Sunday, May 9, 2010

1991: Missiles & Miracles

1991: Missiles & Miracles

From The failed attempts of the SCUD missiles to destroy Jewish life was nothing less than miraculous. As the missiles—each loaded with 600 pounds of explosives—rained down upon Tel Aviv, the terrified citizens, huddled in shelters and sealed rooms, listened in disbelief to the newsflashes. Buildings crowded with people were hit, yet virtually not a soul was harmed. “G-d threw down mattresses to cushion our falls, pushed walls out of our way,” declared one survivor. On the day of Purim, traditionally a day of merry-making for the Jewish people, the war was officially declared over. “Adequate attention is not being paid to these miracles,” said the Rebbe in public addresses in the weeks to follow. “The popular media throughout the world took note of the miraculous occurrences, yet there is a tendency to offer rationales and explanations. We must publicize that these are miracles that were performed by G-d!”

Ezekiel 36:22
I do not do this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations, to which you came And similarly Isaiah 59 testifies that the generation that will gain redemption, transgresses and denies Hashem and departs from our Lord, speaks oppression and revolt, conceives and utters from the heart words of falsehood [verse 13]. And similarly of that generation it was said, that truth is absent and he that departs from evil gains the social status of a crazy man [verse 15].

Peretz: Show me a miracle.

Ephraim: In the magazine , Seedlink , issue number 21, some of the miracles of the Gulf War are listed. First let us take a look at the statistics:

  • 39 Scud missiles were launched against Israel
  • Altogether over ten tons of explosives fell on Israel
  • In all 15,000 properties were damaged
    • 10,992 apartments
    • 235 houses
    • 3773 other buildings
  • 13 people died. Two directly from a missile
  • Eleven indirectly from heart attack or misuse of a gasmask

After the noise quieted down and the dust settled, the people who were frozen in shock began to look around. They were completely astonished when they realized that not even one of the 200 people were injured. The entire building had collapsed around them, even three walls of the shelter were gone and only the eastern wall remained standing [the shelter was also used as a shul (synagogue) so that even the racks which held siddurim (prayer books) and chumashim (the first five books of the Bible) were not damaged]. When the Prime Minister and the Mayor toured the site, the Prime Minister asked if there were people here? “Definitely, ” said the Mayor, “there were 200 people and they were all saved by a miracle!
[Mishpacha monthly magazine Feb. 2, 1991]

Shalom and Jaquelyn H., although non-observant, respected Torah scholars, and had recently been advised to have their mezuzot (parchments containing biblical verses that are placed on the doorpost) examined. Despite the expense involved, the young couple replaced the old mezuzot with kosher ones. When the Scud exploded in their neighborhood, the entire apartment was uprooted by the blast. Cupboards, windows, and furniture were utterly destroyed. doors flew, and door posts were jolted from their places. From the contents of the apartment, all that remained intact were the mezuzot. Despite the destruction all around H. family was physically unharmed.
[Yated Ne’eman Feb. 2,1991]

In a second a portion of Lai Street was turned into desolation. I was in a number of places which were hit by missiles , and each time I can't understand how people came out alive from such destruction. Someone up there is watching over them otherwise there is no explanation as to what took place here tonight.
[A Civil Defense officer-news magazine]

In one instance, an elderly woman was led from her apartment by her neighbor who had awakened her, just moments before the flat was hit by a missile...... A baker, preparing challot for Shabbat, left his bakery on Thursday night, after being unable to locate any flour, just moments before the bakery was crushed by a missile... In another case a bomb shelter which would have been filled with 50 people, had the population been preparing for the resultant conventional attack ( but was, empty as people were in sealed rooms, expecting the non-existent chemical attack) was completely destroyed by a missile.... And a missile which landed on a major Tel Aviv thoroughfare on Shabbat morning failed to detonate
[Yated Ne'eman Jan. 25, 1991]

SCUD 33 The missile landed in the middle of a residential street. The house on one side of the street crumbled entirely, but its elderly occupant was pulled from the debris unscathed. The house on the opposite side of the street was also destroyed completely , but no-one was home at the time of the blast. Another man was trapped beneath the rubble of his 4-room ranch house. As rescue crews sifted through the ruins of his home, they heard him pleading for help. only his head protruded from the rubble, yet he was virtually unharmed. His two dogs, standing on either side of him at the time of the attack, were killed instantly.
[Yated Ne’eman Feb. 22, 1991]

Miracles During the First Gulf War

From :Israel came to within a hair of entering the war directly, but at the last second was pressured by the US to stay out of the conflict – no easy task for a country being shot at! (The reason was that several Arab allies with the US vowed they would never fight on the same side as Israel, and it was feared that Israel’s involvement would break up the coalition.)

  • No missiles landed in the city of Jerusalem. Any hits in that area (besides threatening life) would have destroyed ancient archeological sites which could never be replaced. (It was reported afterward that the Iraqis had argued about this, and finally decided not to target Jerusalem for fear of hitting the Dome of the Rock.)
  • The first night of the missile strikes against Israel, 27 missiles were fired at once. Patriot missiles knocked out all of them except two.
  • During missile strikes in the West Bank, only injuries were suffered; no lives were lost.
  • A missile landed in a garbage dump but didn’t explode. Another missile landed a few feet away from a gas station, but didn’t explode.
  • One missile landed between two buildings, completely destroying them but not killing any people.
  • Several missiles aimed at Israel fell into tile sea to the west.
  • Another missile was blown off course by a strong wind.
  • Two missiles aimed at the IDF base in the Negev desert landed without causing damage.
  • One missile that fell was discovered to have concrete in place of an explosive warhead.
  • Two missiles fired from Iraq suddenly disappeared.
  • A missile hit a bank, but only one person was in the building at the time.
  • A missile went down an airshaft of a 9-story apartment building with 20-30 apartments; it did not explode.
  • Palestinians stood on their rooftops cheering for Iraq as a barrage of missiles hit Israel. (They were following the lead of Yassar Arafat, who openly supported Saddam’s war.) The next day, some missiles landed in their own villages. Israeli media filmed their panicked race to the nearest security station to demand gas masks for themselves. There were no more rooftop celebrations…
  • A Tel Aviv man was in his house when a missile hit his garden. He walked out of the house with only minor injuries.
  • An 84-year-old lady was in her house as it was hit by a missile. Not only was she unhurt, but as she looked at the devastation she only said, "Who’s going to help me clean this up?"
  • A man walked into his bathroom just as a missile strike began. When he came out, the rest of his house had been destroyed.
  • A lady was in bed during a missile attack. Her ceiling collapsed from a hit, causing the steel door frame to fall over her bed and lean on the wall. Because the frame kept the ceiling off her, she survived.
  • A lady slept so soundly she didn’t hear the air raid siren. The exploding missile woke her up, whereupon she rushed to her sealed room. It was gone, blown away by the missile along with the whole side of her house.
  • A man in his sealed room was leaning back against a closet when the force of an explosion knocked him into the closet. The room was heavily damaged, but he was unhurt. He reported, "The closet saved my life."
  • A man was buried in rubble standing up. When he was finally dug out after an hour, he was found to need only a band-aid on his forehead.
  • A mother with three small children spontaneously decided to go to the bomb shelter (contrary to government instructions) instead of their sealed room. During that attack, the door to that sealed room was blown open.
  • A family with their 18 month old baby were in a sealed room when the wall collapsed on the baby, who had no protection over it except the plastic infant tent (issued for gas protection). The woman was filmed later in a hospital room holding the baby, who didn’t have a scratch on it.
  • A 3-year-old child was seriously injured in the first attack. Although he needed 2 hours of surgery to remove all the glass and shrapnel from his body, he survived.
  • A couple driving in the Negev (southern Israel) saw two missiles in the sky. Their explosions were close enough to make their car shake, but they were unhurt.
  • A Tel Aviv man was driving his car when the air raid sirens sounded. He ran into a nearby home to take shelter. He came out to find that missile fragments had totally destroyed his car.
  • One family had their entire flat sealed rather than one room (against civil defense instructions, as it cuts off ventilation). During the night, the mother collapsed and the children came close to asphyxiation. The cry of one child woke the father who got them all out just in time.
  • Two families whose pets ran away in fright at the sounds of the sirens worried that they might be injured in the attacks. Both families saw their pets return a few hours later unharmed.
  • A family had decided to run for their bomb shelter instead of the sealed room in time of attack (there was public debate as to which was safer). When the attack came, they couldn’t find the key to the shelter and were forced to take refuge in their sealed room after all. Their bomb shelter was hit and destroyed.
  • Two families running for the community bomb shelters couldn’t find the key to the first one, so they ran to a second one. The first one was destroyed.
  • Ramat Gan (just north of Tel Aviv) suffered the most in the war – 3 or 4 attacks – due. to the location of strategic military buildings there. None of the missiles hit a building directly, but always fell in the open. The only damage was to property.
  • A couple in Ramat Gan were preparing for the Shabbat, when the wife suddenly got the urge to spend Shabbat elsewhere. The husband resisted at first but finally gave in. When they returned they found their house completely demolished by a missile. The husband (a religious Jew) recited the prayer of thanks for deliverance on the spot, and his neighbors came and danced around the rubble.
  • The seasonal rains, which usually arrive in Israel in November, were nowhere to be seen. Suddenly they began in torrents, on January 17, the first day of the war. They continued almost without letup for the next 4-6 weeks, together with high winds. This weather was credited by US military sources as helping to convince the Iraqis that chemical weapons would not be smart (the prevailing winds were blowing from Israel directly toward Iraq…). The same phenomenon was observed in Kuwait (900 km to the east), where wind patterns had shifted from their normal direction for that season and were also blowing toward Iraq. (Jerusalem Post, 2/91)
  • When believers in Yeshua were finally able to meet together alter the war, they discovered that no believers anywhere in Israel had been touched by the attacks.
  • A national day of prayer was called for February 27. The main meeting, held at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue, was attended by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, President Haim Herzog, Religious Affairs Minister Avner Shaki, and both Chief Rabbis. On February 28, Iraq agreed to a UN cease-fire plan. This was also the eve of Purim, the holiday which commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from their enemies through Esther.
  • Neighboring Jordan was a de-facto ally of Iraq during the Gulf War, since their economy is heavily dependent on Iraq. But since relations with Israel had been unofficially warm for many years, they were unwilling to offend either side. Risking Iraqi anger, they went so far as to forbid Iraq to bring missile launchers onto Jordanian soil (using as an excuse Israel’s declaration that if Iraq did so, Israel would respond by "invading" Jordan to get them). This severely limited Iraq’s ability to strike at Israel, forcing them to shoot from the southwestern edge of Iraq behind Jordan, hundreds of kilometers away. (Jordanians went on record after the war as saying that the only winner in this war was Israel; and that the Arabs "would not live down the humiliation for a hundred years.")

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