In recent days, several of our customers and other well-wishers who are aware we are located in Eretz Yisrael have sent us emails voicing solidarity and support.
One message read as follows:
We are following the events unfolding in Israel, praying for everyone’s safety, and the success of the IDF. G-d willing, this will bring an end to the rockets falling on our people. Over here [in the U.S.] we are doing all we can to make sure the world understands what Israel is facing, and that the IDF is acting in defense of the people of Israel, not engaged in a war of aggression against innocent Palestinians. So far it seems we are winning the hearts and minds of people, who understand that living under constant rocket fire is intolerable. Apart from this, we are getting the word out that it is important to support the Israeli economy by purchasing Israeli goods, either in stores or online. The response has been enthusiastic so far.
We are located in the Modi’in area, which is not in the line of firing (although my son claims he saw a rocket in the southern sky Shabbos night). Still, I have vague concerns of unsavory developments that could unfold in the days to come. Though I have confidence in the competence and capabilities of the IDF (I myself did more three-week IDF Reserves stints in combat units than I care to remember), but there is always the possibility of variables beyond their control.
Just about every time Israel is in a state of war, the messages sent to the Jewish people from above are painfully obvious. Even the country’s and the army’s secular leadership often tap into these messages. Case in point: the current confrontation was named Mivtza Amud Anan or “Operation Pillar of Cloud,” which is clearly a reference to the night before Krias Yam Suf (the Splitting of the Sea), when “the angel of G‑d, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel.”
As the Midrash notes, the cloud not only separated between the Egyptians and the Israelites, it also intercepted the catapulted stones and the arrows shot from the Egyptian camp.
Today, two rockets aimed at Jerusalem landed in a West Bank village on the outskirts of the capital. Obviously this was not the IDF’s doing. Could it be a modern-day equivalent of arrows shot by Israel’s enemies being deflected by Divine clouds?
In his showdown with Esau, Yaakov Avinu knew how to run a three-point campaign: diplomacy, warfare and prayer. Israel needs the prayers of all of the Jewish people. Although the war is under control, we are constantly dependent on siyata diShmaya (help from Above) to ensure things don’t take a sharp turn for the worse.
How do we keep Hashem on our side? One way is by putting extra effort into Torah study and observing mitzvahs. So be sure to take a close look at your tzitzit (see Shulchan Aruch 24, 1) as a constant reminder of our obligation to adhere faithfully to Torah and mitzvahs.