A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

Friday, August 1, 2014

MIRACLE IN THE GAZA WAR - ISRAELI SENIOR COMMANDER DESCRIBES MYSTERIOUS CLOUD that shrouded his men during attack as divine protection - Also read a summary of other astounding miracles in the Israeli battlefield

Times of Israel -  An infantry brigade commander said that divine miracles protected his soldiers during the fighting in the Gaza Strip. 

IDF Col. Ofer Winter (left). (YouTube Screenshot)

Givati Brigade commander Col. Ofer Winter told of having witnessed a miraculous occurrence, the likes of which he had never seen before during his military career.
He said that a predawn raid that was intended to make use of the dark as concealment was delayed, forcing the soldiers to move toward their objective as the sun was about to rise.
The soldiers were in danger of being revealed in the light but, Winter recalled, a heavy fog descended to cover their movements until the objective was achieved.
“Suddenly a cloud protected us,” he said, make a reference to the clouds that the Bible says protected the Israelites as they wandered in the desert. “Clouds of glory.”
Only when the soldiers were in a secure position did the fog dissipate, he said.
“It really was a fulfillment of the verse ‘For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to give you victory,’” he said, quoting a passage from Deuteronomy.  Givati Brigade commander Col. Ofer Winter, who made the claims in an interview with the ultra-Orthodox weekly Mishpacha, met with criticism recently for rallying his troops with religious messages.
Israeli soldiers from the Givati brigade seen at the entrance to a terror tunnel. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson/FLASH90)
Givati Brigade at tunnel entrance
Winter lauded the importance of yeshiva students studying Torah as beneficial for the war effort.
“Especially in a time of war, when there is a strong urge to join the fighting forces, we need to emphasize that what the Jewish people need is yeshiva students who will sit and study Torah with greater strength and courage,”
Winter said in the interview, which is to be published this weekend and was previewed by the website NRG on Thursday. “Learning Torah protects the Jewish people more than anything else.”

Ultra-Orthodox rabbis have called off summer vacation in their yeshivas in solidarity with the soldiers fighting in Gaza.
Winter also hinted at popular criticism among Israelis who accuse the government of restraining the IDF from conclusively completing its mission in Gaza. He said that morale was high among the soldiers and that they were achieving all of their objectives more easily than expected, despite suffering losses.
“I am ready, the troops are ready, they have tremendous motivation, but it doesn’t depend on us — it depends on my superiors, and mostly on the political echelon, which needs to remove the restrictions and let us work,” he said.
Winter made headlines over an official dispatch he sent to battalion and company commanders on July 9, telling his subordinates that “history has chosen us to spearhead the fighting (against) the terrorist ‘Gazan’ enemy which abuses, blasphemes and curses the God of Israel’s (defense) forces.”
In the missive he also called upon “the God of Israel” to “make our path successful as we go and stand to fight for the sake of your people of Israel against a foe which curses your name.”
The letter drew harsh criticism from some because it framed Operation Protective Edge as a religious war against non-Jews. The stated aim of the campaign is to halt rocket attacks at Israel and destroying a network of tunnels dug under the border from Gaza that have been used to launch terror attacks inside Israeli territory.
In his interview with Mishpacha, Winter defended the message he sent to the troops, saying that in combat situations everyone finds God.
“Anyone who attacked me for the letter apparently has only seen weapons in pictures, was never in combat, and doesn’t know what fighting spirit is,” he said and revealed that before going into action his custom was to recite the blessing with which the ancient Israelite priests would bless the army before it went to war.
“When a person is in a life-threatening situation he connects with his deepest internal truths, and when that happens, even the biggest atheist meets God,” he said, claiming that soldiers see so many miracles that “it is hard not to believe [in God].
Winter revealed that before heading to the combat zone he met with yeshiva leaders and Kabbalists and asked that they pray for the success of the mission.
He said the rabbis instructed him to take upon himself further religious obligations and that he chose to infuse his morning prayers with more concentration and thought. “It is difficult,” he said, “but I know that it is for the soldiers and I try to keep it up, to extend the prayers and have better concentration.”

