By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
October 6 marks the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, a three-week set of battles from which Israel emerged triumphant through a series of documented miracles, just as in Bible days of old. The attempt to destroy Israel and the Jewish people certainly is nothing new—for millennia several nations have tried and failed, and this time was no exception. In 1973, Egypt and Syria joined forces and thought it would be a good idea to attack on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is the highest holy day amongst the Jewish people, and the assumption was that it would be impossible to rally enough IDF troops for a spirited defense.
As usual, the “deck was stacked” against Israel. Prime Minister Golda Meier had received bad intel, in part from the CIA, which claimed that the “saber rattling” being observed of Syrian troop movement near the border the actual day before was not to be taken seriously. In reality, Egypt and Syria, still stung by their completely humiliating defeat in the 1967 Six Day War, were hell-bent on trying to get back what they lost in the Golan. Interestingly, many Israelis feel that the first miracle in 1973 was that Jordan decided not to participate, which meant this time that Israel only had a two-front war, and not a three- front war.
Miracle number two: the ironic use on the part of God Almighty of Richard Nixon to save the Jewish people through a most unpopular airlift. This was just ten months before Nixon left office due to the Watergate scandal. What is little known is that when he was a young boy, his mother, Hannah effectively prophesied over her son and said, according to Nixon, “I could almost hear my mother’s voice. She would tell me stories and read to me from the Old Testament, the heroes of the Bible. And one afternoon, she said, ‘Richard, someday you’re going to be in a position where you can help save the Jewish people. And when that day comes, you must do everything in your power.’” So, when Golda Meier called in the middle of the night begging for help, he defied his cabinet, just as Harry Truman did in 1948, and airlifted in supplies which helped replenish the IDF. For the rest of her life, Golda referred to Nixon as “my president,” and of him she said, “For generations to come, all will be told of the miracle of the immense planes from the United States bringing in the materiel that meant life to our people.”
Miracle number three: the storm that exposed a minefield. Literally pinned down in the middle of a minefield, IDF soldiers were slowly crawling on their bellies, using bayonets as minesweepers. An IDF soldier prayed that God would spare them, and then what I am sure was a most unwelcome wind storm arose. It was so fierce that they had to lay face down until it was over. When the wind died down, every mine that had been planted was exposed, and they were able to escape unharmed.
Miracle number four, and my favorite: the band of angels. Lt. Col. Avigdor Kahalani was outnumbered ten-to-one, and he and his troops took out 150 Syrian tanks before the greater miracle occurred. This one only came to light years later, when declassified records of an interrogation of a Syrian officer revealed the following answer to the question of “why did you stop?”
“I’d like to see you cross the Syrian mountain line if you saw an entire row of white angels, standing on the mountain line, and a white hand descending from heaven motioning you to STOP! I stopped,”
he said. What IDF soldiers did not know was why this line of tanks first stopped, and then fled. Now they do, and Kahalani to this day is a hero in Israel.
The stories are abundant, and many are documented. Proof once again that God has a plan, and He will do what He will do. Let’s trust Him as never before.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner