Carol Green Ungar

Want to Stay Safe from Hamas? Keep Shabbos

This will probably be the most politically incorrect piece the Times of Israel has ever published, but here I go.

We’re smart. We’re more than smart. We’re the start-up nation, the people who gave the world WAZE, the flash drive, the microprocessor, the cherry tomato and more…..

But we are so stupid. Beyond stupid. We’re self-destructive.

Why are we here, I mean in Israel? Because of the great weather, the fantastic beaches, the great army? No. Because thousands of years ago, G-d promised this land to our father Abraham. But there were strings attached, 613 of them called the commandments.

613 is a tall order, albeit a worthy goal, but G-d has indicated that of all of them, one is His special oath called the Sabbath. Sabbath signifies G-ds bond with us and His protection. On the Sabbath, we sing “Ki Eshmera Shabbat,” If I Keep the Sabbath. “If I keep the Sabbath, the Lord protects me,” is the first verse.

Zmiros or Sabbath table melodies aren’t just songs. They are meta messages, mantras prayers. Singing them over and over again week after week for centuries, no millennia causes their messages to enter our DNA,

As the events of Oct. 7 proved, that promise is real.

It sounds like a fantasy, but it’s actually the fact that on that terrible day, the terrorists weren’t able to enter the Sabbath observant kibbutzim and moshavim in the Gaza envelope. True people from those communities were murdered–they were members of the local defense squads, and they died fighting off the terrorists.

Those communities didn’t experience infiltration, rape, kidnapping, or wanton destruction. I”‘m not trying to point a finger at the communities that did. My heart cries for them, but this stark fact must be analyzed.

Why was it that the terrorists couldn’t enter the Sabbath observant communities? Could it be that G-ds promise, as expressed in that Sabbath hymn, is true?

We Jews know that G-d has our back, but He has demands.  We’re making inordinate efforts to win this war. Every day, our government spends billions, and even more importantly, Jewish blood is spilled, and there’s no end in sight. For every terrorist we kill, another one or two or a thousand are born. We’ll only defeat them by calling up our secret weapon, G-d.

But G-d has expectations, and Shabbos is first on His list.

Shabbos isnt even hard. It’s fun and relaxing, an entire day to power down, sing songs, eat good food, nap, pray, and hang out with family and friends.

And the payoff?  According to an ancient Jewish teaching, if the entire Jewish people observe just one Sabbath, the messiah will be here.

That’s a lot easier than fighting.

So what’s stopping us?

About the Author
Carol Ungar is a prize-winning author who writes from the Judean Hills.