New IDF Intel Chief: ‘Vengeance is of the Lord – Not Man’
A revenge-driven soldier is far less likely to win the battle than one who is coolly “mission-oriented,” incoming Israel Defense Forces AMAN Military Intelligence Chief, Maj.-Gen. Herzl Halevi contended on Saturday.
Speaking to students at Jerusalem’s prestigious Himmelfarb religious high school over the Sabbath, Halevi used the biblical example of Samson in the Book of Judges as an historic figure motivated by personal revenge.
“Samson… explicitly admits it, and I think that tale of revenge is fascinating,” Halevi said, according to Israeli daily Ma’ariv.
The story of Samson is traditionally read in synagogues worldwide at the conclusion of last Shabbat’s Torah portion reading – “Naso,” the second chapter in the Book of Numbers.
Offering a personal illustration from his own military experience, Halevi said, “both as a soldier and an officer, that there were occasions where, in order to apprehend a terrorist that three weeks earlier wounded or killed several troops, I would try very hard not to send out soldiers from that unit to carry out the mission.”
Halevi noted that “May God avenge his blood,” the Hebrew phrase traditionally said after the name of a slain Jewish person, “means that it is God’s – and not man’s – vengeance, and I’m saying that from a professional standpoint.”
The observant father of four also attended Himmelfarb and was at the school to celebrate the installation of a new Torah scroll in their study hall.