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Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Better Israel?

Do you remember my now infamous blogpost with the pig picture? My main claim was that American Jewry has created a better Israel abroad with everything one needs to be Jewish, happy, and secure in the USA. Not only American comfort, but full-blown Judaism as well. AND NOW... Now you can have real Israeli products in America and you wont be missing a thing! Have your cake and eat it too, dance in two wedding, live in the US but eat the produce of the Land, and support Israel as well! Being an American Jew has never been better! Being an Israeli Jew on the other hand is Pikuach Nefesh, and only a measly Mitzva Kiyumis. NOT.

By the way, here is letter I recieved from someone who gets it:


Shalom Yishai,

I cannot believe I'm writing to you and I'm sure you're much to busy to read this, much less respond. But here goes.

I want to make aliyah. I know that my place is in Israel. In fact, I think the place of every Jew is in Israel, unless you are a shaliach helping others to make aliyah. We as Jews have no right to forsake what Hashem has given us and I worry that by staying in the diasporah, it is akin to spitting on His blessing. And I wonder how long Hashem will put up with it before He decides to wash His hands off for a time.

So anyway...I have no doubt that I should be there. Here's the thing...I have no family in Israel, no friends. I am married with three children--13, 11, 8. None of us speak Hebrew nor do we have college educations nor skills. My husband has only ever worked in restaurants and I have only done data entry work. We don't know the first thing about where to live or how to get jobs. We don't have the money to make a pilot trip. So when we go, it will be for good.

So, what do you think, Yishai? Should I just give up this dream and stay here in my comfortable apartment in America...going to Israel Independence Day festivals like a total hypocrite. Or do you think we'd have a chance at making it in Israel? I have no illusions of a luxurious life. I know it will be hard and difficult and lonely and I'm ready for that. But I mean in terms of basic survival --- eating, a place to live, schools.

Do you have any advice for us? Any ideas about where in Israel would be a good match for us? Anything we should do or look into (I am already looking into Nefesh b'Nefesh). Ideally, I would like to be there by next summer. But just don't know if we are cut out for it or even have anything to offer Israel beyond simply being five more Jewish souls in the land.

But yeah, anything you can help with would be great!

Thanks so much, Batya

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  • At 4:30 PM , Blogger NG said...

    It's Ahad-Ha'amism.

  • At 6:34 PM , Blogger Yishai said...

    Important addendum:

    It is GOOD that Jews want to eat the food and fruit of the Land of Israel. In this sense, exporting Israeli products to the US is wonderful. Furthermore, a store that reminds Jews in the Galut that Israel exists, and puts that reminder on Jewish family's tables across the US is also very good. My critique is only to point out that these Israeli products should always be a reminder, not a replacement! These products are the arms of the Land of Israel trying to gather us in.


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