Monday, August 4, 2014

Miracles of War

Sirens in communities surrounding Gaza - Color Red

I just opened the window to post something...and the sirens start. All thought is lost when the siren is sounding in Israel. My first need is to focus on where it is hitting. Does it make a difference? Not really...are Miriam and Devorah running for safety? Is Sarah safe? Do I need to call my parents and tell them to go into the bomb shelter now? And there's a Miriam I worry about near them, and another in Yad Mordechai.

My sister works in Kfar Saba; good friends live there. A major client in Herziliya; niece and nephew in Tel Aviv. There is no good place for a rocket to hit. Even the open fields - where thousands of soldiers are stationed now.

But that wasn't what I wanted to post about...and so I have to pull my mind away from the latest ceasefire that isn't.

I want to write about miracles. The BBC reporter on the phone felt that it sounds off the wall to suggest that God is protecting Israel, even if that is the only logical explanation. Miracles, by their very definition, defy logic.

Cookies May Not Be Bad for Your Health


And so here is another one. In a love affair that never ends, Israelis love our soldiers and so from all over the country, food has been sent to them. We are, after all the quintessential, stereotypical incarnation of country of Jewish mothers.

A soldier in Gaza, stationed inside a building on guard was hungry. So he called opened a box of cookies he had taken into Gaza with him. Inside, he found a note

Sirens in communities surrounding Gaza - Color Red

He found a note inside the box saying, "I know that you are protecting me, and this is a small token of my appreciation to you. I am still young, but I have one request, that you say a blessing over the food".

In Judaism, we have a blessing for each type of food we eat, thanking God, as we eat, for each think he has given to us. There is a blessing for wine, for bread, for fruits and vegetables, and for baked, flour-based/grain-based foods like cakes and cookies. Only the soldier didn't know what the blessing was and so he crawled across the room to a religious soldier to ask him what the blessing was.

And as he reached the soldier to ask, an RPG missile was fired into the spot where he had been. If not for his leaving the location, he likely would have died. He was lightly wounded and will always remember the generosity of that family in giving the cookies; and the respect that soldier had in honoring the request, saved his life.

The Sign of the Dove

This one comes from a soldier, who came out of Gaza Friday. His unit was in Gaza, about to be ambushed. They were about to take refuge in a house. Moments before they entered the house, they saw a dove simply standing in the air. They thought it very strange that the dove was just standing there without flapping its wings. They took powerful binoculars and looked carefully at the dove and saw that it was perched on an impossibly thin, nearly transparent line.

They shot towards the dove and as it moved, the wire jerked and the building exploded and collapsed. Had they entered, they would have been killed.

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