The following story is told as an urban legend:

I don't know if the following story is true, but I'll let you decide. Kenya's star soccer player used to offer a prayer for victory before every game. When facing Israel in the World Cup elimination matches, however, he didn't offer his usual prayer. When asked why not, he replied, "Well, I don't suppose it would help much seeing as He's on their team."

There's another famous story about a Jewish West Point student who was taking a course on international military victories, in which a focus was on the weaker force overcoming the more powerful force and emerging victorious. The student was shocked, at the end of the course, that his instructor had not made any mention of Israel's Six Day War. When he asked his instructor to explain why that war did not come up in the course, the instructor replied that the course was focused on military strategy, not miracles.

Does anyone know if either of the above is a true story (or based on a true story)?

  • Are there really miracles in 6 days war? Yuan Chonquan also won against the ching by firing cannons at the Ching emperor accurately.
    – user4951
    Dec 21, 2012 at 16:49
  • @JimThio, two responses: 1) Depends on your definition of miracle. A small country severely outnumbered and isolated not only survives attack (with preemptive strategy), but grows. 2) Maybe that was a miracle too (again, depends on your definition).
    – Seth J
    Dec 21, 2012 at 17:39
  • It could be that the Six Day War's lessons are just not applicable to general military strategy in the opinion of the professor.
    – Tatpurusha
    Jun 11, 2014 at 23:25

2 Answers 2


At Rabbi Asher Wade's Yad Vashem tour he told us the West Point story, saying that the student in the story had told it to him personally.

A version of it was written up and can be read here (link).

  • Which story? Any evidence that it is true? Aug 1, 2012 at 0:50
  • I heard Rabbi Asher Wade tell me this story. I think it's a standard part of his Yad Vashem tour. He claims to have been told all its details from the student. You can literally ask him yourself, he's not that hard to reach!
    – Eliyahu
    Nov 26, 2012 at 13:52
  • I have been on this tour and I can confirm that he said it and said he heard it first hand from the student
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Jan 18 at 16:44

With regard to the first story, the only source appears to be the one you've quoted, which openly admits that the story may not be true.

The second story, about the West Point graduate, is usually told about (not by) Rabbi Asher Wade, who supposedly met this student. I am a bit skeptical about its truth but I guess you could confirm it by contacting Rabbi Wade directly. His website is http://www.asherwade.com.

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