Have you ever heard the famous story of the woman who lifted a car to free her child trapped underneath? We all experience these seemingly insurmountable situations, albeit not as dramatic, which seem too difficult to bear and impossible to handle. These trials and tribulations, sometimes minor and occasionally substantial, confront each person. Yet a surge of adrenaline and willpower, combined with a large dose of divine intervention, gives us the strength to overcome the monsters which appear in our lives.

The sages quote G‑d as saying, “Open for me [a door as big] as the point of a needle, and I will open up for you [a door] like the hall in the Temple.” When we put in effort and give it all we got, G‑d’s help will be generous and complete. Yes, Jacob fought with the angel all night and walked away victorious, though with a limp; Nachshon walked into the sea until it reached his neck, and then it split; David stood facing Goliath, and slung a rock which hit him dead-on; and I woke up each child, dressed them, fed them, and patiently (or not so patiently) got them out the door, and the bus was still there waiting!

If we are to defeat the monster before he fully awakens, we must look to the past

All miracles in their own right, and usually a struggle from beginning to end.

In this week’s Torah reading, Moses prepares his nation to enter the Land of Israel.

Hear, O Israel: Today, you are crossing the Jordan to come in to possess nations greater and stronger than you . . . A great and tall people, the children of the Anakim . . . You shall know this day, that it is the L‑rd your G‑d who passes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them, and He will subdue them before you; and you shall drive out them and destroy them quickly, as the L‑rd spoke to you. (Deuteronomy 9:1–3)

Moses does not present a very rosy picture to a nation set to enter a hostile land. He does not shirk his responsibility to present an accurate picture of the upcoming seven years of fighting and conquering. Though their fathers flaunted their fear of the Land and disregard for G‑d’s promise, and died in the desert for this sin, Moses did not give in to an apprehension of their reaction to his daunting words. However, he did assure them that if they would fully understand and demonstrate unwavering faith and the willingness to fight, they would merit a complete victory. And with good faith and preparedness for battle, following Joshua their leader, the Jewish people conquered most of the seven nations in the Land of Canaan (ancient Israel).

As history typically repeats itself, this lesson of faith and trust in G‑d while simultaneously reaching out and doing our part is quite pertinent to us today. There’s a famous chassidic saying, “One must live with the times”—meaning that the weekly Torah reading must have relevance to current events affecting the life of a Jew. The Parshah of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) we read this week, and its specific lesson regarding the original wars in the Land of Israel, as it relates to the marriage of effort and trust, ring all too loudly today.

The Land of Israel and its six million Jews are locked in an ongoing battle with five hundred million Arab neighbors. Just as in ancient times, when the Jewish nation faced real giants, the modern giant has menacingly continued to threaten the dwarf for over sixty years. Yet time and again, the dwarf emerges victorious. With a combination of extraordinarily executed military power and spiritual strength exhibited in a worldwide effort to strengthen in Torah learning and good deeds, particularly tefillin and mezuzah, the Land of Israel has emerged victorious despite blunders along the way.

Only through our showing spiritual, physical and moral strength will the giant give up and be put to rest

The Jewish people as a whole stand facing this giant who has reawakened from its slumber, growling and gnawing, yet not fully awake. If we are to defeat the monster before he fully awakens, we must look to the past. The Six-Day War was one of the greatest Jewish events in modern history, yet we threw food back at the giant and whetted its appetite. When given land, the Arabs were not satisfied, not intimidated, and only wanted more. Following victories in war which should have scared them, we turned around and made ourselves vulnerable. What was viewed by the world as an effort toward peace turned around to bite us in the back.

Only through our showing spiritual, physical and moral strength will the giant give up and be put to rest. When they see that we stand firm in our convictions and protect the sacred Land which G‑d bequeathed to us, they will back down.

As Jews, we must have constant faith in G‑d and His perpetual protection of the Land of Israel. As the Torah declares: “A land the L‑rd, your G‑d, looks after; the eyes of the L‑rd your G‑d are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year” (Deuteronomy 11:12).

We who live outside of the Holy Land and are not engaged in the physical fighting and the constant threat of missiles must encourage our brethren in Israel, stand united with them, pray for them, do an extra good deed for them, and pray that they will be wise and have the stamina and strength to look up at the giant in battle, but look even higher, to heaven, and seek G‑d’s comfort and blessings.