Tag Archives: IDF

What a Jewish Commander sounds like!

Colonel Ofer Winter was recently appointed the commander of the Givati infantry Brigade. On July 9th he issued the below command to the commanders and soldiers of the entire brigade.

Reading it makes we proud beyond description that we have commanders issuing such statements and entire brigades accepting and being motivated by them. Blessed are the people who these are their commanders and blessed are the people who these are their soldiers!

Shabbat Shalom to all of Am Yisrael, The soldiers of the IDF, the Givati Brigade and Colonel Ofer Winter!

(Below is a photo of the Hebrew original. Any mistakes and inaccuracies in the translation are mine alone – I did my best, though some of the “heart” of the phrasings are lost in translation!)


11 Tamuz 5774     Givati Symbol

July 9 2014

              Commander’s Message for Battle

Operation Protective Edge


Dear commanders and soldiers,


A tremendous merit has befallen us to command and serve in the Givati brigade at this time.

History has chosen us to serve as the spearhead of this battle against the Gazian terrorist enemy who curse, taunt and scorn the ‘God of the battles of Israel’. We have prepared and readied ourselves for this moment and we accept this mission upon ourselves with a sense of complete humility and Shlichut and with the readiness to endanger ourselves and give our lives to protect our families, our nation and our homeland.


Together, we will operate with determination and might, initiative and strategy, we will drive to contact with the enemy. We will do everything to fulfill our mission, to destroy the enemy and to remove the threat from The Jewish People. By us, we “do not return without completing the mission”.

We will operate and do everything to return our boys home safely. Through use of all our available resources and any necessary force.


I trust you, every single one of you, to operate in this spirit, the spirit of Israeli warriors who go forward ahead of the camp. “The spirit whose name is Givati”. I raise my eyes to heaven. And call with you “Shma Yisrael Hashem Elohenu Hashem Echad”. Hashem, God of Israel, succeed our ways which we are about to impart on to fight for the sake of your people Israel against an enemy who defiles your name.

In the name of the fighters of the IDF and specifically the fighters of the brigade and the commanders. Make it so the words of the verse will come true for us: “For Hashem, your God, is the One Who goes with you to fight for you with your enemies, to save you”, and we will say Amen.

 “Together, and only together, we will win”

Ofer Winter, Colonel

Commander of the Givati Brigade


Here’s a word version of the translation Colonel Ofer Winter English

And here’s a copy of the original in Hebrew:



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Remembering Ariel Sharon

Ever since I heard about Ariel Sharon’s worsening condition last week, I’ve been contemplating what to think and feel.
On the one hand – all of the military victories he lead and orchestrated, the terrorists he killed, attacks he prevented, the dozens of Jewish settlements he was instrumental in establishing and growing, the agricultural development he oversaw and much, much more.
On the other hand – the deception of his voters and his party members, the destruction of Jewish towns, homes and families and the “hit” to Israeli deterrence.
That have been said, the moment I heard the news of his death, my dilemma was immediately resolved because I realized the following:
Which of Ariel Sharon’s actions over his lifetime of public service will last and resonate stronger, have a bigger impact on the future of the Jewish State and the Jewish people? the brilliant victories he led and orchestrated which were instrumental in securing a State of Israel to begin with, the establishment of dozens of settlements that created a new reality in Judeah and Samariah and a new relationship between The State and The Land of Israel, or the outcomes of the “disengagement” – whatever they may be? (Would the “Palestinians” hate us less, try to kill us less? not try to fire as many rockets as possible? would the Hamas and other Islamists not push their way to power?)
Sharon will be remembered as what he was – a person whose entire life was devoted to the service of Am Yisrael, to safeguarding Am Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael; how many of us can say the same? His contributions to the establishment and success of The State of Israel are already woven into the fabric of its existence; how many people have such merit?  What he has built – cannot and will not be destroyed, what he destroyed – can and will, at one point or another, be rebuilt (see *** below).
May his memory be blessed among the many גיבורים (heroes) of Am Yisrael. Specifically Yoav Ben Tzruya and Bar Kochva come to mind, for some reason…

Wearing Tfilin during 6 day war
Laying the corner stone for Elon Moreh
With flag and Sefarim
At The Kotel

(***To be clear – I was opposed to the disengagement for many reasons and think that even if I was for it, the cruel way in which it was decided and carried out would have delegitimized it anyway, but once it has already happened I am humble enough to say that such an event – after happening – is of historical proportions and significance and, as such, will need dozens of years to truly be understood with all of its ramifications- for good or bad).

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I See Angels – Israel Memorial Day

I felt I had to translate and share this poem written by El’ad Chami’el:

The angels of today don’t have a halo over their heads
They have a helmet
They aren’t white as snow
They are khaki
You won’t see wings on their backs
You will see battle vests
They are not holding harps
And if they are “playing a tune”, it is using very different instruments
Once, the angels had only one mission
The angels of today finish one mission just to hop to the next one
Those angels were divided into units
Our angels, too, are divided into units, squadrons and battalions.
Once, children were named after angels: Gabriel, Repha’el
Today, angels are named after children: Yoni, Gadi…
Once, angels would descend from heaven to earth
Our angels, grow up on earth and ascend in a storm to the heavens

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Battalion 1257

I belong to battalion 1257, brigade 309 of the IDF’s artillery core. I’ve been part of the 500 soldier battalion for the past eight years. Some are my subordinates, some – my commanders, others – contemporaries. All of them are my friends.
My battalion just received a צו שמונה which is a notice at a time of emergency calling reserve soldiers to immediate service. They’ve stopped working and studying, they’ve left their wives and children and are putting their lives on the line at this very moment.
I miss them and wish I were there, fighting alongside them.
I have family and friends in Ofakim, Be’er Sheva, Yad Binyamin and Rechovot, all of whom are in range of the hundreds of rockets fired from Gazaover the past few days.  
I miss them and wish I were there, making sure they are safe.
Am I concerned? A bit. Am I worried or scared? No. First and foremost, I am proud. I am proud to be living in a time when we can stand up for ourselves, defend The Jewish People, the Jewish Land and State. I am proud that I was raised to serve in the Israeli army and have done so for many years. I am proud of my friends who are putting the welfare of the Jewish People before the concern for their jobs, their families and even their lives. I am proud that my family has stayed in their homes, not leaving to “safer ground” because that is their way of putting up a fight.   
Zahal has named the current operation “עמוד ענן” – pillar of cloud. The עמוד ענןshowed us the way and guided us in the desert. We were dependent on it and trusted it. The same is true of Zahal today. But more importantly,עמוד הענןassured us we were on the right path and that Hashem was with us. The bravery, conviction, faith and מסירות נפש of Zahal and the citizens of Southern Israel assures us of the same. We know what we are doing is right and just and we see that Hashem is with us still. And just like the original עמוד ענן, we have faith that this one too, regardless of how events develop, will protect us and end us up in a better place. 
Until the time we can join the citizens of Israelin their fortitude and the soldiers of Zahal in their מסירות נפש, it is our obligation and pride to pray, learn Torah, give Tzdaka and have faith in their victory for the sake and pride of all of Israel.   


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