Eretz Yisrael Time

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006
I just started rereading Rav Nebenzahl’s book on Elul titled appropriately enough “Thoughts for the Month of Elul”. It’s an unusual book in that I always find the content appropriate for the events whirling around me.

I was reading the chapter “Teshuva is Very Near to You” and he is discussing the army and war.

Specifically he asked why did Moshe need to send the entire army (600,000 soldiers) to take down Ai, when 3000 would have been more than enough, and conversely, why did Gideon go out to battle with just 300 men, when 32,000 is really what he needed.

Rav Nebenzahl answers, it is to teach us that Israel being victorious in battle is related solely to our national spiritual merit. To capture Ai we needed all the nations spiritual merit in the battle (why is a separate question). For Gideon to win, he needed just a mere 300 men (specifically to teach us that G/d is fighting the battles for us).

In Shoftim it says that the Jewish people forgot G/d and our punishment was that the generations of Israel learned to make war.

That was our punishment? Learning how to make war!

Yes, because when out merit is high, we don’t need to know how to fight in order to win, as G/d takes care of that, but when our merit is low, we need to actually learn tactics (and logistics).

Applying this to our past wars and the recent Lebanon debacle, it would seem there is much truth in Rav Nebenzahl’s words - if we choose to hear them.


Jameel @ The Muqata said...

I thought college was punishment...

JoeSettler said...

Without giving to much away, I thought we all had a pretty good time actually.

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