‘Sharing the Burden’ – Comments from the Rav

The Rav made some interesting comments, as always, in this week’s Shivivei Or.

I’m going to post up two things I’ve translated, one after the other.



Translated comments from Shivivei Or 366

Excerpts of a shiur given on Sivan 19th, on the occasion of the Tzuker barmitzvah.[1]

[The Rav has been talking about Gideon’s war against the Midianites who had conquered Eretz Yisrael, at the time of the Shoftim.]

Gideon – they call this ‘Gideonim’.[2]

Gideon came with 32,000 soldiers, all of them yeshiva bochurs. Hashem said to send them home, send the draft-dodgers home.

What’s with ‘sharing the burden’, ‘equal responsibility’ – what ‘equality’?!

How are tens of thousands [of Jewish soldiers] going to win? Tens of thousands [of Jews] need to manage a war against a million men?!

They were like the ‘blue of the sea’, they were innumerable, there was no counting the number of camels.


So, there were 32,000, so Hashem said ‘22,000 – send them home’.

There is no ‘sharing the burden’, there is no ‘equality!’

This isn’t right, and this isn’t how we run the army, forgive me [for saying this]. If one time you are going to be the RAMATKAL[3], now you are going to need another 32,000, not to send them home.

[But] Hashem said Send them all home!!! I dont need them!!!


Gideon didn’t know the halachot.[4]

He didn’t learn in Shuvu Banim, he didn’t know halachot. And he also hadn’t been in the Breslov Shul, he wasn’t any place [religious].

He was fattening a cow [for avodah zara] for seven years. Seven years, he’s fattening a cow!…

And apart from this, he went [on a yom tov, the first day of Pesach] to thresh wheat in Gat.

This is an issur d’orayta (a transgression of the written Torah laws)! This is dash ladoosh, threshing the wheat in order to separate the grain from the chaff.

He sat down on Seder Night, and the following day he already went to thresh his wheat in Gat, to be ‘hidden from the Midianites’.


What does ‘to be hidden from the Midianites’ mean?

The Midianites used to take all the wheat, so they used to thresh the grain in Gat, [because] in Gat, they used to make wine.

Beit Chabad, this is the oil of Gat, this is wine, and goren is a threshing floor.[5]

So the wine they did on the threshing floor, and the wheat they did in Gat, to confuse the Midianites, because they used to take everything.

And this is how it was for 8 years, 7 years – they ruled for 7 years.


It was impossible to count the camels that came with Midian and Amalek together, and Hashem told him [Gideon] send everyone home!

It’s too many, I don’t need them!

In the end, Hashem said to him, nu, now!

He had 10,000 left… There were 32,000.

All of Midian and Amalek, all of them, and the Beni Kedem, together with all the Beni Kedem….


[Skipping some]

Gideon was still trembling from the Haggadah.

A person hears the Haggadah, he needs to tremble, Haggadah, ‘ha yad a gadolah’ (the ‘great hand’) that You did in Mitzrayim – bad angels. Anger, fury, the sending of destructive angels.

You need to feel the Haggadah.

Gideon was still trembling from the Haggadah. He said [to the angel] just now, we read the Haggadah. Where are the miracles? Where are the wonders?

He has a cow for avodah zara, and he’s asking where are the miracles?


[Skipping some].

So, the Gideonim today – thesayyeret today, they call them ‘Gideonim’ – so Hashem said:

I don’t need the army, don’t need soldiers – send everyone home!

And 10,000 remained.

Hashem said to him [Gideon]: This is also too much! Now, go with the 10,000 and bring them to the stream. Whoever puts his head in the water, let him go.


A person gets to the stream, and he hasn’t drunk for three days. So, he puts his head in the water, so he can drink.

[And Hashem said] Whoever puts his head in the water – send him home!

And only 300 men remained [for Gideon].

[The Midianites etc] were like around four million – millions!

One hundred men [from Gideon] came from the North, a hundred from the South, and a hundred came from the East, and they blew shofars and smashed their clay vessels.

[All of the non-Jewish soldiers ran away.]



[1] The barmitzvah boy was either a grandson, or great-grandson of the Rav.

