Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Monday, August 25, 2014
We previously wrote “A Visiting Chossid is Frightened in England”, about a chossid having daily confrontations in England (outside of London or Manchester). Several people challenged some of what he wrote, written first hand, though it was major news the following week when, as he wrote he saw, stores were pulling out kosher products.
Here is another first hand account from a friend of ours, a family with children living in Holland.
Yesterday the first big rocks were thrown over the rooftops of the lower surrounding buildings in front of our synagogue.
On their way to a big rally which today was described as an "orgy of hatred" by a local newspaper, Muslims threw big rocks over the low roofs into the inner yard surrounding the ESNOGA (Portuguese Israeli Synagogue in Amsterdam) WHILE they heard small children playing there. Attempted mass murder, though we know from Israel that rocks and bricks don’t kill Jews (so the local news tells us about such attacks there).
It still is an enigma how they found the strength to physically do so given the size of rocks – boulder almost applies. They must have brought those rocks just for this purpose.
My daughters who where helping preparing the kiddush for 120 guests in the diary kitchen at that time heard the first rock smashing down rushed outside to get the small children into the safety of the kitchen (which has bulletproof windows – guess why a synagogue in Amsterdam needs bulletproof windows) . Right away a rain of more rocks fell into the yard. The children were very upset of course, though thankfully not killed or injured which they surely would have been if they hadn’t been rushed to safety.
The police did nothing to prevent or end this. They were sitting in a high positioned police tower erected after what had happened in June in Brussels (Jews shot) in front of the synagogue; actually facing this crowd coming towards them. They were well positioned to see exactly what was happening.
After service and kiddush we heard a loud voice which seemed to come from huge loudspeakers in the inner city, and seemed to predict nothing good at all. I walked towards this sound of anger and hatred to find a large crowd of people standing and ranting in front of the King’s palace, all covered in huge Palestine banners.
What a noise! Unbelievable!
These thousands of people then started to make a u-turn and walked from the King’s palace over to a broad boulevard, shouting their disappointment and hatred with large megaphones into the city of Amsterdam.
Because I was one of the last to arrive at the rally, I decided to walk my way up to the head of the marching crowd because I wanted to look these people in the eye. I wanted to see their faces and fathom what kind of people are shouting slogans like : "Death to the Jews, Netanyahu is the devil , don't buy from the Jews, boycott all Israeli products."
I wanted to look people in the eye who dared to risk the life of small kids playing in the yard of our synagogue only hours before, marching in this rally, shouting for our death, trying to convince the public that they are the poor underdog and looking for sympathy. (Reminds me of "Sympathy for the Devil" song by The Rolling Stones).
I saw at least 1000 people or more, faces bent by their hatred, many, many Muslims, but also the "normal Dutch Jan-alleman", some Neo-Nazis, and policemen / and women, almost all of them Muslims too. Thousands of tourists standing by, watching , taking pictures with their smartphones, nobody said a word.
The aggression, the hatred were palpable.
Bewildered I watched some very young Muslims totally covered in veils and burkhas running up and down the marching crowd, covering the protesters and bystanders like bloodhounds sniffing rodent. These were the ones with the high-pitched voices and one could see their exhausting engagement and willingness to give all to their cause. The low demeanor flashing out of the corners of their eyes like blizzard and lightning.
I wanted so much to call out to these people : " Stop! Listen to me, please. I want to explain, it's not true what you are saying", and so on. But I was a cowered. Instead of stopping them, I watched and kept quiet. There were so many fanatics, they would have just pushed me to the ground and stepped on me. What would my words have solved?
A few years ago Theo van Gogh was killed one morning while biking to his job by just these kind of people. While I never agreed with Theo I certainly never thought that he should have been punished and slaughtered like this!
After yesterday I don't believe any longer in discussion and well built arguments with these kind of people. I don't believe any longer in education and understanding for these people. They don't believe in discussion and solutions. Hatred and a lust for blood have taken possession of them.
All that is dear to us and different from them and their ideology is condemned and will be rooted out. Everybody has to give in to them and their doctrine.
And make no mistake. These are absolutely NOT uneducated fools. These Muslims parents came to Europe for a better life. They grew up in Europe attending schools and universities here. They know the laws and their rights. All the freedom you can possibly think of, they demand for themselves. They use freedom, democracy and modern law for their dubious goals. All chances given to them by this government to built a new and better life for themselves are trampled upon; they spit on this government, this democracy and on the Dutch people in the face.
