The Gulf War - 50 Scud Missiles - Jewish Outlook

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The Gulf War – 50 Scud Missiles


Awesome miracles of Divine intervention and guidance are occurring in our world much more often than we ever realize. Yet, they are rarely mentioned of discussed over the media. Reports of such events are simply laid aside, or denied. No one wants to be thought of as weird. In the medical world, miracles of dramatic recoveries are simply labeled as “spontaneous remission.” Near-death experiences are consistently ignored. Other miracle stories are approached with suspicion, or are quickly explained away with some logical rationalizations: “It was just a coincidence.” “They must have been imagining it.” “It just happened.” “A natural turn of events took care of it.” Etc.


I often wondered about all this. Perhaps, people feel uncomfortable trying to face something that they cannot explain. It is too scary, and it may have some implications that they don’t want to look at.


We all have many resistances to exploring the vast mystery of our lives and Creation. Yet, those who sincerely search and look deeper for real answers usually enjoy a much more interesting and fulfilling life. They benefit from a sense of inner confidence, with trust in the benevolent divine order in charge.


The following chapters will reveal to you many extraordinary incidents of Divine interventions that protected and saved the Jewish people, especially since their return to the Holy Land. These are mysterious, fortunate events, preventing colossal destruction and tragedy. “Wiping Israel off the map” has been plotted over and over by the huge nations ganging up against and surrounding our little country, a country so small, it can hardly be found on the world map.


When we are under fierce attack from the conglomerate forces around us, it is often hard to believe, that once more we will be protected through the power of prayer. Yet our saintly sages and Tsaddikim have reminded us over and over that it is through our soul connection with the Infinite, All Knowing, All Powerful, Compassionate Master of the Universe, as well as through the merit of all the holy people, men and women, and saintly Masters who have come before us, that we will overcome the dangers that threaten us. This has happened again and again through all the wars and countless terrorist attacks that have besieged Israel since the Second World War. Simply put, we essentially survive here every day through miracles.


What is the mysterious power that manifests miracles? We have seen that when danger is announced, millions of intense prayers from the heart arise from the Jewish people, as well as from all their friends scattered in many nations. In Israel, most every able man and woman is ready for action in some way and to give support wherever it is needed. Through prayer, focused intent and willingness to serve, the entire nation is united as one, in spite of all our differences of opinion.


We have seen astounding events of divine intervention that occurred in 1967 during the Six Day War. And now, more recently, another spectacular period of miracles happened during the Gulf War in 1991.


At the onset of this War, things looked ominous, if not hopeless, to many. The hate and power crazed despot, Saddam Hussein, had announced the destruction of Israel through his military might and chemical warfare, with the support of all the huge Muslim nations surrounding the Holy Land.


At that time, my husband Joshua and I and our two youngest children were living in Los Angeles.



Before the war began one of our grandsons was born in Jerusalem. My husband had been considering flying to Israel for the birth. When the vociferous proclamations from Saddam Hussein became more threatening, Joshua realized that he certainly had to go there to give support and help. Somehow he intuitively knew that all would be fine. Our 16-year old daughter Leyorah requested to come along. Their flight had been cancelled, but he managed to find two seats on the last charter flight to Tel Aviv. It was filled with yeshiva students, also coming to give support. This became a journey of miracles that Joshua and Leyora will never forget.


Spawned by the arms race, Saddam’s supped-up Russian SCUD’s were among the world’s deadliest missiles with 500 pounds of explosives. The shock wave alone could knock down buildings and kill hundreds trapped inside. Israeli authorities prepared hospitals for up to 6000 casualties from each attack, based on statistics from SCUD attacks on Teheran during the Iran-Iraq War.


As the international tension mounted, the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s many reassurances only strengthened. “There is nothing to fear, Israel is the safest place in the world,” the Rebbe repeated this to all comers, whether it was an American Jew with a child studying in Israel, or an Israeli



wondering whether to leave, or a celebrant wondering whether to cancel their plans to hold a wedding or bat mitzvah in Israel.


The Rebbe also encouraged belief in God’s watchful protection and to avoid hoarding food because, “it is an outrageous practice, as it leads to unwarranted price hikes in the Holy Land.”


Soon, Scud missiles were being fired. Each time the warning sounds of the sirens blew, people all over the land had only one or two minutes to run for shelter and put their gas masks on, as well as on their children. No one knew what to expect next: maybe an infernal blast, the entire building collapsing under their feet, or surrounding air contaminated with deadly poison.


The holy men living in the Land held their peace. They and many others didn’t put any gas masks on. One of them, Rav Kadouri, was known to run to the window and open it wide, every time the sirens went off.

“Rebbe, what are you doing??” any visitor happening to be there with him would anxiously protest.

“Let me breathe in the holy air of Jerusalem”, he would quietly answer.


It was strange to know that small children walking to school were carrying their gas masksin their backpacks. From Los Angeles, I called our dear friend, Rebbitzin Chaya Milikovsky, mother of the present Amshinover Rebbe; “Rebbitzin Chaya, tell me, is your family putting on any gas masks?”


“Oh! I guess this is good news!”

“I guess it is.” She gently answered. We both chuckled.


Night after night, Iraq launched SCUD attacks into the heart of Israel. For six long weeks, SCUD missiles were fired and for six long weeks, miracle after miracle rendered each bomb ineffective. The Israeli armed forces never raised arms as this was requested by the Allies.


One SCUD scored a direct hit on the main gas pipe of Gush Dan near Tel Aviv, but instead of burning the area down, nothing happened because the previous day, the pipe had been shut off for servicing. On another occasion, a skyscraper was split in two from a SCUD shock wave, but no one was hurt because everyone had left. Large buildings collapsed but were empty. One residential apartment building was smashed to the ground with many inside. Miraculously, everyone walked away.


Here is another eyewitness account from an Israeli news magazine.


“We were staying in a neighborhood in southern Tel Aviv during the first missile attack, visiting with other Russian immigrants who were living in the area. Many of the people in the poorer houses of the neighborhood had not bothered to prepare a sealed room, so when the siren went off, we all rushed to the nearby public bomb shelter. The shelter was huge and it was located inside a large public building made of concrete and metal.


More than 200 people gathered together to seek shelter inside the formidable building. Most of us moved to the wall on the eastern side of the shelter. If required, that side of the shelter had served as a synagogue and the wall was filled with prayer book, Bibles, and other Torah books. People were reciting Psalms over the crying of the babies. Then the explosion came.


Everything came crashing down around us. The shelter had taken a direct hit by a missile carrying 550 pounds of explosives. There was a smell of burning sulfur, and a thick cloud of dust filled the room.


Some of the people were thrown into the air. Others had thrown themselves to the ground and were screaming wildly. When the noise stopped and the dust began to clear, the people who had been frozen in shock began to get up and look around. Everyone was totally astonished to see that not one of the people there was injured! The building had totally collapsed including three walls of the shelter. Only the eastern wall, facing Jerusalem, remained standing. The books and bookshelves were untouched.

The next morning, the Prime Minister visited the area with the Mayor of Tel Aviv. Shamir asked in astonishment if there really were people in the shelter at the time of the attack. Mayor Lahat answered, “that indeed, there were more than 200, and all were saved by a miracle.”

Another SCUD fell in the heart of Tel Aviv, in a densely populated area. The missile scored a direct hit on a community building and could have destroyed the neighborhood, except the missile did not even explode! It was removed intact from the building, an everlasting symbol of the countless miracles that turned so many secular Israelis into outright believers.


Here is a personal testimony from a grateful witness of two recent attacks: (taken from the Book Missiles, Masks and Miracles by Charles Samuel)


“We are only getting signals. They are warnings, not punishments. The houses and apartments will be rebuilt. Jews will help us from abroad.


You see people already wanting to help each other. And it makes you feel so warm, that you don’t need to put on clothes to keep you warm. In any place I go, if anyone hears about us or other, they all offer so much, from the municipality to friends and even people we don’t know. People want us to come and stay with them or live with them. Here, look at this: I have a drawer full of keys that people have given to us to their apartments, telling us to come to their homes whenever we want, even if they aren’t there.


I think such a thing can only happen in Israel. To see such miracles, and to see such reactions from people – because such a feeling, at such a time, is worth more than all the money in the world. I hope that the worst has passed. We are praying for peace.”


Dozens of absolutely astounding first hand reports have been gleaned from many mainstream media sources as well as from the survivor themselves and cited, for example, in Sam Veffer’s 1993 volume

“Missile, Masks and Miracles.” For any of the countless hundreds of people involved, there was only one explanation: Divine Intervention.


As the Lubavitcher Rebbe, had clearly predicted, the war was over by Purim (on the eve of Purim to be precise), with Saddam in surrender. The number of SCUD missiles fired at Israel…50. The number containing chemical warheads…zero. The number of direct casualties – ONE !!


According to the Israeli Government Press Office, 4095 buildings were damaged, including apartments, houses, institutions, schools and businesses. There were 230 injuries, only one of them serious – by all accounts, a miracle. Twelve died indirectly, from improper use of gas masks and from heart attacks due to fear. As a result of 50 missile attacks over some six week, there was one direct casualty.

The Iraqis fired one SCUD into Saudi Arabia and killed hundreds. Scuds have been used in Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and numerous other countries. Each missile kills tens to hundreds on average, and here while 50 of them fell, not one person was killed. Besides this, Israel was indeed the safest place in the world, exactly as the Lubavitcher Rebbe has prophesized. Indeed the Israeli death rate in general was exceptionally low during the Gulf War, largely because traffic was so light and there were very few accidents.


The many large oil containers of Haifa were Saddam’s favorite target. One hit could have started a terrific conflagration and caused enormous damage to the entire city. But eleven scuds landed in the ocean instead.


Hearing about this, and those lives miraculously spared, people in Israel began to breathe again, sensing Divine Protection more than ever before. Later their losses were amply compensated by the Israeli Government.


The greatest miracle about the Gulf War in Iraq went completely un-noticed. It happened in one moment, with just one idea. That idea was planted in Saddam’s mind. Who planted that idea? You most probably will guess.


We know that Saddam Hussein wanted glory. He had built up a big military arsenal, with multi, multi-billions gathered over the years from his oil wells. His favorite hate was Israel, his dream was to destroy it and thereby gather the congratulations of all his Arab neighbors. He felt powerful enough to do it.


This is where one idea came to him that created a whole un-expected chain reaction, like in a domino effect.


The idea? Requesting a few billion dollars from his neighbor Kuwait to support his war with Israel. He probably reasoned that Israelis are tough fighters and he needed more weapons – that Kuwait, next door, is swimming in wealth and doesn’t know what to do with it all.




Saddam Hussein requested funding. Kuwait refused. Saddam was incensed. His armies were ordered to invade Kuwait, raid its banks and palaces and of course murder some and abuse its population. And for a final touch, he ordered to set fire to its oil wells, its’ source of wealth. This enormous fire created a layer of toxic black cloud spreading in all directions.


Saudi Arabia became alarmed and asked for help from the United States. The United States, God bless them accepted and took action.

Saudi Arabia even allowed them to build an air force base on their soil, so as to work from there. Within a few days, the war was over. It took an enormous budget to finance that, as well as much sacrifice, much anguish from the American people, who had to send their sons and husbands to the infernal heat and danger of Iraqi sandy deserts. We owe a great debt of gratitude to these soldiers, officers, Air Force pilots, all the personnel involved and all of their families.


Once again, the Holy Land was miraculously protected. Once again, we can absorb the Torah teachings given to Moses during the most hopeless part of the Exodus from Egypt: Exodus

14:13 “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and you will see what God will do to rescue you today. God will fight for you, but you must remain quiet.”

The entire people were held under an umbrella of perfect safety. Many realized that the only thing to fear in this war, was fear itself.



In 2006, Israelis were again placed under the very same kind of threats from the Hisbullah! Northern Israel, Sfat, and the Galil area were attacked with a sudden shower of more than 4000 bombs launched from Lebanon. Again, most of the bombs fell where no one happened to be, or when everyone had just left. Some did hit crowded areas, but they did not explode. This time, from these 4,000 bombs showering down, there were 50 casualties. Half of them were Palestinians, whose families bitterly complained that they hadn’t been protected well by the Israelis.

Soon after, people returned to their homes, grateful and awed to see this war ending in a few days with so little loss or damage.


More and more Israelis are realizing that their primal safety rests in the hands of Divine Providence. People here in general are busy doing good work, supporting each other, connecting more than ever with their Creator who knows all, who is there to strengthen, guide and protect them. They realize that the One who gives life to all and keeps our solar system moving steadfastly in perfect order through the millennia, can also intervene with perfect precision with the details of falling bombs and SCUD missiles.


This will be so, as long as there is enough prayer and mutual care, appreciation and support between each other. We need to stay united as one family, one people, in spite of our strong differences of opinion. Learning to accept, understand and unite in bonds of friendship with each other is essential. This is inviting the blessings of Divine intervention and guidance into our lives. Our Sages and Holy Masters have always reminded us of this.

from the book: Masters and Miracles – By Liliane Ritchie




Daily Torah Quote

Joke of the day

How do you know which part of the service the congregation has reached? It’s very simple – if one third of the congregation is outside then they are davening (praying); if half the congregation is outside then they’re reading the Torah (Bible). Ah, but if everyone is outside then the Rabbi must be giving a speech!