Tuesday, August 4, 2009

As An Israeli Mother

There are Jews all over the world who rationalize, excuse their not moving to Israel, because they're worried about their children, especially their sons. They're afraid of army service in the IDF, Tzahal, the Israeli Defense Forces.

My sons served in combat units, frontline of course, in the army. I was proud and scared, but I've also been afraid of other dangers. There are dangers our kids face, no matter where they're living.

As hard as we try, we can't protect our children from illnesses, accidents or their own foolishness.

When my sons were growing up, I was no stranger to the Emergency Room. I even had to take my daughters there on occasion.

The most seriously ill was my youngest at the age of two weeks. That was one of those "nobody's fault" life-threatening situations which could happen any place to anyone. My Shiloh neighbors helped enormously for the six weeks we were in Shaare Tzedek Hospital. I can't imagine any community any place in the world doing more for a young family with four other kids.

Then a few years later, my other son was hit by a small truck when on his bike, and we had four weeks total in Hadassa Ein Kerem and Alyn Children's Orthopedic Hospital. Until my son was back on two feet sans crutches, a few months later, my neighbors were great.

Those things can happen any place to anybody. According to statistics, most accidents happen at home or nearby.

For two years simultaneously (of the three years each) my two sons were both serving in the army. I can't say that I didn't worry, because I always worry. I worry about them crossing the street.

I worried the most when my elder son took a post army trek to South America. Then I was worried sick.

And now, a young man from Maale Levona is missing in India. Search parties have been sent from Israel. Please pray for the safe return of:
Amichai ben Dvora
And accidents are a serious danger, too. There was one the other day in Shiloh to a young teen. Please pray for a refuah shleimah, complete recovery for:
Yisrael Or ben Tova
Thank you


Hadassa said...

These are the same people who are afraid to leave their houses after dark and can't let their children leave the yard (if they have one) alone. The same people who enter their houses, lock the double locks and turn on the burglar alarm.
Their dangers are familiar to them. The IDF is an unknown, and therefore infinitely more frightening.

Batya said...

And they have it in their heads that their lives are safe and normal. I'd go insane there.

Anonymous said...

Let's be a little more realistic.

The vast majority of Jews who appreciate Israel from the outside don't move here because:

1. They do not call Israel their home. They are beholden to the land and the culture they have grown up in.

2. They are not willing to break the economic and financial bonds they have. While I see all of the people who have managed to make it here, many are under hardships they previously didn't encounter. Yet others tried, failed and went back.

Batya said...

Shy, I'm surprised at your sympathetic attitude. I'd even say disappointed.
Fear of change and resistence to change would be most accurate.
We're approaching the month of Ellul, the time when we're supposed to reflect and change to do more to follow G-d's Commandmants.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't trying to express sympathy. I was expressing the main reasons why many people are not coming on aliyah. I think fear of their sons being drafted is a lesser fear.

However, let's get back to sympathy. There are plenty of people who would like to make aliyah but were never able to find qualified jobs here. What do you want them to do? Come here and beg on the streets to feed their families?

You know the situation is not simple or easy here. Chazal also teach us that Eretz Yisrael is acquired through Yisurim. It don't come easy.

Batya said...

OK, shy, so basically, we all have to be a "Nachshon." Just like the water opened when he stepped in, if we legitimize fear as the reason, we'll never be redeemed.

Hadassa said...

Many people claim that their reasons for not coming on aliya are not financial when they really are. Also, define "qualified job". Many people claim that they won't be able to/couldn't find a job in Israel when the reality is that they're not willing to accept a drop in their standard of living in order to live in Israel.
Why is it that some are so ready to accept the "I won't/couldn't make a living in Israel" excuse? Do we except excuses for not keeping Shabbat, kashrut, etc.? Just like there are a few legitimate reasons not to live in Israel, there are certain situations in which one MUST break Shabbat and the rules of kashrut.

Batya said...

Hadassa, good points. Living in the Holy Land is a mitzvah, one fo the first, in Lech Lecha.