It’s been a couple of weeks; I have some time now and I wanted to write about a miracle that happened to me during those first few days of hell.
My unit was called in on Shabbat morning. No Tzav 8, no ishurim, no official order, nothing. Our brigade commander saw that the south needed a battalion to respond ASAP, and he told us to come in. Four hours later we got on humvees and headed straight to Kfar Aza.
Our weapons had been handed to us on the spot; We had never shot them, didn’t have time to clean them, had no idea if they worked and the sights definitely weren’t zeroed in. The weapons in the Reserve units are notorious for being unreliable and usually don’t even shoot properly before a good clean, or in some cases, a visit to the armory. That’s how we went into combat.
We walked into the yishuv and were engaged by terrorists within the first few minutes. After we encountered one hiding in a bush with an AK-47, waiting to ambush us. My rifle worked perfectly, firing every shot, cycling every round, hitting what I was aiming at. Not a single jam. I thanked Hashem for giving me a rifle that worked immediately.
After 3 days of fighting, I had learned to rely on my rifle completely. On Tuesday night we finished clearing Kfar Aza, were switched out by another battalion, and were sent up to a base so we could rest, shower, and finally clean and check our weapons. We went to the range. Immediately I got a jam. Another round, another jam. And another. They were getting worse, I had to start taking out the pliers on my utility knife to clear them. We had to take it to the armory so they could switch out all the internal parts, to rebuild it from the inside. The gun just didn’t work. It was a broken rifle, it was broken from the moment it was handed to me on Shabbat morning. But for me, in those few days in Kfar Aza, it had worked to perfection. So we could do what we needed to do.
I heard similar stories from many other soldiers in our battalion. I look forward to the day when I can stand in my shul on Shabbat, at קריאת התורה, and recite Birkat HaGomel for this miracle and the countless others that Hashem performed for us. הנה לא ינום ולא יישן שומר ישראל