I'm hearing time and time again how meaningful the civillian letters of encouragement were to the IDF soldiers that received them durin the operation. They kept them in their vests, they read them over and over again, it saved em during difficult times...I find it near-chilling. TheHorizensBeginning wrote a beautiful letter to an IDF soldier that was sent to some (unknown) lucky chayal. Here is an excerpt:
While across the road lies a world filled with injustice and murder In you lies a beating warm heart Filled with Jewish fervor While on the other side lives a coward hiding behind others In you there's a ferocious lion protecting its sisters and brothersI LOVE hearing/reading things like this--
One of the rabbis mentioned that on that Erev Shabbat, before entering the ground phase, it was clear that the small synagogue in the base would not house the participants: The minyan moved to daven at the soccer field, until virtually the entire Golani brigade was present, singing, answering Kaddish and davening Kabbalat Shabbat. "If not for the time, the place, and the color of the uniform," he told, "it could have been Tfillat Ne'ila at any one of the large Yeshivas".
Like the paragraph above, things like this bring tears to my eyes. Tears of mourning that swim with tears of gladness.
Rabbi Amos Netanel, father of Captain Yonatan Netanel, one of four soldiers killed by friendly fire, had this to say to the tank crew responsible for the terrible accident that took his son: "You did not kill Yoni," Netanel told them. "Yoni sanctified God's name at the exact time that it was decreed in the heavens. You were the sacred messengers who carried out God's will. Better that your pure hands kill him and not the defiled enemy hand. Evildoers could not have hurt him." At Rabbi Netanel's request, the IDF Chaplaincy helped him contact the tank crew, currently fighting in Gaza, before Shabbat. "The family very much wanted to communicate our message to the soldiers before the Shabbat," Netanel said. "It was something that we wanted to resolve." Netanel told the tank crew that he and his family were conscious of the fact that casualties caused by friendly fire were part of every war. "Under this working assumption Yoni went out to war, under this working assumption we sent him out to battle. We accept this as part of the struggle to overcome the enemy, and we love you and embrace you."
I forwarded this photo, with the subject "nice, no?" to a few people and here were the responses:
E-"and sad. they are so young. and happy. and carefree. they shouldn't be in uniform."
M-"No. They have crooked teeth and funny smiles/laugh and weird hat."
R-"you realize it's impossible to look at this without grinning?"
A must-read article about miracles that took place durin .מבצע עופרת יצוקה An excerpt:
A Hamas map was found, with booby-traps, landmines and sniper positions clearly spelled out. The IDF was able to counter each installation due to the information given. A large platoon of soldiers not realizing they were resting in a school that was booby-trapped, (discovered by a soldier relieving himself in the night), disarmed the bombs with no one hurt. A single soldier successfully fought off several Hamas terrorists trying to drag him into a tunnel, and all were captured. Hundreds of tunnels, hidden in homes under beds and kitchen cabinets, all full of live explosives and ammunition, yet none have exploded with IDF soldiers inside.
Then, Rafi G. is still obsessed with the Rochel Imeinu story. I'm not even linking to him anymore-Blogger's Anti-Spam people are gonna hunt me down. But, from a comment on one of the posts, I got to reading a beautiful incident, Momma Rochel Brings Teshuva.
The Jerusalem Post reported that according to Army Radio, IDF had decided not to release the names and pictures of battalion and brigade commanders who participated in Operation Cast Lead. The decision was made in anticipation that international war crimes lawsuits would be filed against IDF officers, who could face prosecution when traveling overseas. Indeed, Israeli Leftists have already created a website (wanted.org.il) appealing to Israelis to inform the World Court if any of these people leave Israel (so they can be arrested and prosecuted) The Left in Israel have gone so far as to actively petition the World Court in the Hague -- that Israeli politicians and IDF officers be tried for War Crimes against humanity, for their part in the Gaza "Cast Lead" counter offensive.
Ouch. (but feel free to read more)
O shkoyach, Muqata 7:30 AM NRG reports that captured Hamas terrorists from Gaza admit they sold Humanitarian Aid and food that the IDF allowed into Gaza during the Cast Lead organization.
Retarded Israeli government. And yes, unlike most of you, I can use that word.
Addressing the government's leaders, Aviva Shalit cried, “You promised us you'd bring him back.” She held the IDF responsible as well, referring to “the unwritten covenant between the IDF and mothers that was carved in stone: we give our sons and daughters, and the state gives them back when their service is over... In my private case, I feel that covenant slipping from my fingers.”
Precious, precious Gilad.
You have thousands waiting, praying, hoping, crying.
You have thousands writing, calling, begging, dealing.
But not enough?
We want you home.
We want you home and healthy.
Healthy in body and healthy in spirit and healthy in mind.
You're our kid, Gilad.
You're in our hearts, our mouths, our deeds, non-stop.