Link to this article



The Givati Infantry Brigade - A history

 Another Gaza war miracle
reported by Israeli soldiers
Sudden wind veers Hamas rocket away from Israel and into the sea, when Iron Dome had twice failed to intercept
Read more

Israeli soldiers found themselves face to face with a woman suicide bomber. One of the soldiers began to say a Jewish prayer. Upon hearing it, the woman started to tremble and hesitate. Once disarmed, she turned out to be the daughter of a Jewish woman held captive by Palestinians
Read more 
Miracles in the Six Day War
Eyewitness Accounts

The Conquest of Shechem

The town of Shechem [AKA Nablus] is one of the largest in all of Judea and Samaria. IDF analysts surmized that the conquest of the tens of thousands of Shechem’s inhabitants would likely be one of the most difficult and bloody battles of the 6-Day War.
As background to the following eyewitness account, it is important to understand that one of the largest crossings of the Jordan River leads from Jordan in the east to the Tirza riverbed, which contains a good road through the Samarian mountains right into Shechem. This is the crossing and entrance to Israel that the biblical Abraham, who was coming from the area of Iraq, used as it is written in Genesis 12, “And Abraham traversed the land until Shechem, until Elon Moreh.”
Assuming that the IDF would advance towards Shechem from Israel's coastal plain, the Jordanian army placed its heavy artillery and tanks on the other side of Shechem, in the hilly terrain overlooking the roads leading to Shechem from the west. The IDF decided therefore to outflank the enemy by fighting first to the north and west and coming back down to enter Shechem from the east, "the back door."
Colonel Uri Banari tells his eyewitness account of the conquest of Shechem:

"At the entrance to Shechem stood thousands of Arabs who waved white handkerchiefs and clapped their hands. In our naivete, we returned greetings and smiles. We entered the town and wondered: We are advancing and there is no disorder, no panic, the local armed guards stand by with rifles in their hands keeping order, and the crowds are cheering."
"Suddenly something happened which changed the entire picture in a moment. One of our officers wanted to disarm an Arab guard. When the latter refused, our officer fired a shot in the air. At that moment, all the crowds disappeared and streets emptied out. The Arabs began sniper fire."
"I didn't comprehend what had transpired. Only later, did I understand. The residents of Shechem thought that we were the Iraqi forces who were due to arrive from the direction of Jordan. The numerous enemy tanks were situated on the west side of Shechem. They woke up to their error very late."
"The Arabs were surprised; the fear of the Jews fell upon them. In Hevron, and in Shechem, in Jenin and in Jericho the Arabs were heavily armed. There was not even one small Arab village without arms. With great haste, the Arabs, however, hid their weapons and didn't consider using them.
They raised their hands up, and flew white flags of surrender from every edifice. The fear of G-d fell upon hundreds of thousands of proud Arabs, who were filled with hatred and loathing for Israel. Only yesterday, they had sworn to fight until their last drop of blood." [From HaTekufa HaGedola, Rabbi Menachem Kasher, Chap. Sichu B’chol Niflaotav, p. 452, 5761 edition]
A Direct Hit on an Ammunitions Pile

In the late hours of the night, an IDF truck loaded with arms and shells parked next to a Jerusalem building. Its mission was to bring a fresh supply of ammunition to the front line outposts. The element of danger was great in that were the truck to be hit by enemy fire, the subsequent explosions of all the ammo would bring down all the buildings in the area on their inhabitants. Suddenly the whistling of an approaching enemy shell was heard, and the shell, indeed, scored a direct hit on the vehicle.

But the Arab shell did not explode. It remained perched atop the pile of Israeli shells in the truck.
[ibid, p. 456]
18 Egyptians Against Two IDF Soldiers

Yisrael, a cab driver who was drafted to fight in the 6-Day War as part of the paratroop unit assigned with conquering the Straits of Tiran, told the following upon his return:
“The Israeli soldiers didn’t have to parachute out of the Nord airplanes which took them to the Tiran Straits. They landed like spoiled tourists in the airport, because the Egyptian regiment which was on guard there fled before the Israeli trips were visible on the horizon. After landing, I was sent with another reserves soldier, an electrician, to patrol the area.
When we had distanced ourselves two kilometers, an Egyptian half track appeared before us filled with soldiers and mounted with machine guns on every side. We had only light weapons with a few bullets that couldn’t stop the half track for a second. We couldn’t turn back, so we stood there in despair, waited for the first shot, and for lack of a better idea, aimed our guns at them.