Freedom of religion to them is a choice between Sharia / Kalifat (and the Caliphate) and Death.
I looked into the eyes of fanatics and I saw : a catastrophe unfolding.
kind regards from a Jewess in Amsterdam.
a video by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
Click here to view it if you don't see the embedded video.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
by Reb Gutman Locks
He was the warmest, nicest, Israeli guy you could ever meet, even though he would not put on tefillin. When he first came into the Kotel area I tried to get him but he laughed at the idea and hurried by.
A few minutes later, as he was leaving, I tried again. Same response; "No Way!, with a big smile.
He kept walking away, but I didn't give up.
I called after him, "Come it only takes a minute. It won't hurt! It's a good thing."
I yelled at least a half a dozen things that have sometimes worked in the past. Nothing got him. He kept walking away. Then, for whatever reason, even though he was already way past me, he stopped, looked back and said, "I don't know how."
"That's what I'm here for."
He came back, and I helped him. He read the prayers, and prayed for his family, and for the soldiers. He didn't rush. When he finished he told me, "I haven't put them on since my bar mitzvah."
I asked him how old he was.
He said, "Sixty"
Like any other "business," you learn what works and what doesn't work, and you use the tools that work.
Just then, a fine young rabbi who just started working a couple of hours a day at the Kotel came over. His job is to try to get men to start learning Torah with a study partner over the telephone. They can learn as few or as many hours as they want. It's really a wonderful idea. Yeshiva students call them at the times they set, and they learn a page or two of the Talmud, or whatever they are interested in learning. Whoever dreamed this one up surely has a nice place reserved in the World to Come.
He asked, "Is it better to try to get them when they are coming in, or when they are going out?"
I told him, "When they come in. Then, if you don't get them, you get another shot at them when they are on the way out. Each time you try it softens them up, so the more you try the better."
I gave him a couple of other little "hints". "Remember, you're not allowed to push, but you are allowed to pull. Don't give them a chance to say 'no.'"
He didn't understand so I explained, "Instead, of asking, 'Do you want to do this? say, 'Come do this.' If you ask, 'Do you want to?' they will be truthful and say 'No,' because they really do not want to. But if you say, 'Come do this,' there is a better chance to get them to agree. This is pulling, but not pushing.
It's like being a salesman for Hashem, only you get paid whether you make the sale or not, just so you try.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Avoiding comment spam is a battle between how inconvenient to make commenting versus making it so inconvenient that nobody bothers to comment.
We’ve turned off requirements to be a registered person to comment though we’ve put back the Captcha. Hopefully that will make it easier to comment but sufficiently deter the spammers.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
I’m told we must worry about our enemy’s children. We must worry about their suffering. Innocent civilians must be spared, and it’s a tragedy if they are injured or killed. Of course Hamas is playing on these sensibilities, showing pictures of every destroyed building, every injured or killed child, every woman with a bruise. (Somehow pictures of dead or injured terrorists never seem to appear.)
And while they are trying to kill us, we (as a society) are providing them free electrical service, free water service, free phone service, plus operating an entry and exit port providing the vast majority of food, medicine, and consumer products. We further operate a free medical facility for them on the border, allow treatment of seriously ill patients in Israeli hospitals, and have even facilitated the transfer of Palestinian patients to Turkey.
But what do we receive for our concern, our kindness to those trying to kill us?
ROCKETS. Hundreds of them every day fired at our homes, our women, our children. Homes hit, schools hit, kindergartens hit.
Rambam – Guide to the Perplexed (Part 3, Chapter 39) : On Shemos (21:14), “If a person willfully schemes to kill his neighbor – he shall be (even) taken from my altar and put to death”, the wicked and calculating person (who killed intentionally and was sentenced to death) – if he seeks sanctuary among us, we must not provide him with asylum and not have mercy upon him...because compassion towards the wicked – is cruelty to all beings.
Shmuel Alef 15:9 – (I Samuel 15:9), “And Saul and the nation spared Agag,” the Midrash says (Tanhuma, Parashat Mezora,1) R’ Elazar said: One who becomes compassionate to the cruel will ultimately become cruel to the compassionate, as it is written, “And Saul and the nation spared Agag and the best sheep and cattle.”, and it is written (Ibid. 22:19) “And Nov, the city of priests, he smote with the edge of a sword.”
