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August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
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Letter to Our Son in Gaza

What do you say to your son as he waits on the outskirts of Gaza? This is the message that I sent him.
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Photo Credit: Moshe Shai/FLASH90

Our 22-year old son has been re-stationed with his Golani brigade to a makeshift base at the outskirts of Gaza. I am very proud that he has the chance to uphold the honor of Hashem and Israel, and I know he is proud too. In my mind, there is no greater, holier, and transcendental mitzvah than fighting in the Israel Defense Forces, in defense of the Nation of Israel, to wipe out the enemies of Hashem.

The soldiers who are willing to put their lives on the line for Am Yisrael are the true heroes of holiness, just like our holy heroes of our past, Avraham in his war to save Lot; Moshe Rabainu in his wars against kings who rose up against us on our way to the Promised Land; Yehoshua Ben Nun in his conquest of the Eretz Yisrael; and others like King David and the Maccabees, all of whom will be fighting alongside our soldiers when the order comes to enter Gaza and annihilate Hamas. When the occasion demanded, these holy heroes all closed their Gemaras and strode off to war, just as the Torah commands, for the honor of Hashem and Israel.

What do you say to your son as he waits on the outskirts of Gaza? This is the SMS message that I sent him:

Dear Precious Son,

Your mother and I, as well as your brothers and sister, are all very proud of you, and proud of all your friends who are with you, and proud of all the IDF soldiers who are prepared to fight and destroy the enemies of Hashem. Just as our hearts are with you, the whole country is with you. You are acting on our behalf. I wish I could be there with you.

I know you probably didn’t have time to pack any books to take with you when orders came to head south, so I am sending you a little something from the Rambam, which I am certain you know, but which is always good to read over again. May these words of Torah protect you and your comrades, and lead the forces of Israel to a swift and decisive victory over our enemies, with the hope that you will have the green light to finish the job until the very last terrorist in Gaza is destroyed. And if you receive orders that don’t seem right to you, orders that endanger you and your fellow soldiers, lest “innocent” civilians be hurt – don’t listen to them, but do whatever you have to do to protect yourself and your friends over every other consideration, for there are no innocent civilians in Gaza, and the laws of the Torah, and the laws of guarding Jewish life, override the “what will the goyim say?” considerations of man.

In the Laws of Milchemah, The Rambam writes:

“A man should not think at the time of war his wife, nor of his children, nor of his possessions, but he must free his heart of everything and set himself to the battle. And more – he should think that the entire existence of Israel depends on him… For everyone who fights with all of his heart, and with the intention to sanctify the Name of Hashem, is promised that he will not be harmed… and he will merit the Life of the World to Come.”

Therefore, my precious son – be not afraid. Put your trust in Hashem, for you are bringing honor to Him and His Nation. We love you and will see you soon at home, when the enemies of Israel have been crushed.

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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63 Responses to “Letter to Our Son in Gaza”

  1. Alan Silverstein says:

    Beautiful thoughts and well written.

  2. Beautiful thoughts and well written.

  3. Liad Bar-el says:

    Our prayers are with your son and with all the IDF and their families at this time of Israel's sanctification.

    If you would, Tzvi, please post his name and the name of your wife. Thanks. Sephardim use the name of the mother whereas Ashkenazim use the name of the father. Everyone should be praying to HaShem at this important time in our history.

    May HaShem bless, watch over, be gracious, and forbearing to your son, Tzvi, along with all of the soldiers and families of the IDF so that Clal Israel will have peace and oneness with HaShem. AMEN

  4. Phil Aghion says:

    Great article…wonderfully written.

  5. Liad Bar-el says:

    The next fighting place for the Golani brigade should be the Temple Mount.

  6. Miriam Birbragher Abadi says:

    Am Israel chai vekaiam… May Hash.m protect you, and all our dear brave soldiers.

  7. MAY HASHEM PROTECT YOUR SON AND ALL ISRAEL CHILDREN!

  8. Shimon Vega Carvajal says:

    OUR SONS WILL DESTROY THE ENEMIES OF HASHEM!

  9. Mechel Richard Ittleman says:

    My 21-year old son, Shlomo Sholom ben Rivka, is also posted near Gaza with his brigade. I could not have said any better what Mr. Fishman has written. As we pray for a successful operation and for everyone's safety, be beseech the Al-mighty to protect all of the men and women of Tzahal and all of Klal Yisrael.

  10. Mari Wolk says:

    Gd bless you and and Eretz Yisroel. I will be praying for you this Shabbos.

  11. Father blessing his son; I have tears in my eyes. I'll pray that HaShem protect him and keep his family in peace of mind. Israel can be proud for IDF. Am Israel Chai!

  12. Bracha Bennett-Garland says:

    May it be HaShem's will that your son and all of our precious soldiers be protected from our enemies. Stay strong.

  13. Daniel Sigmund Reichwald says:

    May the G-d of Israel bless & protect him & all those defending our homeland.

  14. Vardit Lightstone says:

    amen

  15. John Beaman says:

    That is the spirit and faith one needs in battle. OOHRAH young man!

  16. Yan Kerzhner says:

    Wow….I'm speechless! In the merit of our forefathers, may they finish the job and all return safely to their loving families!

  17. WHAT CAN A MOTHER/GRNDMA SAY MOR THAN THIS.

  18. Susan Kagan says:

    From

  19. iT WAS NO ACCIDENT, my friend WHEN YOU CHOSE TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED ON WITH ME!

  20. Adam Safanov says:

    Damn.. that's some real

  21. Edith Topor says:

    What a beautiful letter and words and may all our soldiers be blessed and may Hashem protect them

  22. Uta Kohl says:

    May HaShem bless father, mother and son. We must believe, that is victory in faith.

  23. Liad Bar-el says:

    I'm making a list of soldiers for protection in daily prayers.

    So far I have Shlomo Sholom ben Rivka.

    Need Tzvi's son name and mother's name.

    Anybody else who wants their Gaza soldier's son's or daughter's name on list please post here along with mother's name.

  24. Chaiya Eitan says:

    We are indebted to you and all the soldiers of the IDF and IAF and the Navy!

  25. Very powerful and inspiring…May Hashem protect all of our wonderful soldiers..

Comments are closed.

Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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