Fishel Jacobs
Black Belt Champ Turns Rabbi, Author/Speaker

The Inspired Fighter Always Wins



We will present as generally accepted fact that winning is a matter of spirit.

Were all other factors to be equal: training, fitness, readiness, the following is always true:

The fighter who wants it more will win.

Israel Is At War

We have just been drawn into war. We didn’t want it. But, it’s here.

As always, we will deal with it.

This war began two days ago: Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023 — the holiday of Simchat Torah.

For the thousandth time, Hamas attacked our land and our people.

We were taken by surprise.

Shocking Initial Losses

It’s only been two days.

But, Hamas has gang-raped, beheaded and murdered a confirmed 900 victims.

Elderly, women, children.

Only a small percentage have been security personnel, army, police and guards.

As confirmation of identities continues, the number is expected to raise significantly.

Hamas has reported abducting over a hundred women, children and elderly as hostages to Gaza. We know too well how they treat hostages.

There is no Geneva Convention in Gaza.

Hamas is lustfully posting videos exhibiting the ongoing atrocities. The modern mind can not fathom the cruelty.

Every ghastly act is accompanied with even more lascivious cries of Allah Ahkbar — Allah is great.

The videos’ goal is to demoralize. To instill fear. Show how viscious they are. And how religiously determined they are.

Fighters, athletes, businessmen intimidate all the time. It’s a great tactic.

Against pregnant women, children, grandmothers and unarmed civilians it’s not intimidating. It’s disgusting.

Humanity will spit Hamas back to hell, where they came from.

But, are the Israelis afraid? No. We have a long history. And we know it well.

I Want To Share A Story

In the late 1980s, I was in New York. I was 25 years old.

With thousands of other Jews we set out to do the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s bidding.

It was Simchat Torah evening.

The Rebbe sent us out throughout NYC, by foot, to visit synagogues, speak, dance, and strengthen other Jews on that holiday. It is an annual Chabad custom.

At 2:00 a.m. my, by now, smaller group of fifteen teenage yeshiva students and I were walking from Queens to Brooklyn. A three hour trek.

Halfway back, we were stopped by a group of twenty motor cycle club guys.

Think: big burly, tatoos, leather jackets, emblems, huge loud engines.

They began to get off their bikes, extracting switchblades, breaking bottles, holding metal pipes.

Hate & Violence

“Hitler should have killed you all!” they screamed. “Let’s kill the Jews!”

My buddies knew I was a karate black belt. “Go get them,” they yelled.

Oh no! I thought. This is bad.

My heart froze.

Only twenty yards separated us from them.

The bikers began to approach. My walking partners naively urged me on.

There’s no choice, I thought, I gotta protect these guys.

There are four bikers closest to us. All had weapons.

Attack, I thought.

Unexpected Miracle

I ran straight towards the four. They threw bricks and bottles at me, which I dodged.

I’m standing three feet front of them.

A miracle happened. That’s the only way to describe it.

I clenched both fists by my sides, stared the bikers in the eyes, and screamed:

Shema Yisrael – Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad!

That’s it. 

I watched disbelievingly. The four turned pale in the face. Their hands shook. Their weapons fell. Their buddies, the entire motorcycle gang retreated.

The street turned dead quiet.

We returned to Brooklyn. A small miracle had just occurred.

Huge Mobilization In Israel

As I write these words, there is a total military mobilization in Israel. Hordes of reserve soldiers are streaming back to Israel arriving by the hour at Ben Gurion airport.

I’m nearing 70. I’m too old to continue serving as a lieutenant in an IDF engineering battalion, as I did for fifteen years.

But, I see as clear as day that Israel, now, is united in purpose. I see it in the eyes of the bus driver. In my family members who’re on the front lines. Unity is everywhere.

We’re united in determination. We’re united in purpose.

At times like this our justifiable differences of opinions all fall aside.

We’re Inspired

From the times of Joshua, Samuel and David, through 800 years of the Jerusalem Temple, throughout history — evil has sprouted from Gaza to challenge the Jews.

That’s just history.

Consciously or as fuzzy memories from high school history class the brave soldiers, airmen, grocery store owners, businessmen and citizens in between know their heritage.

They know this is, albeit a war we didn’t want, but a justified and righteous war of defense. For survival.

They know how it’s going to end, with G-d’s help.

The Outcome Will Be Good

The Jewish nation has always survived. Always come out on top.

It will, this time, as well.

Fighting for Israel, the country at war, are many peoples — Arabs, Druze, sympathizers and more — who are not Jews. They will come out on top, as well.

We are all united behind our defense. We are united to protect our land and our people. 

We are united under G-d. We are united under our faith.

May G-d protect us all.

And return peace to the world.

Disclaimer: The opinions and viewpoint in this article are my own.

About the Author
Fishel Jacobs was as a major in the Israeli Prison Service and Chabad campus chaplain at Tel Aviv University. He authored numerous bestselling books on practical Talmudic law in use worldwide. And is responding rabbi for numerous websites. He speaks worldwide.
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