But before I link to anything else, here are names of soldiers n civilians that need your prayers.
I generally go first to the muqata for super frequent and detailed updates of the matzav (painful as it is to follow the hype ;)..but I do comfort myself with the knowledge that I've been there months and even years before most of the others hehe) but apparently, Israellycool also does the updating thing.
Lookin forward to some Geula updates, I tell ya.
In the meantime, this video about a Hamas leader reforming is pretty cool. Encouraging only if ten million more followed suit so it's not that meaningful..but it's interesting nonetheless. I think I saw it on Rafi's blog first. (Nice guy, btw. Or, a good actor. Staaam) Much of the stuff in this post comes from the muqata blog and from Life in Israel by Rafi G.
Talk about blog linkage, apparently Double Tapper can use some blog visits now that he's been called up for miluiim and his stats will drop due to non-posting. (Interesting that Jameel writes bout that..vs "let's pray long and let's pray hard" nu nu)
Then there's Amo. Avrohom Meir Ostfeld, a Canadian Chabad bochur, who has volunteered in the IDF and is now fighting in Gaza. His brother in law in the States is keepin a sort of journal: I spoke to Amo. Here is his latest entry:
I just had the opportunity to talk to Amo for 2 minutes. He was whispering the whole time and was like - Shmuli I can’t talk now it’s in middle of a war. I said yes you can it’s your brother in law. I told him how much we are all praying for him, about this blog, and how everyone in Toronto and elsewhere are all davening for him and are worried about him. He said don’t make a big deal about me please.
Then his voice got excited and he said “Shmuli you have no idea, I love it here – get this, Friday night my Unit made a Minyan in a shelled house which we took over… we couldn’t have lights on so we had the place lit with flares, we were singing and dancing L’cha Dodi while mortar shells and rockets were going off all around us, but we didn’t care, now that’s a Shabbos I won't forget, it was like a carnival”
I said Amo we are all so proud of you and your faith and determination is inspiring, we are all happy your ok... but were not sleeping at night man. I am happy your having a carnival, but finish up and get home. He says don’t worry man were doing fine, I have my Teffilin, Tzitzis, Chitas and dollar of the Rebbe, I feel protected and secure.
He talked briefly and proudly about the business he is talking care of. He said they have faced many booby traps and resistance in the past few days, in one round of fire they received his friend was hit in the leg...
Although the initial reality of the war may be wearing off, please do not let up in saying Tehillim and doing Mitzvot as for the soldiers the danger is still very real and they need our prayers.
His name is Avrohom Meir ben Leah Naomi and he's gone with his friend Levi Yitzchak ben Margalit.
Here is an unbiased analysis of the war. A bit old by now, but refreshing nonetheless.
O wow, I just read a fantastic story that's going around of how soldiers were miraculously protected in Gaza. Quite unbelievable! (emphasis on "unbelievable" hehe stam. no seriously actually--I cannot at all vouch for its authenticity).
The Israeli soldiers were going from house to house looking for terrorists the other night. Three times in the same night, at three different houses, a woman dressed all in black stopped them from entering. She pleaded with them not to go in. They listened to her and found out all three of the houses were rigged with tons of explosives. She saved a lot of our soldiers from dying. No one knows who she was. She disappeared as quickly as she had appeared. One soldier asked who are you, and she said Rachel. Other soldiers heard her say this.
In the Sixth [sic] Day War, a similar incident happened with a very old man sitting by the side of the road. He appeared to many groups of soldiers in the same day, telling them don't go down that road, or they must go down this road. When the soldiers all got together and shared the story, they were astounded that they all saw the same old man, dressed the same way, but at different places during the war. (This was told to me by a man who fought in the Sixth [sic] Day War and experienced this miracle first hand).
And yet, with all the craziness, the danger and the fright, one family in Beer Sheva sticks to humor. They posted a sign on their door with the following written on it (see original in Hebrew):
It says: In case this house is hit by a rocket...
Security Forces: Stay calm, we are by our parents.
Property Tax Authorities: In the apartment we had a plasma television, a bottle of 1709 Bordeaux wine, a rare antique porcelain statue.
Cable Company: the plasma screen was only a spare (not in use)
Ruthie: If we get hit we will not pay the vaad bayit expense (building maintenance fee)
A doctor in Chevron realizes that the miracles that are occurring with every rocket. He believes that Tate Is Talking To Us. (Tate is yiddish for "father". Referring to our Father in Heaven, G-d) It's quite amazing, My best part? Where a cigarette saves his life :)
The Mishnah says that in a war that is a mitzva (Bibilical commandment, such as a defensive war, like the current one), even a groom leaves his room, and a bride leaves her Chuppa [wedding canopy]. IDF combat officer Aharon Karov was married only 2 weeks ago; he left his troops from the Gaza front a few hours before his wedding, got married, and the following morning was back at the front with his troops. Now he has been critically wounded from a Hamas explosive in northern Gaza and is fighting for his life. His full name is Aharon Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana.
Ruti Mizrachi (mother of IDF soldier Yehoshua Adam ben Sara Imeinu) composed a blessing for the soldiers and it's been jumpin around in my head ever since I read it. Here it is: May Hashem bless our soldiers with safety, strength, wisdom in battle, loyalty to each other, and success. May they have many mitzvot that Hashem requires of them, which they can only fulfill as healthy old men.
Amen! Amen! Amen!
According to CNN, Hamas vowed to "fight until the last breath". Like Rafi G says, we are happy to oblige-we will fight you until your last breath as well. Hopefully you will breathe that last breath soon!