Hashem Ish milchamah

Hashem is Master of war…

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We are taught that the use of this particular Name of Hashem represents Hashem’s midah of compassion. But this is perplexing. This pasuk speaks about Hashem as the “Master of war.” Where is the compassion in being the “Ish milchamah”?

The S’forno writes that Hashem compassionately sustains the world by uprooting the “thorns” that are destroying His world. Thus, the compassion is for the B’nei Yisrael and the rest of the world. Similarly, the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh writes that at the very moment that Hashem is destroying the Egyptians, Hashem is conducting Himself with the trait of compassion towards B’nei Yisrael.

An additional, although separate, thought that we should consider while saying this pasuk can be derived from a very literal and simple p’shat basis. This pasuk is reminding us of something that we need to constantly remind ourselves: Hashem is THE “Ish milchamah,” and all the whys and the hows should not disengage us from always remembering this critical point. Often, when we read, hear, or watch any form of media news, we are bombarded with the opposite message of this pasuk. All are busy providing the minutest details of how some event is happening or happened, and are feeding us their opinions of why it is happening or happened. Then they conjecture how things would have been better if someone said or did something different – if only...then. He or she should have or should not have. We, however, know why something happened: because that was the Will of Hashem. How it happened is generally irrelevant to most people not involved in the matter.

Eretz Yisrael is under constant attack by its enemies. We are always concerned and hanging on every word of the so-called pundits as to how and why things happened or will happen.

Those in a position to help our brothers and sisters who are in the military – or are otherwise in harm’s way – should certainly do what they can, whether physically, monetarily, or any other way that they think they can help.

But there is one most important thing that each and every one of us can do to help! We can all strengthen our emunah daily. We can all try to focus more intensely when we say this pasuk, affirming that it is only Hashem Who is “Ish milchamah.” It is not the brilliance of Israeli Intelligence and not the amazing skill of the Israeli Air Force pilots. Those are gifts from Hashem to accomplish what He wants to accomplish. Strengthening our emunah when we recite this pasuk daily will certainly be a z’chus, a merit, for future successes in Eretz Yisrael.

Another crucial way in which we can all support our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael is tefilah. We say the brachah of “V’laMalshinim” multiple times daily. Even if we are not so familiar with the precise meaning of each word in this brachah, we understand the gist of it and can focus on the ending. We are asking Hashem to break His enemies. Who are Hashem’s enemies? Any enemy of Hashem’s chosen nation or His Torah is His enemy. Hashem, His Torah, and B’nei Yisrael are one. We also ask Hashem to humble the “zeidim.” This refers to His spiritual enemies, who wish to influence us away from Him. The ending of the brachah declares: “You, Hashem, are the source of blessing, Who breaks our physical enemies and Who humbles our spiritual enemies.”

The stronger our emunah is, the more intensity and passion we will bring to this brachah. The more we believe that it is truly only Hashem Who is fighting in Gaza and elsewhere, the more we will say this brachah with tremendous emotion and heart, pleading with Hashem to break our enemies.

Why is it necessary to be informed about what is happening in Eretz Yisrael? We need to know so we can help. How can we help? Each person has to answer that question himself or herself, with respect to any other way we can help. But these two methods – of strengthening our emunah and of tefilah – are our responsibility and critical role. Let us use our hearts – which ache for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael when we hear or read about events – to take our emunah and tefilos to the next level for their benefit and for the benefit of all of klal Yisrael.

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You can direct any questions or comments to Eliezer Szrolovits at 917-551-0150.