[2] When I went looking for the ‘Gideonim’ unit of the army being described by the Rav, I found this, from HERE:

Unit Gideonim (Unit 33) is the Israeli Police (IP) elite intelligence oriented undercover unit.

The unit was formed in 1994 in order to conduct Counter Terror (CT) intelligence gathering in the East Jerusalem region, as well as to fight hard core crime in the area. The unit is located in classified civilian base in east Jerusalem.

So…. it’s ‘Unit 33’ for freemason gematria watchers….. and it’s elite undercover intelligence working out of East Jerusalem. I have a feeling something ‘interesting’ just surfaced here.

[3] Commander-in-Chief of the army.

[4] See Shoftim Chapter 6. What follows is some key passages, to make it easier to follow what the Rav is saying:

“The Children of Israel did what was evil in the eyes of Hashem, so Hashem delivered them into the hand of Midian [for] seven years…..It happened that whenever Israel would sow, Midian would ascend – as well as Amalek and the people of the east – and they would overrun it. They would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the land, until the approach to Gaza…..


“Israel became very impoverished because of Midian, and the Children of Israel cried out to Hashem….An angel of Hashem came and sat under the elm tree in Ofra, that belonged to Joash the Abi-ezrite. His son Gideon was threshing wheat at the winepress, to hide it from Midian. The angel of Hashem appeared to him and said to him, ‘Hashem is with you, O mighty hero!’


“Gideon said to him, ‘I beg you, my lord, if Hashem is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all His wonders of which our forefathers told us, saying, ‘Behold, Hashem brought us up from Egypt’? For now, Hashem has deserted us and He has delivered us into the grip of Midian…..


“Hashem said to [Gideon], ‘Peace to you. Do not be afraid; you will not die!’ Gideon built an alter there to Hashem…..It happened that night that Hashem said to him, ‘Take the young bull that belongs to your father and the second bull, which is seven years old, and break apart the altar of the Baal that belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah-tree that is near it. Then, build an altar for Hashem, your God, atop the strong rock, on a level place. Take the second bull and offer it up as an elevation-offering, using the wood of the Asherah-tree that you will cut down….


“The people of the city arose early in the morning and behold – the altar of the Baal had been broken, and the Asherah-tree that was near it had been cut down, and the second bull had been offered up on the newly-built altar! Each man said to his fellow, ‘Who did this thing?!’ They searched and sought, and they said, ‘Gideon, son of Joash did this thing!’ The men of the city then waid to Joash, ‘Bring out your son and he shall die, because he has broken the alter of the Baal and because he has cut down the Asherah-tree, that was near it.”

[5] It’s not clear [to me] what the Rav is saying here.



Here’s a bit more info on the Gideonim Unit 33, from HERE:

Mista’arvim is Israeli undercover agents, that are specifically trained to pose as Palestinians in order to infiltrate their ranks and nab the stone pelters during the violence and chaos. The name is derived from the Arabic “Musta’arabi”, meaning “those who live among the Arabs” or one that specializes in Arabic language and culture.

These agents go through ”Arabization” in which they learn to,

  • Think and act like a Palestinian.
  • Undergo courses to master Palestinian dialects and Arabic accents according to which Arab country they operate in such as Yemen or Tunisia.
  • They undergo courses that take between 4–6 months which include how to master customs and religious practices, such as fasting and praying, and the precise knowledge of Islam.


  • 4 months of basic infantry training in the Mitkan Adam army base — the IDF Special Training Center.
  • 2.5 months of advanced infantry training in the same base.
  • 2 months of the unit’s basic training: Focus on urban navigation exercises and the beginning of counter-terrorism exercise.
  • 4 months Mista’arvim course includes learning Arab traditions, Language, Way of thought, Civilian camouflage, Sniper training, and driving.

Active Mista’arvim Units,

  • Ya’mas — Which operates in West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem.

  • Duvdevan (Unit 217) — Operates in the West Bank division.

  • Gideonim (Unit 33) — Operates in Eastern Jerusalem.


I have the strange feeling these ‘Gideonim’ are connected to what happened on Simchat Torah.

But that’s because I’m a crazy ‘conspiracy theorist’.

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