…We give a humanitarian cease fire, they use it to attack and kill our soldiers.
…We give a longer ceasefire, rocket fire doubles when it ends as they’ve used the time to reload.
…They use the gift of electricity to run arc welders to make rockets.
…They use the gift of cement to build tunnels to INVADE our towns and commit either mass slaughter or mass kidnapping.
…They bomb the cargo terminal we are using to deliver them food, medicine and consumer goods WHILE those goods are being delivered! (Because killing us is more important than getting food to their children.)
…They booby trap medical clinics, transport fighters in ambulances, store rockets in mosques and hospitals, launch rockets from schools, refugee areas, UN facilities, and hotels.
We try to reduce enemy casualties, while they try to increase ours, avoiding bombing those attacking us (if children area nearby), avoiding attacking ambulances and hospitals, avoiding targeting homes in civilian areas. Our soldiers hesitate in their firing to avoid civilians, AT THE RISK OF THEIR OWN LIVES, while they fire from within civilians – using our kindness and humanity as a defensive technique.
: I will not cry for their women and children while they refuse to stop firing.
: We must stop delivering goods while they are trying to kill us, and even kill those delivering in the midst of delivery. Every time they fire at the cargo terminal, it should shut down for 1 month automatically.
: We must turn off the electricity and water (and they’ve even tried to kill those repairing electrical lines that have been damaged) while they are firing. Every time they fire, turn off the electricity and water for 2 days.
: The army must be given an open hand to do everything necessary to stop rocket fire and attacks on Israel. If that requires artillery fire until a neighborhood is no longer usable as a launch pad, so be it. If that involves indiscriminate fire into a populated area – EXACTLY AS THE ENEMY IS DOING TO US – so be it.
An enemy is defeated when they either no longer have the ability to fight or when they feel sufficient pain to no longer have the will to fight.
Everything I have written is LEGAL according to international law and the laws of war, and APPROPRIATE according to halacha. Our compassion is killing us, and actually even hurting the enemy. How the enemy? By prolonging the conflict and setting up for yet another round.
IT IS NOT COMPASSION to prolong a war. And this war will only end when they are thoroughly defeated. So have compassion on the enemy and KILL HAMAS, ALL OF THEM.
by Reb Gutman Locks
Jews are an interesting people, to say the least. We always hear about the famous Jews because they do the most amazing things. But what about the "regular," average Jew whom you never hear about?
Late last Shabbos afternoon, I was sitting at the Kotel waiting for maariv (evening prayers) when a young, not so Jewish-looking man came over and sat next to me. He was wearing a brand new pair of tzitzis (Torah fringes) over his shirt. He is from Barcelona, but spoke fluent English, albeit with a Spanish accent.
He told me that his grandmother is an 86-year old holocaust survivor from Poland. After she was rescued, she fled Poland and settled in Spain. She married a non-Jewish man, and for the most part hid the fact that she is a Jew. They had a daughter, who grew up, and like her mother, she also married a non-Jewish man, but he was a religious Catholic.
This young man from Barcelona is their son. He told me that his father tried to train him to be a religious Catholic. He said that he learned it, but it did not seem right to him. Then he found out that since his mother is a Jew, he is a Jew, so he started studying Torah and he discarded all of his Catholic training.
He is now in Law school in Barcelona and came to Israel for the summer as a volunteer on a Kibbutz. I asked him why he found Torah to be right, but not Catholicism. He put his hand on his chest and said, "I don't know, but it's something inside of me."
I told him that he would get a lot more out of going to the yeshiva for the summer then he would by washing dishes in a kibbutz. He agreed and we are making arrangements for him to study in a beginners' program for the next month or so.
What did he feel inside his heart?
He left, and an elderly, America Jewish man who has been living in the Rova (Quarter) for many years sat down.
He told me that he was on vacation in Holland when the Gaza war broke out. He said, "It didn't feel right for me to be in Holland with a war going on here, and even though I'm not in the army I wasn't going to sit in a hotel when everyone here's in danger."
He canceled his vacation and came back two weeks early. He said, "It wasn't a problem getting a flight back to Israel because everyone was canceling their tickets."
What does it mean to be a Jew? Well, beside the fact that you have a Jewish mother, there's a feeling inside.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
The terrorists – militants – unhappy people compensating for something - broke the ceasefire this evening with 3 rockets fired at Be’er Sheva, a city of 200,000 (with no military facilities in the city). They followed up with a heavy rocket bombardment of many Israeli cities, towns, and villages following a few hours later. Our city was targeted multiple times, as was Jerusalem (we are on that flight path). One home in town was hit with shrapnel from a rocket interception, damaging a retaining wall.
