Section: YourRevach   Category: Stories
Shabbos War Strategy From (General) Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman

Sholom Aleichem Revach, My chavrusso has just told me that his son in law recently went to visit his Rebbe Harav Aharon Leib Steinman shlita. While he was waiting, the gabbe related to him an incredible story.

On Erev Shabbos, day seven of "Operation Cast Lead", the telephone rang in Rav Steinman's home, very close to Shabbos. On the line was a representative of the army who asked to speak urgently to the Rav. When the gabbe explained that all messages must go through him, the caller explained that the army was poised to launch the ground offensive tomorrow- on Shabbos – and they were calling for the Rav's brocho. When the Rav questioned the reason for going in on Shabbos, he was told that for strategic reasons – most of them highly confidential – they could not wait till Motzaei Shabbos. The Rav did not accept this, and declined to give his blessing. The gabbe suggested to the Rav that since they would be going ahead to follow their military directives regardless, perhaps he should give them a brocho anyhow.  The Rav replied "Shabbos is Mekor Habrocho – how can I give a brocho for chilul Shabbos?!"

Minutes after Shabbos the following night, the telephone rang  – it was the army again, to say "Tell the Rav that we listened to his psak, and we deferred the operation. We are going in right now and we need his brocho!" The Rav responded very warmly with a generous heartfelt brocho.

Twenty four hours later, the Rav received a call from Gabi Ashkenazi, the Commander-in chief of the ground forces. He wanted to thank the Rav for his brocho – the army had achieved all its objectives in the first 24 hours. Furthermore, they had anticipated that the cost of the first day's operation would be in the region of 50 fatalities (r'l). among the Israeli troops. In the event they suffered only 1 (Hyd).  They are convinced that the Rav's brocho played a crucial role in the supernatural success.