for what they took. In many cases, although tank crews are supposed to work like well-oiled machinery, the crews were put together at the very last minute and could have been strangers.

"The Bloody Valley of Tears Battle - Flickr - Israel Defense Forces" by Israel Defense Forces from Israel - The Bloody Valley of Tears Battle. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Bloody_Valley_of_Tears_Battle_-_Flickr_-_Israel_Defense_Forces.jpg#mediaviewer/File:The_Bloody_Valley_of_Tears_Battle_-_Flickr_-_Israel_Defense_Forces.jpg

Instead of the tanks being transported,they were driven to the front-lines, and some didn't make it. Once they made it to the northern base and sent to the front, they were seriously outnumbered by the Syrians. Our soldiers fought, kept going forward even when darkness and dust made vision impossible. Our victory was totally miraculous. The Syrians were massive, well-equipped and well-trained. But, just like in the 1967 Six Days War, G-d was on our side, and we won.

Remember, please, that this story was told to us while the State of Israel has been totally rudderless during a summer of war of constant terror is rockets being launched at a large portion of the country . Now we do have equipment and well-trained troops, but unlike unlike 1973, our commanders keep begging the enemy for ceasefires, any excuse not to fight.

In 1973 we understood that our enemies were out to destroy us.  Why is it so difficult for the government to understand that these are the same enemies but with different labels?


Anonymous said...

There is no one to rely on except our Father in Heaven! Any Jew who thinks otherwise is fooling himself. All the modern weaponry will not help our enemies finish us off (c'v), nor is anyone, anywhere in charge no matter what, except our Creator, Hashem, Who will save us; in the meantime, it would be wise for every Jew now in Chodesh Elul to reflect and return (do Teshuva) and then miracles will come as never before and the whole world will know there is only Hasshem.

Anonymous said...

from Janet Clare

Wasn't the author, Chaim Sabato, of Adjusting sights from Shiloh too? I read that book and was shocked at how disorganized the commanders were. After reading that, I warned everyone I knew going to miluim to fix/clean/order/adjust every piece of equipment they need for battle, even if on their own time. Chaim wrote that there was no time to requisition a calibrator for the tank gun's sights; no time even to guestimate it, just get on the road. Soldier's vehicles had bad tires, little or no gasoline, and almost no food or water for themselves. Same with the Lebanon war under Barak. They had to get water or food from the Arabs.

Victory, an amazing victory (greater than the 6-Day War I've hears) was only due to HaShem's Help. Our leadership was lacking then as now.

I had no idean your Rav was in that book. He must have had many miracle stories to tell.

Batya said...

a, amen
Janet, no he wasn't from Shiloh. I agree that the Yom Kippur was a greater victory than the Six Days War, because we started at a loss.