BOOM. Shook my windows with no siren. That means it was probably on it’s way to Jerusalem and intercepted near us.
Three of my children are having bad reactions. One with a near panic attack and won't go to sleep, one is obsessing watching multiple channels and online info sources, jumping and shouting about every bit of info, and one has gone hyper nasty ripping everyone's heads off (but did go to sleep).
Here’s other comments that applied…
-- “Hamas are incapable of observing a ceasefire because they exist to fire. Would anyone expect ISIS to cease their fire? Or Al Qaeda?”
-- “Some of the Red Alert apps aren’t working. Here’s what I recommend:
. for iPhone / iPad, RED Red Alert System.
. from a browser, http://IsraelSirens.com”
-- “I always give masked gunmen the benefit of the doubt.”
-- “Don't let news outlets get away w/ saying the ceasefire "collapsed." It didn't collapse. It was deliberately blown up by rockets from Gaza.”
-- “Dear Israel bashers: When rockets rain down on Israeli woman and children, do you want Israel to: A. Do nothing? B. Stop the rockets?”
-- “Remember that time Israeli soldiers beheaded a Muslim and broadcast the video? Me either.”
-- “This isn't a war of civilizations. ISIS and Hamas aren’t a civilization. They’re the paradigm of barbarism.”
-- “My Father (not mine, the source of this comment) used to say: "They would gladly slit their throats if they could only get blood on your shirt and ruin it"
-- “Guys, I'm starting to think maybe Hamas doesn't want a ceasefire.”
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
by reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
Jewish Law forbids using a shaky ladder. The obvious reason why we are
not allowed to go onto a shaky ladder is because it is weak. It might break and
we would fall. The Torah is a way of life, not death, so no Torah observant Jew
would ever climb onto a shaky ladder. Falling from a shaky ladder is a
possibility, not a given.
Smoking is a given. Smoking causes cancer to the smoker and to those who
breathe the smoker’s second hand smoke. It also causes heart disease, stroke,
lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction,
and diabetes.) Five million people die every year from smoking, and this number
now they have found out something else very interesting about smokers.
by Reb Gutman Locks
Jewish Law forbids using a shaky ladder. The obvious reason why we are not allowed to go onto a shaky ladder is because it is weak. It might break and we would fall. The Torah is a way of life, not death, so no Torah observant Jew would ever climb onto a shaky ladder. Falling from a shaky ladder is a possibility, not a given.
Smoking is a given. Smoking causes cancer to the smoker and to those who breathe the smoker's second hand smoke. It also causes heart disease, stroke, lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction, and diabetes.) Five million people die every year from smoking, and this number is increasing!
And now they have found out something else very interesting about smokers.
See: What's Wrong with Smoking? for the latest discovery.
Monday, August 18, 2014
-> The oppressed people of OCCUPPIED Ferguson, Missouri, USA, are rising up against their oppressors. They’re showing their oppressors and occupiers who’s boss by looting and destroying the local exploitive businesses such as grocery stores, shooting each other, and attempting to attack the police. The police have responded with DISPROPORTIATE force, illegally stopping the rioter legal right to spread their mayhem by containing the riots, firing tear gas, smoke bombs, and rubber bullets.
There have been passionate but peaceful protests to be sure, but there has also been… violence and looting. Police forces in the town responded with an outlandish military-like presence more befitting Baghdad than suburban Missouri.
There were armored vehicles, flash grenades and a seemingly endless supply of tear gas… There were… officers perched atop vehicles, in camouflage and body armor, pointing weapons in the direction of peaceful protesters… Pointing a gun at an innocent person is an act of violence and provocation.
…the governor issued a midnight curfew for the town. A …band of protesters defied it and some were arrested.
If we want to truly address the root of the unrest in Ferguson, we have to ask ourselves how we can break this cycle. (of violence?)
