War & Shabbos by Michael Winner/10/19/2023 Very interesting times. Very interesting things happening.It's great to be here.As an immature boy, I'm enjoying the excitement. We had our first air raid siren last week that sent us to the shelters, which turned out to be a false alarm (officially). We had our first Iron Dome intercept. One of the new F-35s practically buzzed my home (in honour of Shabbos). We have, from what I understand, an army field hospital set up in our town. The entrance of our town is full of APCs. And they've evacuated all civilians within 5 km of the northern border, since every day is bringing more exchange of fire.As a father of a family, however, you are forced to think: what do we need, how much do we need, what happens if this happens, what happens if that happens. And while we are relatively quiet compared to the south, we know if things open up, it could be really, really bad.However, on the brighter side of things, the country is full of chesed right now. Somebody put a call out four hours before Shabbos, that he needs help making chullent for 200 soldiers, and within 3 minutes, he thanked everybody for volunteering. Another call went out to help with several hundred meals. Two minutes later, a call went out thanking one of the kosher restaurants. These are only small examples, coming from only our area.What's really interesting is that for whatever reason, many in the frum community have been helping make tzitzis for soldiers, as mentioned last week. And I've noticed from the photos/videos coming from the front, there are many non-religious soldiers actually wearing them.The air is … thick. Everybody is waiting for the ground offensive to begin. Not only worrying about those who are actually going in, but also how Hezbollah and the world will react.The only way to lower the flames of such a fear is to remind ourselves, that EVERYTHING is from Hashem. Our politicians, our generals, and our enemies are mere pawns in some larger scheme. We can talk and talk about who will do what, but it's all a waste of time and nothing but hot air. In the end, only what HE wants will occur.Yet, there is some hope. While Netanyahu, Biden, Hamas, or Hezbollah cannot tell Hashem what to do, WE have some power, to … perhaps … make Hashem reconsider some plans. Whatever merits we create, can arouse mercy for the nation.I received a copy of a small talk that Rav Barcley from Neve Yaakov gave last week.The Oruch L'Ner writes [a now famous saying] that any year which Rosh Hashana falls out on Shabbos, will be a very bad year or a very good year.Why is that? As we know, we have two days of Rosh Hashanah. The first day is Rosh Hashanah according to the Torah. The second day was rabbinically instituted for reasons beyond the scope of this dvar Torah.According to the Torah, we have a mitzvah to blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah. However, the Sanhedrin made an enactment that if Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbos, we do NOT blow. Why? Because we fear that people might come to carry the shofar on Shabbos in places that they are not allowed to carry. So, because of Shabbos, we don’t have shofar (on the Torah's Rosh Hashanah).So, how does that affect the year? When we blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, we arouse ourselves to teshuvah and we arouse Hashem's mercy. He moves from His "throne of judgement" to His "throne of Mercy," if you will. And when we lack the shofar, we lack the mercy.However, writes the Oruch L'Ner, on such years, we have another possible layer of protection. Just as Shabbos canceled the shofar, Shabbos can protect us in its place; as the Ibn Ezra writes "when I keep the Shabbos, Hashem watches over me." Incidentally, there were one or two kibbutzim that were fully-religious kibbutzim that the terrorists tried to break into, but were unsuccessful. There are security videos that were released showing them attempting and eventually giving up.This is why Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein in Bnei Brak suggested that everybody learn two laws of Shabbos every day, to serve as a special protection, which we are lacking this year.He also noted that the Chasam Sofer writes that every year Hashem decrees a certain amount of war in the world. There's a quota that needs to be filled. The Chasam Sofer explains that there are two types of war: the war of Torah and physical war. The more "war of Torah" that is fought, the more the quota is being filled, and the less amount of physical war is needed.Of course, we are not prophets and we have no idea what exactly we can do or what exactly we are supposed to do. However, we do know that we need to do something to serve as a protection to the Jewish nation. And every little thing helps. Perhaps those who do not keep Shabbos, could at least light Shabbos candles and keep Shabbos for 15 minutes. Perhaps those who do keep Shabbos, can take Rav Zilberstein's advice, and learn a little more about Shabbos every day. Perhaps we can increase our "war of Torah" a little bit, either in quantity or quality. Each person knows where they can improve. And hopefully, with these merits, we can turn this very bad year into a very good one.May we all have a wonderful and quiet Shabbos.