21 Av 5781 / Friday, July 30, 2021 | Torah Reading: Eikev
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The Jewish Art of War    

The Jewish Art of War

This is a call to arms for anyone who wants Hashem to rule over a just and holy world.


The battle might be over, but the war rages on.  


Ceasefire or not, the good people of this earth are engaged in a life-or-death confrontation between civilization and savage anarchy.   


Our enemies are everywhere. They are firing missiles into the coastline of Israel, burning Synagogues in cities, and attacking the City of God.  


They are parading in every major city in the west, physically assaulting Jews everywhere,  targeting  our brothers, our children, and our daughters. 


We are all in a battle to the death against Satan’s forces of darkness. The terms progressive,  liberal, and transgender are cover. Behind the rainbow curtain lies the Devil Himself.  


Nobody can sit on the sidelines.  


This is a call to arms for anyone who wants Hashem to rule over a just and holy world. 


However, our weapons are not weapons of war: They trust in chariots and in horses, but we mention the name of the Lord our God. They kneel and fall, but we rise and gain strength (Psalms 20:8-9). 


From the beginning of time, to the current end, we fight with repentance, good deeds and prayer. 



The History of Jewish Warfare 


Three thousand years ago Hashem showed us His version of The Art of War. We were pitted against 135,000 Midianites, Amalekites, and Edomites. We had sinned before Him, and He put us in their hands: “And the children of Israel did that which displeased the Lord,  and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian (for) seven years  (Judges, 6:1).  
After praying to G-d for mercy, He accepted our pleas: “Now it was when the children of Israel cried to the Lord concerning Midian (Judges, 6:7). 

We were ready to fight with a force of 32,000 men. It was too many. We could win a military battle with these numbers and it would be considered natural.  


And the Lord said to Gideon, The people that are with you are too numerous for Me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel vaunt themselves against Me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me (Judges, 7:2). 


Hashem wanted us to know that we were subjugated by our enemies due to our sins. It wasn’t the Midianites. It wasn’t the Nazis. It wasn’t Hamas. It was us.  


We are the reason for our own misery.  


We are also the catalyst for our joy. Once we repent, Hashem will bless us with victory.  


He commanded Gideon to fight with 300 men. God taught us powerful lessons: 

  1. 1. We need a fighting force in this material world to wage war.  


  2. 2. The size, makeup, technology, strategic position of that army means absolutely nothing.  


  2. 3. Hashem decides who wins. He decides whom He will support. He decides who is the winner.  


Much like Sun Tzu’s version, wars are won before they even begin.  


The 135,000 has more manpower, resources, technology, and they held the high ground. They could see Gideon coming from miles away.  


Hashem granted Gideon victory. Against every law of military warfare, logic, and even nature itself, Gideon and his forces won.  


It was God’s will.  



Modern Warfare Follows the Same Halacha 


Every war Israel has fought followed this rule: 


In 1948, the Arabs had the resources and the manpower. The British gave them all the strategic hilltops, along with battle-hardened generals from the British army to lead them.  


We had 600,000 people armed with shovels and rifles.  


We were also perfectly pure before Hashem. All our sins were wiped away. We had gone through 12 years of absolute Hell on earth; there was no blemish left.  


Hashem blessed us with victory over seven combined Arab forces.  


The week before the Six Day War was the greatest week since the Temple stood in Jerusalem.  


We were united. We prayed with one voice. Secular Jewish beatniks from Greenwich Village would pound on a Rabbis door in Crown Heights at 2am demanding that he pray for his brothers and sisters in Israel. Chabad emissaries stood on street corners in all major cities, offering any Jew the opportunity to pray for their brethren in Israel while putting on Tefi