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Together we Triumph

"And they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines on the west; together shall they spoil the children of the east; they shall put forth their hand upon Edom and Moav; and the children of Amon shall obey them."

(Isaiah 11:14)

This verse refers to the days of Mashiach, when the Nation of Israel will defeat all its surrounding enemies. The verse is particularly relevant to us today, while we are fighting in Gaza. The Gaza Strip is the ancient “land of the Philistines.” Today’s “Palestinians” are the Arabs who live in Gaza, on Israel’s western flank, on the sea.

To defeat the Philistines, we have to be united, as is written in the same prophecy about the ingathering of the distant members of the Nation of Israel and the unity between Judah and Efraim. “And they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines on the west.” Rashi explains: “Israel will fly and run with one shoulder upon the Philistines who are in the west of the Land of Israel and will conquer their land.” We have to be “with one shoulder” – united, shoulder-to-shoulder. Today, we can also add that “And they shall fly down” can be understood literally as the defeat of the Palestinians with Israel’s air force. Our soldiers will spread their wings and fly to destroy the enemy and assist the ground forces in their conquest of Gaza.

We receive the power of “one shoulder” from Joseph, who is buried in Shechem (In Hebrew, Shechem is both the name of the city and means “shoulder”). Shechem is the city of the covenant, as we say in Psalms 80:2 “The shepherd of Israel, listen, He Who leads Joseph like a flock – appear, He Who is enthroned upon the cherubs.” (And in gematriah, עפו = יוסף: “shall fly” equals “Joseph”).

The concept of “one shoulder” is connected to the ultimate Messianic purpose of rectification of the world, when all people will recognize God and the Torah of Moses: For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language that they may all call upon the name of God, to serve Him with one shoulder.”[1] The current war in the land of the Philistines in the west, on the shores of the Great Sea, is particularly associated with the clarification and rectification of the Western world and Western culture, reaching to the US on the other side of the world.

Triumph in the land of the Philistines is the realization of the promise in the Torah, “And I will place your border from the Red Sea until the Sea of the Philistines and from the desert to the river, for I will give the dwellers of the land into your hands and you shall expel them from before you.”[2] This is our map of the “New Middle East’: “From the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines” including the entire Sinai Peninsula. (Surrendering Sinai to Egypt 45 years ago was the root of all further surrenders and retreats). “From the desert to the river” – From the Sinai desert in the southwest until the Euphrates in the northeast. This includes the elimination of the combined threat from Syria-Iraq-Iran. And so in Isaiah’s prophecy, “together shall they spoil the children of the east” – the defeat of the enemies to the east (such as the hostile nations on the Arabian Peninsula).  “…for I will give the dwellers of the land into your hands and you shall expel them from before you.” This is the directive and our mission: to create a new Middle East, to expel Israel’s enemies from the Land of Israel – and to extend Israeli rule and benevolence to those non-Jews who desire the status of foreign resident in Israel.

[1] Tzephania 3:9.

[2] Exodus 23:31.

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