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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Aliyah Now! Why Wait?

We all know the reasons many American Jews give, those Jews who agree that aliyah is a good idea, for not making aliyah:

  • They don't have enough money to make the move. So, when things are better they will come.
  • Life in America is just too good for Jews to leave. We have everything we need, including high economic life-style.
So, by listening carefully, it's clear that when life is good in America, they won't leave, and when life is hard they won't leave. Basically, whatever is going on for them is the perfect excuse to stay in the USA.

My husband and I made the move to Israel when we were young marrieds in 1970, without the academic degrees we have now. Here in Israel I completed my B.S. and later on got a EFL teaching license, while my husband, not all that long ago, got his Masters degree from Hebrew University. We own our own home and are active members of our community, Shiloh. We are now of retirement age, work part-time, and I've also been studying one day a week for a number of years in Matan. Honestly, I can't imagine living anyplace else but Israel.

A Jewish cemetery in France defiled with swastikas. (New Voices)

In other parts of the world, life for Jews is much harder and more dangerous. Yes, it's even more dangerous than living in Shiloh; not that I consider Shiloh to be dangerous, but others do.

A massive majority of Jews in Europe are fearful of publicly identifying as Jewish, leading to decreased participation in ceremonies and prayer services, a new survey of European Jewish communities revealed.
According to details published by Israel’s Channel 2 on Tuesday, 85% said they will not bring their children to synagogue on Rosh Hashanah this week out of concern for their safety. (Algemeiner)
Great Britain is no better for Jews and Israelis than France.
More than 107,000 sign UK petition for arrest of NetanyahuMore than 107,000 people have signed a British petition calling for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to arrested for war crimes when he visits London this week for talks with Prime Minister David Cameron.Britain said visiting heads of state have immunity from legal process and thus cannot be arrested, though the petition indicates the strength of feeling among some about last year's war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza."Under international law he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the UK for the massacre of over 2,000 civilians in 2014," the petition reads.
Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate. (Reuters)

This is so deja vu; isn't it? Less than a hundred years ago Nazi ideology began in Europe, but Jews didn't leave in sizable enough numbers. Rabbis and community leaders on the whole encouraged them to stay. Zionist leaders were ignored, and there were even those who rejected American visas in fear that living in the USA would mean assimilation and the end of Jewish life.

Today it is even easier for Jews to assimilate in the states than ever before and it isn't PC-politically correct to voice Torah Jewish Values. Today's America idealizes transgender and same-sex "marriage." It's harder for the Jewish Sabbath Observer to get a good job with promotions than for two men or two women to get a marriage license.

And with the rapidly rising Arab and Muslim populations in the United States, it's only going to get harder for American Jews.

In the forty-five 45 years I've lived in Israel the standard of living has skyrocketed, from well behind the USA to ahead of it, and I'm not exaggerating at all. When I think of Shiloh and our county Mateh Binyamin as a microcosm of Israel, it's clear that there is a place for all Jews from all over the world and all backgrounds.

I don't know what World Jewry is waiting for.


Netivotgirl said...

Bravo on a superb post Batya! Like you I made aliya years ago (in '77.) I grew up in a rural anti-Semitic area and recall getting spit on and told, "Go to Israel; we don't want you here!" when passing out leaflets during Arafat's first visit to the U.N. in '74. I cannot fathom remaining ANYWHERE in the world with the upsurge in anti-Semitism and hate crimes today. What in heavens are people waiting for?? Ideally, one should make aliya as you and I did while young, but with the deteriorating worldwide situation, people should come in droves no matter what is going on in their lives. Sell the house and furniture; pack up the family and get on the next plane!!Things will probably get worse before they get better!! Thanks for your your so very apt article! Spot on!!

Anonymous said...

i've seen headlines discouraging cities of refuge, which are the typical Earmarks of Incompetence;

just a recommendation for veteran settlers [which connotes previous traveling experience]: consider what people, heritage, and handiwork mean from a macro pov, in lieu of all that microscopic debris bringing Rebellion to an Unceremonious halt throughout the Middle East.

Anonymous said...

i've seen the elderly harassed on the temple mount, while blinded cops and gymrat soldiers prove less than stellar guardians

i've heard immature children coached to recite the shema just outside those premises

i would rather cops and soldiers clean and sweep

anusim are known to collect dust into the middle of the floor

i tend to sweep into a corner

whatever works, so that footage doesn't need to be so graphic

heritage sites should be maintained, otherwise people are demoted, basically

Steve Jobs was infamous for firing at will

Batya Medad said...

NG, yes, it's easier when young, but can be done at any age. I know of so many people who have made excellent lives here in the HolyLand.

a1 and a2, I don't quite get what you are saying.

Leah said...

I am on the flight right now with three daughters - Tzfat here.we.come!

Anonymous said...

I have rarely experienced antisemitism in the USA but I get antisemitism in Israel from Arabs all the time.
And I would rather get education, training and a profession in the USA than end up a 65 year old unskilled laborer in Israel.

Batya Medad said...

Leah, how exciting!
a3, Israeli education is world class. What's the connection. I did experience antisemitism in NY public schools.

Anonymous said...

Once in Israel the education is top notch. But I see many Olin - you included - who do not finish their education. You are a 65 year old woman doing unskilled labor. Had you stayed in the USA a year or so longer you could have had more money and a better job, all in Israel. But you insist on Israel now. Sorry, doesn't make sense.

Batya Medad said...

Obviously you did not read the post carefully. Please read again.