In the spring of 1967, following close to a decade of relative calm, Israel found itself poised for war against four of its Arab neighbors.
According to all the military analysts and pundits, it was to be a lopsided match. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) consisted of 275,000 troops, compared to the 456,000 soldiers of the combined Iraqi, Syrian, Jordanian and Egyptian armies. The united Arab forces also had a decided edge with regards to weaponry and military equipment: they boasted more than double the amount of tanks, and close to four times the amount of combat aircraft. The three-week period preceding the Six-Day War was one of dread, shock and fright for the residents of the Holy Land.
With close to two and a half million Jews living in the tiny country, it had the highest concentration of Jews since pre-Holocaust Eastern Europe. So pessimistic was the outlook that the nation’s cemeteries and national parks were marked to become gravesites for the many who would surely perish in the course of the war.
However, despite all the prognostications, by the time the war ended, the territory under Israeli control had tripled in size. Jews returned to sites where their ancestors had lived for thousands of years, sites from which waves of terror were launched against them for so many years. The casualties and losses were painful, but minimal in comparison to all projections. The Jewish nation was miraculously victorious in the face of unbelievable odds.
History books speak of the “Hundred Years’ War,” the “Thirty Years’ War,” and many other long-fought battles. Here, in a matter of six short days, a nation managed to utterly rout not one, but four powerful enemies!
Jews across the globe thanked G‑d for the great miracles that happened. An incredible sense of pride and spiritual awakening gripped the Jewish people worldwide.
The following is a brief account of some of the major events of the war, with emphasis placed on a few of the miraculous occurrences which characterized its battles. We will also highlight the pivotal role of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, in calming and reassuring a frightened and trepidation-filled nation, both before and during the war, and foretelling its miraculous outcome.