The Charedim were calling the National Religious Amalekites, while the rest of the nation attacked them as extremists. The Charedim were looked at as corrupt parasites. The non religious were seen as heretics, anti-Jewish, and assimilationists. Look what has happened in the last month and a half. The nation and the army together have become unified, full of strength and a deep bond to our shared traditions. Even the media, who in the past has pulled the nation in the opposite direction, has mostly lined up behind us, supporting the surge in fighting and the nation as a whole.
I have seen the nation standing strong on the home front as well. Dozens of trucks from all over the country have come to bring supplies and treats to the soldiers. A father, mourning the loss of son who had been killed in the fighting, drove a truck down to help support his other sons, the soldiers of the IDF. My own children laugh that I’m unfamiliar with the singer Moki, but he, and other popular entertainers like him, came down to play for the troops, even if they were only performing for a dozen soldiers. People organized themselves to help the wives of those soldiers who received emergency call up notices, helping with shopping, watching the kids and more. The owners of one successful Hi-Tech company bought tablets for all the wounded soldiers. Caterers and restauranteurs who have come down to provide barbecues for thousands of soldiers to help them keep their strength up, making immense efforts, even though they themselves aren’t religious, to keep the strictest Kashrut so all are comfortable eating.
And it just goes on. The mother of one Charedi soldier who was shot in the stomach wanted me to make sure that he is able to go back and rejoin his comrades still in battle. The Mir Yeshiva (the largest Charedi rabbinical seminary in Jerusalem) sent a truckload of food and equipment to the soldiers. Rabbi Steineman (the leader of the Charedi community) broke down in tears at his grandson’s Bar Mitzvah saying, “soldiers are wounded and dying on the front, how can I rejoice?” To that in perspective, it’s said when his wife passed away, he calmly informed the paramedics where she had passed and returned to his Torah learning.
On Shabbat eve there are hundreds of soldiers of all stripes and origins dancing together. You have 1500 soldiers listening to Kiddush (benediction on wine on the Sabbath) all answering amen in unison loudly enough to shake the heavens.
A platoon commander who was wounded and in the middle of being evacuated to the hospital demands that his troops, his children, are all accounted for before he goes.
I can relate hundreds of more stories of strength and courage flowing from the soldier, their commanders and our amazing nation as a whole that I’ve heard and seen in the last month.
Let us all give paid to the lie that we somehow lost and Hamas won.
Let’s all make this change together, with our families and with our workmates. Let us all finally understand, THIS is what victory looks like.
Translated by Evan@Muqata