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B'siyata d'shmaya - With the help of Heaven

Finally Fighting With Dignity

An OP/ED by Shelomo Alfassa

July 21, 2006

The Jewish people are currently in a war with Islamic terrorists bent on the destruction of our country. Not only do these Islamic soldiers that call themselves 'Hezbollah,' want to see the destruction of the State of Israel, but Am Yisrael, the Jewish people. Because of their murderous actions against Jewish civilians through recent attacks (as well as attacks over past years), we ought to believe them when they declare "this is war," and react with an appropriate response-and for the first time in many years-we have.

The Tanakh tells us that there is, "A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace." War includes arming and preparing soldiers to attack the enemy, to kill those that pick up arms against them, and destroy their strategic property and infrastructure. The warrior mentality Jews possessed during the days of King David, and after, had mostly vanished through centuries of ghettoization and dhimitude. Nonetheless, the fact that we are now successfully fighting a fierce battle against the enemy, demonstrates that we still posses enough of a warrior streak, and can implement it when needed.

"The warrior mentality Jews possessed during the days of King David, and after,
had mostly vanished through centuries of ghettoization and dhimitude."

While war is never a condition that we want to linger in for long, it is a condition that must be addressed wholeheartedly when the situation arises, such is the situation in Lebanon today. The G8 Summit convened last week and surprisingly, some world leaders didn't come out and bash Israel for standing up to the Islamic terrorists. On the contrary, some of the leaders in attendance sent a clear message-Israel had the right to take measures to defend itself! What a rare occurrence, one that the Jewish nation was excited to learn about. There is a proverb which states, "For by wise counsel you shall make your war; and in a multitude of counselors there is victory." And even though some at the G8 Summit essentially gave Israel the green light to go after the enemy-Israel did not necessarily need or wait for their expressed approval. Israel knew it had to protect its sovereign borders and its people, and it took action, it didn't ask for permission.

Of late, the news reported the cowardly Hezbollah terrorists were hiding out in the Lebanese city of Tyre, a place where a huge amount of bombing has taken place. And while the Israeli Defense Force continues to fire rockets into Tyre, contemptibly, in a stern warning to Israel, the Lebanese government recently said that if Israeli foot soldiers enter Lebanon, they will send the Lebanese army against them. For a country that is seemingly willing to be freed of the Hezbollah parasite, this was certainly a suspicious threat. We need to stand up to the enemy now hiding in Tyre, Sidon and other cities in Lebanon, we can't back off because of a threat from anyone. We need to keep up the pressure-be entirely relentless. The president in Beirut ought to remember the warning issued by the prophet, one that said if they intend to fight against Hashem, they had better beat their plows into swords and their pruning hooks into spears; this means, they better get ready for a serious fight! Hashem said through His prophet, "I am against you, O Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes his waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre, and break down her towers."

With the conflict raging, many are saying that these are the days of the mashiah, and it is looking more and more like this may be true. Aliyah is up ten fold and those who never knew they were Jewish are now having their blinders removed and are finding their way home. As the prophet stated, before the Redemption occurs, Hashem would "Bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem," and it seems He is doing it. Yes, we all desire peace, and we wait for the day the prophecy will be fulfilled, that "Nations shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more" but until then, we must stand up and fight the enemy, for he will come to kill us, and we know it is our job to kill him first. We ought not be in fear of what others will think of us as a nation, we solely need to continue concentrating on the destruction of the enemy and the protection of our people. The Talmud tells us that if there is homicidal intent by an aggressor, self-defense is required.

The Jewish people are long distant from the ghettos of Poland, we are not the Czars' play toy, nor an Islamic nation's step-child anymore. The prophet foretold that before the mashiah arrived, the Jewish people would one day stand up to those that came against them. "Extend the sickle, for the harvest has ripened! Come and trample, for the winepress is full, the vats are overflowed [with evil]!" The sages say that the sickle is for klal Israel to "harvest the crops," of Divine vengeance.

While one day we will beat our swords into plowshares, and our spears into pruning hooks, we are not there yet; the days of peace have not yet manifested. We are told that there is a time for war-and we see that this is the time, because for only through war can come peace. Of course there are the leftist 'peaceniks' that may think those of us who would mightily stand up and fight are some sort of warmongers, but they are wrong. The Torah allows us to make war when needed, but it specifically tells us that warmongering is not tolerable, "Scatter the peoples who delight in war." It's not that we should want war, but the leftists need to know that the Torah tells us we should have leaders that will stand up and fight for our people-they shall make war when necessary-and currently they are.

Every nation throughout history that rose up against the Jews has been wiped off the face of the earth or has been virtually destroyed from the position of power it once held. As we fight our enemy today, we must remain banded together, this is the time that we should be uniting for the cause. Let us direct the sweet words of King David toward our modern army, "Let the high praises of the Almighty be in their mouths, and a two edged sword in their hands."

The Israeli government has long held back responding to those that have come to kill us, but it seems now, at least on the Lebanese front, someone took a lesson from General George Patton, a leading U.S. Army general in World War II that helped destroy both Hitler and Mussolini's troops by making the first move. The general once said, "In war the only sure defense is offense, and the efficiency of the offense depends on the warlike souls of those conducting it." If General Patton was alive to witness what the Israelis were doing today, he would be mighty proud of them.

And in those terrifying moments when the battle is heated, we should take comfort that Hashem will guard our land and our people. He tells us through the words of His prophet, "Judah shall remain forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation." God willing, we shall see the revealment of an era in which we shall see that the, "Wolf shall lie down with the lamb." But until that time, we need to continue to stand up as soldiers of the Almighty, fighting to protect our people, our nation and our dignity.


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© Shelomo Alfassa