This is for all the people that (have and still) pray for miracles for Israel.
Israelis are a very cynical, practical people who tend to trust no one but themselves and yet many (if not most) will tell you that miracles are real.
I think most people around the world tend to think of miracles as something that might have happened in ancient times. Christians tend to imagine miracles as something spectacular – like a bush that burns with flame and yet does not burn to char or a man that can walk on water. Many people picture miracles as spontaneous remission from disease.
In reality miracles tend to be non-spectacles, most commonly – events that should have occurred and simply didn’t. Yes, I said ‘common’. In Israel we see miracles frequently.
This country is full of ingenuity. The people are brilliant and strong but all too often it seems that we are living on a prayer and surviving by miracles.
The Iron Dome missile defense system, for example, has become famous worldwide for its accuracy and precision. The system detects and calculates the trajectory of missiles aimed at Israel’s civilian population. It knows where the missile will land and when it will hit populated areas (homes, buildings etc.), the system sends out its own missile to explode the incoming missile in the sky, preventing its impact on the ground. The technological wonder of this system is its ability to calculate exactly where the in-coming missile will land which allows the system to ignore and not shoot down missiles that will hit an “open space”. The unexplainable element of this is – how, attacked by thousands of Hamas rockets, did tiny Israel suddenly become full of open spaces?
Hamas fired 3,360 rockets. The Iron Dome intercepted 584. 115 hit populated areas in Israel causing some injuries and extensive property damage. 475 Hamas rockets aimed at Israel landed within the Gaza Strip. The majority of the rockets landed in open spaces. Who knew there was so much “open space” in this tiny, crowded country?
When asked about their inability to cause significant damage to Israel, in spite of launching thousands of rockets at the civilian population, a Hamas terrorist was quoted as saying: “We do aim but their God moves the missiles from their trajectory.”
A more dramatic example of this occurred, according to an Iron Dome battery commander, when his battery failed three times to down an incoming missile headed toward Tel Aviv. The missile was going to hit a major location in Tel Aviv; if it did hundreds could have died. He explained to an Israeli news site:
“We fired the first [interceptor]. It missed. Second [interceptor]. It missed. This is very rare. I was in shock. At this point we had just four seconds until the missile lands. We had already notified emergency services to converge on the target location and had warned of a mass-casualty incident. Suddenly, Iron Dome (which calculates wind speeds, among other things) shows a major wind coming from the east, a strong wind that…sends the missile into the sea. We were all stunned. I stood up and shouted, ‘There is a God!’ I witnessed this miracle with my own eyes. It was not told or reported to me. I saw the hand of God send that missile into the sea.”
Col. Ofer Winter, commander of the Givati Infantry Brigade described an event that sounds taken directly from the bible:
A predawn raid had been delayed, forcing his soldiers to move in the light of the rising sun, making it easier for Hamas to target them and putting them in danger. Suddenly a heavy fog descended from out of nowhere, enveloping the soldiers, concealing their movements and protecting them until their objective was achieved – the fog dissipated only when the soldiers were in a secure position.
Col. Winter was criticized by some of the Israeli left for religious overtones in his military conduct however he dismissed this saying that people who never saw battle could choose not to believe in miracles but those who do are forced to begin to believe.
These events were documented, many others were not. Who is going to write about the things that didn’t happen? The bullets that didn’t hit the soldiers? The RPG’s launched directly at them that somehow missed? The ambushes that were discovered moments before it was too late?
Time and time again IDF soldiers got intelligence that a location they were about to enter was booby trapped with explosives – moments before entering. A friend’s son who fought in Gaza told us of a house he and the soldiers with him had to enter. The entire ceiling was covered in gas balloons rigged to explode. They were meant to cause an explosion that would have incinerated the building and all the soldiers inside but didn’t. The soldiers shouldn’t have made it out alive. But they did.
These are just a few examples. There are many, many, more. Many soldiers would tell you that as they walked in to Gaza God went with them. Many others who do not profess any kind of faith would simply say that they were very lucky…
You can be cynical if it makes you happy but if you are, I am not writing this for you. I am writing this for all the people around the world that prayed for miracles. This is for all the people that prayed, sang, meditated etc. for protection of innocents, for safety, for right to prevail. THANK YOU.
Many horrible things happened in Gaza. Urban warfare against a terrorist organization that uses children, women and handicapped people as human shields is practically impossible. Even so, the IDF completed every task given them, doing everything possible to protect both the people of Israel and the civilians of Gaza from Hamas. Although universally criticized, the truth is that the IDF concern for the innocents on the attacking side is unparalleled. Hamas used their own people as human shields BECAUSE they are very familiar with Israel’s insistence on not hurting innocents. Even with all these challenges our soldiers still managed to fight the terrorists, destroy their attack tunnels and maintain our high moral standards. This too is a kind of miracle.
David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister said: “In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.” I believe in miracles. I think that everyone who prayed, wished and hoped for good, helped create miracles.
Please note that the danger has not passed. This war has taught the jihadists where Israel’s weak-points are and the Israeli government’s decision to leave Hamas leadership intact has emboldened them. Hamas is not the only threat; Hezbollah is in the north and the Islamic State is spreading in our direction…
We need miracles now, possibly more than ever before. Please continue to support Israel in your prayers and in your actions. You can help save lives.
It would take an enormous miracle (or perhaps millions of small ones) to make the world a safe and peaceful place for everyone who is safe and peaceful. Who knows? Miracles do happen. Maybe, together, eventually, we will succeed.