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Israel: A Nation of Heroes

Israel: A Nation of Heroes

Since September there have been 307 attacks or attempted attacks in 170 days, in which 33 people have been killed and 360 injured.


The Israeli people are heroes. They have endured an onslaught of terrorist attacks that would have crippled any other nation on earth. Since September there have been 307 attacks or attempted attacks in 170 days, in which 33 people have been killed and 360 injured. There have been 192 stabbings, 76 shootings and 39 vehicular attacks.

An extended onslaught of this nature would break the morale and ability to function of any society. And yet Israelis go about their daily lives in fortitude and bravery. Children go to school, people go to work and society continues to function at a very high level, shaking off the constant threat of danger with remarkable resilience.

An extended onslaught of this nature would break the morale and ability to function of any society.

Jews in the Diaspora watch from afar in awe and admiration, and in unwavering support. The words of King David from the Book of Psalms come to mind: “May God bless His angels, mighty heroes who listen to the call of His word.”

The people of Israel are the brave angels of God Himself. The Talmud says that this verse refers to those farmers who observe the Sabbatical year, when farmers do not cultivate or harvest their fields: “It is the normal way of the world for a person to be able to do a mitzvah for one day, one week or one month, but for an entire year?! And this farmer sees his field lying desolate and he sits silently. Is there any greater hero than this?” The Talmud sees such personal discipline and commitment to doing the right thing, as heroic and brave, indeed, even angelic and super-human.

Certainly the same can be said of the brave people of Israel today. To apply the thinking of the Talmud to the current situation one could say: It is the normal way of the world for people to endure terrorist attacks, for one day or one week; but the Israeli people have endured terrorist attacks on their streets now for months, and yet they face these challenges with enormous bravery. Are there any greater heroes? Indeed the verse “May God bless His angels the mighty heroes” applies directly to each and every man, women and child of the Israeli people, who have with such fortitude endured such an onslaught.

And the onslaught of recent months is just the latest mutation of an ongoing war to destroy Israel, one which began at the birth of the Jewish state, and even before, and has taken the form of seven conventional wars and many waves of terrorism.

For decades without respite generations of Israelis have fought with remarkable heroism and bravery in the armed forces of their country, to defend their homes and cities from murderous attacks. All the while, they have created, with God’s blessings, a flourishing society, which has absorbed millions of refugees, establishing a haven of freedom and prosperity in a region of hatred and oppression.

And they have done so for all these years with positive energy and even optimism.

Israeli society is filled with a joy for life and with a will to celebrate every part of it. This is the greatest answer to the terrorists, who seek to bring destruction and death to the world. Jews around the world are so deeply grateful to the people of Israel because it is this bravery and the refusal to bow in submission before evil violence that ensures that the freedom and independence of Israel to function as a Jewish state in the Middle East is protected.

And indeed, all decent people in every civilized country should be grateful to the Israeli people for standing so resolutely on the front lines of the war against the forces of radical Islam, which seek to assault and destroy freedom, life and dignity. The Israeli response of little children attending nursery school, or teenagers high school, or the countless Israelis walking to synagogue on Shabbat, and who go to their businesses and places of work each and every single day with a positivity and determination, is the greatest answer to the forces of evil that seek to destroy civilization based on the values of life, dignity and freedom – values which our Torah gave to the world.

And it is for the defense of these sacred values that we pay humble and grateful tribute to the heroes of Israel, and we pray, “May God bless His angels, mighty heroes.”

March 5, 2016

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Visitor Comments: 4

(4) Scott, March 10, 2016 6:11 AM

Is it really bravery?

Israelis are fighters. We really are. But is it bravery? What many American Jews and even Israelis with US passports like me sometimes forget is that there is no alternative for most Israelis. The choice is fight or die. It's that simple. Where they gonna go? Where's the third alternative? Who is going to take millions of Israelis in? What country is going to ride in on a white horse and stop the slaughter if the arabs roll across the border and win? If you got a family and kids how can you not go to work at a time when arabs are murdering Jews? Your landlord gonna give you a free month every time somebody gets stabbed in your town? I dont think israelis accept terrorism. I don't think we are inherently resilient people. We're just Jews living in Israel. The only difference between Israelis and any other jewish community in the last two thousand years is that we not only have the means to fight back, our culture has provided us with role models that have demonstrated that Jews can actually fight. So we fight when we can and must but the rest of the time we get on with the life of Jews in the world. Because we have no choice.

(3) simone, March 8, 2016 2:52 AM

Am Yisrael Chai! Yisrael will be here long after all who try to murder us! We have endured all in 3,000 years no matter how anti-semitic or ugly you are, Yisrael was built from the desert with blood, sweat and tears and no you do not get the right to take it away, murder it's citizens and destroy their country!

(2) Damon, March 7, 2016 12:23 PM

Making the same mistake again

Before the Babylonians invaded Israel, they considered themselves a nation of heroes. Unfortunately, Israel is making the same mistake again.

(1) Dvirah, March 6, 2016 6:49 PM

Emotional Terrorism

One can also add, that all this takes place in the face of almost universal diapproval and demonization of the very qualities that should be admired.

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