-> Oppressed native born Norwegian Muslims (children of immigrants) demand their proper rights be fulfilled by ceding them part of OCCUPPIED Oslo as their allah given native homeland. Failure to meet their proper and legitimate demand will be met with the legitimate response of an occupied people – mass casualty terror attacks rivaling 9/11…
“a Muslim terrorist group, Ansar al-Sunna’, is threatening that if a section of the Norway nation's capitol Oslo isn't transformed into a sharia-complaint Muslim nation, an attack rivaling 9/11 will be launched upon the Scandinavian nation:
‘If norwegian soldiers can take planes to Afghanistan, then Osama and Mohammed can also take planes to Norway, inshaAllah. Now, the government must wake up and assume responsibility, before this war spreads to Norway. Before the counterpart reacts. Before moslems take the step necessary.
Do not confuse the moslems’ silence with weakness. Do not profit from the moslems’ patience. Do not force us to do something that can be avoided. This is not a threat, only the words of truth. The words of justice.
A warning that the consequences can be fatal. A warning about a 9/11 on norwegian ground, or larger attacks than the one carried out on 22 july. This is for your own good and in your own best interest.’
We do not want to be a part of norwegian society. And we do not consider it necessary either to move away from Norway, because we were born and grew up here. And Allah’s earth belongs to everybody. But let Grønland become ours. Bar this city quarter and let us control it the way we wish to do it. This is the best for both parts.
We do not wish to live together with dirty beasts like you."
-> Oppressed occupied de-occupied Gaza insists on their Allah given right to fire rockets at Israeli civilian cities, towns and villages, and the right of the oppressed to plan and build terror tunnels and terror attacks on the non-occupying force. Should Israel fail to give them their rights, they are willing to fight to the death of the last Gaza civilian.
We present the following demands to the occupying zionist entity that does not occupy us (these demands are real, additional comments may be slipped in)…
.. Withdrawal of Israeli forces and tanks from the Gaza border. When we attack Israeli civilians, we don’t want our militants lives to be at risk.
.. Freeing all the prisoners that were arrested after the killing of the three youths. This includes those who killed them, and the 100 additional jailed heroes of the resistance who have successfully murdered Israelis past. We need their skills.
.. Lifting the siege and opening the border crossings to commerce and people. Because we demand free entry into Israel and Egypt, and the free entry of all products, including C4, ammunition, rockets, and chemical precursors. Don’t worry, the rockets are strictly for civilian use.
.. Establishing an international seaport and airport which would be under U.N. supervision. This supervision is ok by us given how well it’s worked in the Sinai, Lebanese-Israel border and Syrian-Israel border.
.. Increasing the permitted fishing zone to 10 kilometers. No need to worry about smuggling via sea, the land border option covers that just fine.
.. Internationalizing the Rafah Crossing and placing it under the supervision of the U.N. and some Arab nations. You should feel comfortable with this, Turkey has your back.
.. International forces on the borders. Hey, it’s completely, yes yes completely, effective with Lebanon.
.. Easing conditions for permits to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque. Because we only attack the worshippers below once a week or so, which gives you the other 6 days to pray at your holy site. Oh, and we’ll be stabling horses at your holy site on that day.
.. Prohibition on Israeli interference in the reconciliation agreement. Our taking over the West Bank and the Palestinian Authority is an internal matter! Stay out of it!
.. Reestablishing an industrial zone and improvements in further economic development in the Gaza Strip. Please don’t mind our weekly bombing of the industrial zones and border transfer stations previously set up, we bomb it because we love it!
Anyone spot the pattern here? Trying to play civilized with barbarians while keeping the standards of civilization is…rough. Israel and the Jews, as usual, are the first – but never the last – targets.
via Lma’an Yishme’u
The editor of the Algemeiner Journal, Reb Gershon Ber Jacobson, would receive many direct instructions from the Lubavitcher Rebbe on what to write. On Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 5740 (1980), he heard the following from the Rebbe:
"There are some rabbonim (rabbis) who are dealing with trivial matters, while burning issues like kashrus (kosher food) and taharas hamishpocho (family purity / mikvah) are neglected. They forget that they we are in a different age; they think we are still in the same world as fifty years ago."
The Rebbe continued, "This reminds me of the study I received from a certain elderly doctor, wherein he concludes that British people would not get caught up in cults due to their cold nature. I wrote to him, telling him that I received a letter from a British (Jewish) girl who had joined a cult, and that she was suffering emotionally from it. He answered that we would have to determine whether the causes were not from something else...
"This doctor sits with his old friends, with their old fashioned outlook, and they think the world is not changing... similarly, those rabbonim are oblivious to the great challenges that Yiddishkeit (Judaism) is facing."
