I thought by this time I’d be able to write that the war was over and peace had descended on Israel. But I learned a long time ago that for us it’s never over until such time as Mashiach will come.
I remember how irritated my husband, HaRav Meshulem HaLevi Jungreis, z”tl, was at the Israeli song HaMilchamah HaAchronah, which was highly popular at the time of the Yom Kippur War. The song’s refrain was “Ani mavtichah lach, yaldah sheli ketanah – I promise you my little girl, this will be the last war.”
How can one make such a promise, my husband would ask. Only Hashem can guarantee such a blissful eventuality. The last war? Alas, for us that can only be when Mashiach arrives and we humans will become as our Creator meant us to be – peaceful and loving men and women. But the way things are now, that time appears as remote as ever.
This latest war started after thousands of missiles had been launched at Israeli cities and villages. For a long while Israel sat silently, but there comes a time to declare “enough is enough.”
My little great-grandchildren recently arrived from Israel to visit with the family. They are able to perfectly simulate the terrifying sound of the warning sirens. The shrill whistle echoes in their ears and they know they have to run quickly to a shelter. How can the elderly, the infirm, run in seconds – or even in minutes – to a shelter?
Yes, for the longest time our people held back but finally the government made the decision to eradicate Hamas’s deadly terror tunnels from which the savage killers could make their way into Israel to attack homes, schools, shopping centers, etc.
At the risk of their lives our young people courageously went forth. “M’neshorim kalu…they are swifter than eagles, stronger than lions, to do the will of their Creator.”
What is the will of our Creator? What does Hashem want of us? That we should protect each other. And protect the awesome heritage G-d gave us – our Torah and our land. Make no mistake about it: if our enemies have their way, the atrocities we recently witnessed in Iraq against entire Christian and other non-Muslim communities would, G-d forbid, befall all those who refuse to convert to Islam.
These terrorists are worshipers of death. They are not just content to kill but they must torture as well. And if that is the fate of Christians, can you image what the jihadists would do to us if they ever had the chance?
So of course Israel had to act. Would any nation sit by silently while under constant attack? But Israel is expected to do just that.
And would any nation surrender vital territory to people whose charter calls for the destruction of that country and the murder of its citizens? Yet, incredible as it seems now, this was done by Israeli leaders in the recent past. Israel abandoned Gush Katif – Gaza – to the terrorists. It forcefully deported its own people from the very land they had converted from barren desert into flourishing gardens.
True to form, as soon our enemies get hold of the land they converted the newly irrigated soil into launching pads of terror. In short order the missiles and rockets came flying. And when, after seemingly endless patience, Israel finally took action, the nations of the world raised their voices in outrage.
We were not surprised. We recognized their behavior from our long and tragic experience with them.
* * * * * I have taken many groups to Auschwitz and on each occasion the skies were cloudy and dark. Either it was raining or looked like it would rain.