I picked up a lot of “lessons learned” along the way. One of the best was: “Never discount the absurd.”
An officer I worked with used to say that all the time. Mission planning always included 3 or 4 completely absurd and unlikely scenarios to overcome. The concept saved my ass on more than one occasion.
Jakkob was in the back seat of the lead Mercedes on “Thunderbolt” – More than a klick out from the terminal, in the middle of nowhere, they were confronted by a lone Ugandan soldier.
The poor guy probably just slipped off to sneak a pull off a flask or get high. All of a sudden he is looking at Amin’s presidential limo – Only it’s full of Sayeret Matkal.
I wonder if he shit his pants. It was the last thing he ever saw… one of the Paras in the rear vehicle swiftly dispatched the stray Ugandan with an unsuppressed Galil. With the sound of gunfire, the jig was up and they were still a klick out from the target.
The Commandos had to adjust the mission template on the fly, in the ensuing firefight they the recovered 103 hostages, killed all seven terrorists, a gaggle of Ugandan troops and destroyed 11 fighter aircraft that would have given chase.
The Unit lost only one man; Col. Netanyahu (יהי זכרו ברוך) and 3 hostages, but the entire mission was almost a failure because no one considered a guy might be out getting high out taking a leak. That’s why the Colonel never let us neglect the absurd.
In about ’77 someone figured out that the anti-communist underground behind the Iron Curtain was the same group of people who made up the Underground Church. Consequently at least one field operator from every team in our group studied theology. It gave us an edge, when dealing with assets on the other side, if we could understand the weird things they did. On my team, it ended up being me.
In my study of scripture I somehow always had questions that were on the border of being disrespectful to God, but they were valid questions in my mind. Things like why Balaam’s donkey didn’t kick the living shit out of him then have a talk with him? It seemed to me like a couple knots on his head would have been just the kind of emphasis he needed to know never beat the ass that bore him again.
I did an essay for a theology course describing God’s sense of humor. I figured anyone who would tell Moses to climb a mountain then “Shoot the Moon” at him when he got to the top has a sense of humor I can relate to. It didn’t go over well, but I still think it’s the reason farts and moons are so humorous to all men – we were made in His image.
I’ll never forget the day I asked my Old Testament professor what they did with all the foreskins. We were discussing the Exodus. He thought I was being a smart ass, but I wasn’t. I figured if God has enough Hutzpah to screw with Moses’ buzz on the mount maybe he was just kidding about circumcision. You gotta know there was a lot of “HUH…God said cut off WHAT?” going around the Sinai when Moses passed down the order to circumcise.
I did the math and conservatively there were more than two million Jews who left Egypt with Moses and Aaron. A few thousand Goyim even chose to go along and since only males were counted, you can figure, up to 5 million people might have gone on that walk in the desert.
After wandering and reproducing for years in the desert God told Moses to circumcise all males eight days of age or older. A low side estimate would be 5,000,000 males of circumcision age; it could have been much higher.
Naturally… I wondered what they did with 5 million plus foreskins.
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