But the shots didn’t come.

The half track came to a halt, and we decided to cautiously approach it. We found 18 armed soldiers inside sitting with guns in hand, with a petrified look on their faces. They looked at us with great fear as though begging for mercy. I shouted ‘Hands up!’
As we were marching them and I had returned to a state of calm, I asked the Egyptian sergeant next to me, ‘Tell me, why didn’t you shoot at us?’ He answered, ‘I don’t know. My arms froze – they became paralyzed. My whole body was paralyzed, and I don’t know why.’

It turned out that these soldiers didn’t know that the Straits of Tiran were already in Israeli hands; why didn’t they elminiate us? I don’t have an answer. How can one say that G-d didn’t help us.”
The Finger of G-d

IDF Director of Operations Maj. Gen. Ezer Weizmann was asked by Mr. Levanon, the father of a fallen pilot, how he explains the fact that for 3 straight hours, Israel Air Force planes flew from one Egyptian airstrip to another destroying the enemy planes, yet the Egyptians did not radio ahead to inform their own forces of the oncoming Israeli attack?

Ezer Weizmann, later who later served as President of the State of Israel, was silent. He then lifted his head and exclaimed, "The finger of G-d."
[ibid, p. 445]

Haaretz Newspaper’s Bottom Line

Following his blow-by-blow analysis, the military correspondent for the secular Haaretz Newspaper summed up the 6-Day War with the admission: “Even a non-religious person must admit this war was fought with help from heaven.” [ibid, p. 445]

A German Viewpoint

A German journalist summarized: “Nothing like this has happened in history. A force including a 1000 tanks, hundreds of artillery cannons, many rockets and fighter jets, and a hundred thousand soldiers armed from head to toe was destroyed in two days in an area covering hundreds of kilometers filled with reinforced outposts and installations. And this victory was carried out by a force that lost many soldiers and much equipment, positions, and vehicles. No military logic or natural cause can explain this monumental occurrence.”
[ibid, p. 446.]


  1. Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.

  2. Thank you for your comment. While most wars are indeed motivated by personal and political interests, the case of Israel is different. This country has come back after 2000 years of foreign occupation - mostly by Muslim invaders since the 7th century - and it is only one lost war away from another Holocaust.

    Israel has won wars against all odds, when confronting much larger and better equipped Arab armies. The honor goes to the soldiers.

    The Israeli political leadership, however, is mediocre at best.

    There is also the disturbing influence by the treasonous pro-Arab left in government, the Supreme Court, media, universities, and so on. They hold great animosity against patriotic Israelis, particularly if they happen to be religiously observant.

    Givati Brigade Commander Colonel Ofer Winter was targeted by the left and by higher IDF commanders when he invoked the name of God during the war on Gaza. (The top IDF brass is selected by the government.)

    They scrutinized his record in detail with the intent of kicking him out of the army. Eventually he was cleared of all allegations.

    What is at the forefront of this right-left wing animosity is the left's eagerness to partition the country for the creation of another Arab terror state, while patriotic Israelis uphold the Jewish legal and historical right to the land of Judea and Samaria (West Bank). If these pro-land of Israel advocates happen to be religiously observant, they are held with even greater contempt by the left.

    Arutz Sheva reported:

    Winter was embroiled in a media storm after in a call-up message sent to members of the brigade he wrote that they were going out against "the terrorist Gazan enemy that curses, reviles and insults the G-d of the campaigns of Israel."

    The criticism against him came from various sources, including then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud).

    "His call to rely on the G-d of Israel gave strong feelings to many in the army and outside it because of the media storm, since then he's a target for elimination in the eyes of several people, and the attempt now to frame him with covering up some abuse case of some commander is part of the program to eliminate his career," said the soldiers, who refused to add more details.

    The talk of a secretive planned campaign comes on the heels of a Knesset debate last month ... framed as a discussion of Jewish "radicalization" following an increasing religiosity among soldiers during the operation.

    More on Colonel Ofer Winter here:


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