Letter to Our Son, the Soldier
Letter to Our Son, the Soldier

Dear Son,

Your Mother and I want you to know what we are about to write below, as you and your Givati unit are stationed on the outskirts of Ramallah, or Shechem, or wherever you may be tonight, waiting for the orders to rid us of the enemies of Israel, and the hornets nests of terror based in schools, mosques, hospitals, homes, and underground tunnels under their cities, where they are hiding like cockroaches in the dark.

Know that your Mother and I are with you. In our mind, there is no greater, holier, and transcendental mitzvah than fighting in the Israel Defense Forces, in defense of the Nation of Israel, to wipe out the enemies of Hashem. The soldiers who are willing to put their lives on the line for Am Yisrael are the true heroes of holiness, just like our holy heroes of our past, Abraham, Moses, Joshua Ben Nun, and others like King David and the Maccabees. When the occasion demanded, these holy heroes all closed their Talmuds and strode off to war, just as the Torah commands, for the honor of Hashem and Israel.

Just as our hearts are with you, the whole country is with you. You are acting on our behalf. And we want you to know, if you receive orders that don’t seem right to you, orders that endanger you and your fellow soldiers, lest “innocent” civilians be hurt – don’t listen to them. Do whatever you have to do to protect yourself and your friends. Remember that the laws of the Torah, and the laws of guarding Jewish life, override the “what will the goyim say?” considerations of frightened politicians and judges who lack the fear of Heaven.

Remember, my son, sometimes jacob has to dress in the clothes of Esau to bring blessing to the world. To triumph over the wicked Esau, the holy and righteous Jacob is forced to resort to cruelty and deception.  Though it goes against his inner nature, he takes up the characteristics of Esau, the hunter, murderer, schemer, and warrior, to insure that the blessing of Abraham comes to the world through its proper channel, the holy and righteous Nation of Israel. 

Like today, when the Nation of Israel is forced to adopt Esau weapons of killing and war, it goes into battle not for the sake of destruction, but to bring an end to all killing and wars. Not out of a beastly passion for killing and war, like that of our enemies, but out of the knowledge that this is the only way to make the world a better place. In this battle against terror, our arms and armies are like the arms and armies of Esau, but the voice is the voice of Jacob. We fight because we have to, not for the sake of killing, but to put an end to all killing and bloodshed.

We have no other choice. In a world that lives by the sword, we have to take up the sword too. We cannot merely sit and pray for miracles. One of the commandments of the Torah is “Milchemet Mitzvah,” the mitzvah to go to war to defend Jewish life and to conquer the Land of Israel, and keep it under our own Jewish sovereignty.

You, my dear son, are engaged in a “Milchemet Mitzvah” twice over – defending the lives of the million Jews who are depending on Tzahal, and fighting enemies whose goal is to conquer our Land. Not only am I and you Mother with you. Our whole nation is with you.

The Torah is with you. Avraham and Yitzhak and Yaakov, our Patriarchs, are with you. The G-d of Israel is with you. Uproot the evil, my son. Do your holy work with a clean heart and a clear conscience. For G-d’s honor. For the honor of Israel. For the betterment of the world.