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Israel, its enemies, and the power of blessings

מבצע בג'נין

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

After a series of horrific terrorist attacks, Israel opened a campaign last night against the terrorist enclave in Jenin, Samaria. On Shabbat in parashat Balak we read about several principles that describe the relationship between Israel and its enemies. We will list them here in the merit of our soldiers whose success on the field of battle was assured in the Torah thousands of years ago:

* The parasha describes an enemy whose goal is to curse us and see us destroyed. This is an enemy that does not care about building and improving itself, much less developing and blossoming together with us, but is rather concerned with our destruction alone. Sadly, we have seen this scenario play itself out, down through history until today.

The blessings in the parasha describe the return of the nation of Israel to the Land of Israel as a historical process that must succeed, as it will bring peace to the entire world: "Behold a people that rises like a lioness, and raises itself like a lion . . . A star has gone forth from Yaakov, and a staff will rise from Yisrael . . . And Yisrael shall triumph."

* "He crouches and lies like a lion and a lioness. Who will dare rouse him?" As Rashi explains: "They will settle in their land with might and power." We will not return here like a leaf blown in the wind, but rather with self-confidence and deterrent force." And finally: "Those who bless you shall be blessed, and those who curse you shall be cursed." We only want peace, blessing, and tranquility. But anyone who curses and harms us -- shall be harmed. And we have allies, supporters, and those who bless us and want to be on the right side of history; they will certainly be blessed.

* Words have power. The parasha is concerned with the awesome power of what comes out of our mouths. So may we utter words of faith and prayer and say a blessing for our security forces and for all the residents of the Land of Israel. May all the blessings of parasha come true for us now. Besurot tovot; may we hear only good news.


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