Thursday, July 24, 2014

Another Round of Achdus - for Now.

Nahal Brigade soldiers carry Sgt. Eitan Barak, 20, to his resting place (JP)
Once again we are displaying an incredible degree of Achdus. Every time we are in pain or are our mortal existence is threatened, we stand together as one people. It is increasingly obvious that the only way we do not figuratively slit each other’s throats is when we are attacked as Jews.

YWN reports that R’ Chaim Kanievsky has called upon his community to pray for the soldiers of the IDF, acknowledging the miracles we now witness. Even the Satmar Rebbe of Kiryas Joel, R’ Aharon Teitelbaum (no Zionist he) has directed his Chasidim to say 5 Perakim of Tehillim after each morning’s prayer service for the purpose of supplicating God to protect the people of Israel at this time.

Nowhere is this Achdus better described than in a letter from a soldier on the border with Gaza.  It is available on The Muqata Facebook page – translated from the original Hebrew. Here is an excerpt. 
What's happening here in the staging area [area where soldiers prepare to enter Gaza] is beyond comprehension, not rationally, not emotionally and beggars the imagination.
Almost every hour a car shows up overflowing with food, snacks, cold drinks, socks, underwear, undershirts, hygiene supplies, wipes, cigarettes, backgammon and more. They're coming from the North and the Center, from manufacturers, from companies and private businesses, from prisons, Chareidim and Settlers, from Tel Aviv and even Saviyon.
Every intersection on they way down here we get stopped, not by the police, but be residents giving out food. What is amazing is that the entire situation wasn't organized and everyone is coming on their own without coordination between the folks coming.
They're writing letters and blessings, how they're thinking of us all the time. There are those who spent hours making sandwiches, so they're as perfect and comforting as possible.
Of course representatives of Chabad are here to help soldiers put on Tefillin and distributing Cha'Ta'Ts (Chumash, Tehillim, Tanya) for every troop transport and Breslov are showing up to the border and dancing with the soldiers with great joy.
The Chareidim are coming from their yeshivot to ask the names of the soldiers with their mothers' names so that the whole yeshiva can pray for them. It should be mentioned that all of this is done under the threat of the terrorist tunnels and rockets in the area. 
This is the way it should be. It shouldn’t take rocket fire from Hamas to get us to do that. I think everyone appreciates what these brave young men are doing for the people of Israel.  After 32 funerals of soldiers killed in action it should be obvious to everyone no matter what their Hashkafa, that a soldier in Israel puts his life on the line for our people.

The question is, will it last? Or will we once again start hearing about the army being nothing but a social engineering experiment? Will there be a resumption of verbal and in some cases physical attacks  by extremists against Charedim who have joined the army? I hope not. But experience has taught me that once the dangers have passed, it will be business as usual.

There is one individual that seems to be signaling very plainly that this will be the case. It is none other than the spiritual head of the Sephardi Shas party, Rabbi Shalom Cohen. He makes the Satmar Rebbe look like a Zionist.  From the Jerusalem Post - here is what he said at a prayer service at the Kotel: 
“Israel doesn’t need an army.” “Do you think that the people of Israel need an army?” “It is God almighty who fights for Israel.”
When stunned worshipers asked the rabbi to offer a blessing for IDF troops, he replied, “Do you think you are fighting? I am fighting for you. We screamed out to God: ‘Save us without inflicting anymore sorrow on the people of Israel’.” 
Where does he think he would be without IDF - the instrument by which God protects the Jewish people? Why does this man get any respect at all from anyone?! He is a walking embarrassment and his statements sicken me!