King David never would have tolerated Arabs throwing rocks at his people.
King David could not be bullied – by anyone.
King David obeyed no one but Hashem and Hashem’s Prophets.
King David studied Torah night and day.
The greatest warrior feat of all times remains that between David and Goliath – between a young shepherd with a couple of stones and an enormous, highly skilled soldier with weapons and armor. The power David took with him to win was to go to Goliath “in the Name of Hashem” (1 Shmuel 17: 45). We know all these things, yet we don’t always internalize them, at least to their fullest extent and meaning.
Show of force is scary. It’s meant to. It scared King Saul. And it was at that very point where King Saul failed to internalize what the true power and source of victory is that he lost the battle and his life.
Samuel the Prophet, like David the shepherd, wasn’t a “soldier” either, but he sure knew how to handle the enemy better than did King Saul who was a seasoned soldier – because Shmuel HaNavi only acted exactly as Hashem instructed.
We are different from the other nations of the world. And our definition of “soldier” is also very different than that of the rest of the world. We achieve our greatest military victories when we act as soldiers by Am Yisrael’s and Hashem’s definition and standards and not the world’s. The supernatural victories of ’48 and ’67 illustrate this in our era. Then we knew the physical odds were against us, and we didn’t place our FAITH in our then relatively meager military power.
Even when David became king and waged wars, he still acknowledged that it is only Hashem “Who teaches my hands for battle and my fingers for war” (Psalms 144: 1), meaning that Hashem guided him during true-time, on the spot, as he was on the battle field. Otherwise, as we see from reading his compilation of poem-prayers, his book of Psalms, his main focus and regular activity was studying Torah.
King David’s “soldiers” were not like those of the other nations, nor what a “soldier” is considered today. His warriors were more like what we call today ‘yeshiva bochurs’. They studied Torah all the time as their main activity, and when the need arose to go out and fight, they put down their studies and went out – and always won. But when the job was done, they got back to studying Torah. Because that is the life of a Jew – living, observing, and studying Torah. That is what Hashem wants of us – and that is all that is important.
Even though we were warned, we still fail to heed the warning, or at least to fully internalize it. The warning was:
“In order to test you, to better you at the End of Days [i.e. our generation]. And you said in your heart ‘My power and the strength of my hand have gotten me this valor’. And you will remember Hashem your God, because He is Who gives you the power to do valor in order to establish His covenant which He swore to your Fathers, as it is this day” (Devarim 8: 16-18).
At what point will Am Yisrael really get fed up with the continuous terror of the most primitive of warfare, rocks and knives, and with being bullied by all forms of modern-day Goliaths – whether they convene in Paris, Iran, D.C., Gaza, Ramallah, or wherever? At what point will we stop fearing the physical show force and fear only the Source of all victory and security? At what point will we internalize that the real threat is our failure to pass Hashem’s test and that the test is a spiritual one, not a military one? The test is in what we truly place our FAITH. The test is to internalize that our covenant with Hashem, His Torah, is the true and only source of protection. And that only with that internalized can our physical forces, our military, succeed.
Kol HaKavod L’Hashem only.