It is often said that if you don’t believe in miracles, then you should not come to Israel. There are stories in the Torah and Bible loaded with examples of God’s divine protection in spite of the odds being against Israel.
However those skeptical concerning the numerous accounts of Israel’s ancient history would be surprised to know that there are stories of God’s supernatural protection during modern day times.
During Israel’s most pressing times of the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, there are hundreds of stories that document God’s intervention of his chosen people, Israel. It is a fact that some of Israel’s military campaigns are so improbable that many are not used in the study of military strategy at America’s strategic analysis for military tactics because the outcomes are so miraculous.
One story is the tale of Israeli Commander Effie Eitam who was leading an Israeli routine reconnaissance patrol in the Golan Heights. Little did he realize that he would soon come face to face with the massive military might of the Syrian Army.
Eitam recalled that stunning moment to Christian Broadcast Network’s Chris Mitchell,
“I saw hundreds of Syrian tanks moving forward, and they were painted with camouflage of green and yellow. And I remember, thought to myself that they’re kind of prehistoric lizards, you know, who just came out of a cave because they came out of nowhere. I didn’t see them before,” remarked Eitam.
The Syrian forces overwhelmed the undermanned Israeli forces due to the superior number of tanks and personnel, plus it was also the high holy day for the Jews. The Israeli forces were devastated from three days of ferocious fighting. Israel had to fall back, regroup, and organize a counter attack against the mass of Syrian forces.
Eitam received orders to go behind enemy lines and knock out the Syrian headquarters. It was a dangerous mission which would put many of the Israeli soldiers at high risk. As with many commando raids of this type, the fighting involved close quarters with face to face and sometimes hand-to-hand combat.
Eitam was leading the fight in the Syrian bunker shooting and throwing hand gernades. It was chaos in the concrete confines with smoke and enemy fire taking place.
Like many commando raids, this assault meant close quarters and face-to-face, sometimes hand-to-hand, combat. It was at that point when the strangest thing took place. Something came out of the smoke and dust towards Eitam. He took his weapon thinking it was a Syrian soldier and before he pulled the trigger, the silhouette went behind his head and landed on his right shoulder. It was a bird!!
Since it was dark in the bunker, Eitam believed it to be a bat and tried to shoo the creature away. It fluttered around and landed on his left shoulder.
With all the commotion going on around him, Eitam did not have time to focus his attention on a dove that was sitting on his left shoulder. He was in the middle of a running gun battle.
Eitam declared, “So I completed the assault with hand grenades and everything. And when I went out of the corridor of the bunker, I saw a dove, a pigeon, standing on my left shoulder. I tried to let her off of my shoulder. She turned and was very determined not to leave me. I put my hand like that and she stood on my hand”.
In spite of Eitam’s attempts to get rid of the dove, the bird stayed with him and his unit for the next 10 days in some of the most intense battles of the Yom Kippur War. All during the time the dove was with Eitam’s unit, not one of his unit was killed or wounded.
“Since we had that angel protecting us, none of my company’s soldiers was killed or wounded, and we were involved in very intensive battles. It’s not that we stood in the rear or we sat there. We were involved in the middle of the most bitter battles, but she (the dove) was there”.
Even in the night campaigns the dove was there, highly unusual since birds rarely go out at night. Wherever they went, that was where the bird was remarked Eitam pointing to his shoulder.
Finally after nearly two weeks of intensive action on the front line, Eitam and his unit was sent to the rear for a rest. Once that took place, an interesting thing happened.
“And when I put my feet down in the vehicle that brought us from the front to the territory of the State of Israel, she flew away and disappeared”.
Remarked Eitam, “You know, you could have a little bit of questions whether it happened or not. But it didn’t happen to me in the middle of a desert or me being alone in the middle of the jungle. It was in front of the eyes of thousands of soldiers”.
Since that took place even though many commando missions continued, Eitam had a sense that God’s protection never left them as promised in the 23rd Psalm.
"I trained myself to see miracles around me, around the operations that I conducted. It's as we know he said, quoting Psalm 23 in Hebrew: "Even when I am in the valley of death and evil, I'm not afraid because God is with me…."