Sunday, August 17, 2014
by Reb Gutman Locks
Everyone knows that the past is over. But if our past deeds are causing things to happen in our present life, then our past is not over.
If we can change the way our past is influencing our present, we will, in effect, have changed our past.
Many religions and philosophies teach that everything happens to us according to divine destiny, according to our fixed karma. They explain that we are who we are, and we are doing what we are doing, solely because of what we did in the past. They say that our future is already determined, too.
We also have a similar concept, "portion across from portion",[i] which means "whatever you do comes back to you," but the Torah calls divine destiny and fixed karma, fatalism. The fixed future principle is only true if we continue in the direction we were going. But, we can turn any time we want.
There is Mercy in the world. Mercy is not deserved. Justice is deserved. Mercy is a gift from love.
We certainly deserve punishment for many of our past deeds, but when we realize that those deeds were harmful we can turn from them and do good instead. Then, not only will our past improper deeds not harm us, they will come to witness for our merit.
The witnessing angel calls out, "Look what he turned from, and see what he is doing today!"
Soon it will be the month of Elul. The theme of Elul is, "I am for my Beloved and my Beloved is for me." It is a time to tell G-d how much you love Him.
[i] mida k'neged mida
Friday, August 15, 2014
“Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed Saturday by a police officer in Ferguson. The circumstances of the death are in dispute. Mr. Brown and a friend were walking home from a convenience store in the middle of the night when witnesses say they were stopped by an officer for walking in the middle of the street. They say that Mr. Brown’s hands were in the air when several shots were fired. The police say that Mr. Brown was shot during a fight over the officer’s gun.”
A tragedy, and a classic one in the U.S. in confrontations between police and citizens in high crime areas. As some would say “it’s the crime of being a black man”. Others would say “authorities in high crime areas frequently find themselves in immanent danger, and naturally respond quickly to protect their lives and the public – sometimes this results in tragedy, an unavoidable result of the job given the difficult conditions.”
But now some say…. IT’S THE JOOOOOS FAULT! What in the world could the Jews or Judaism have to do with a confrontation between the police and an ethnic and poor community in Missouri????
Trita Parsi says… “Wondering why the excessive police violence (in Ferguson)? Here's a guess: Ferguson police chief got training in Israel!”
Here’s his proof:
Because taking 1 week trip and hearing people talking about detecting suicide bombers leads to police violence in ethnic confrontation neighborhoods.
Now there are lots of wackos and trolls spouting all types of conspiracy theories all over the place. BUT the re-tweets on this one are reaching in the thousands, meaning it’s being read by tens of thousands. Not just somebody whispering his craziness in the wind.
So there you have it… blacks being mistreated by the police in Missouri are because of the JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS.
Are they out to get us? “Trita Parsi - Leads largest Iranian-American grassroots organization from Washington, DC”. Why yes, yes they are.
Rav Aviner, shlita answers brief questions via SMS. While these are not any kind of halachic tshuvot (long researched answers with major lists of sources and supporting opinions), they are quick and straightforward Jewish religious positions on issues of the moment…
About Israel’s war with Gaza, Protective Edge
Q: Is this war considered an obligatory war according to Halachah?
A: Certainly. According to the Rambam, one type of obligatory war is to protect Israel from its enemies. Defensive War (Hilchot Melachim 5:1).
Do We Need an Army?
Q: I heard a Rabbi say that we do not need an army and it is sufficient to rely on the spiritual strength of Rabbis. Is this true?
A: Moshe Rabbenu waged war, as did Yehoshua Bin Nun and King David. We need both of them: Human effort and Divine intervention. See Niddah 70b.
Protective Edge and Maaser
Q: Is it permissible to buy presents for wounded soldier in the hospital from Maaser?
A: Yes. They are in the category of poor.
Protective Edge and Killing Our Enemy
Q: I am a soldier and see hundreds of killed and wounded innocent people. Isn't our attack on Gaza unethical? Is it permissible for us to ensure our security with the blood of the Arabs of the Gaza Strip?
A: We are willing to make peace in a split second, but in that time they will murder us. We are obligated to protect the innocent citizens of Israel against the guilty. We try - far beyond any other army in the world - not to attack uninvolved civilians. I did not write innocent people but rather uninvolved civilians, since this is a defensive war against an enemy who has risen up to drive us from our Land. The "innocent" ones are our Nation and our soldiers.