On Saturday, hikers near Kibbutz Re’im in southern Israel discovered a book floating in a river with an explosive device embedded inside. The deadly trap was apparently floated over the border on balloons from Gaza, intended to harm hapless Israelis.
“We are urging the public to be aware of any suspicious object,” the police said in a statement. “If you come across a suspicious object, call the emergency hotline and leave it to be inspected by the professionals.”
There were no injuries and police sappers successfully removed the device. This is at least the second time an aerial incendiary device from Gaza carried explosives hidden in a book. In July, a similar device hidden in a Hebrew language book titled “Love Stella” was discovered an agricultural field in the Eshkol Regional Council. Security officials surmise the intent was that the book would detach and be mistaken for a discarded book to be picked up by an unsuspecting Israeli.
The ploy was unsuccessful but the discovery of an explosive book on a riverbank recalled a powerful Biblical image described in the Book of Daniel.
A river of fire streamed forth before Him; Thousands upon thousands served Him; Myriads upon myriads attended Him; The court sat and the books were opened. I looked on. Then, because of the arrogant words that the horn spoke, the beast was killed as I looked on; its body was destroyed and it was consigned to the flames. Daniel 7:10-11
Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, emphasized that this particular type of attacked displayed the difference between the Jews and their enemies.
“For the Jews, books and the written word are holy,” Rabbi Berger said “God created the world with the spoken word and the Torah is a tree of life to those who hold fast to it. It would never occur to us to turn a book, or the love of a book, into a weapon. This displays a total hatred of knowledge and the Bible.”
The recent discovery came during a Sabbath when at least ten rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza.