07 February 2011

Aliyah Wrap-Up (for now)

3 Adar `א

Moriyah comments:

Devash,

Why don't you write about true articles spelling the problems in EY by the Israeli pro-Arab government, the anti-olim attitude by the many Sabras in EY, the anti-religious seculars in EY, the school violence that happens so often in Israeli religious and secular schools, so that when olim from America come to EY, they won't be culture-shocked and demand to return to their host countries?

Arutz Sheva is a Zionistic media outlet, and so are your views.

For several reasons, Moriyah, first of which, although I've faced many challenges here, the things you name have not been among them. I have no experience with what you describe.

Second, there are problems no matter where you live. I had many more troubles with the educational system in America than I've had here. "Problems" of one sort or another are unavoidable. They are part of the "package" that Hashem gives us in order to accomplish whatever growth or tikun is designated for us in this world.

Third, I don't think such discussions can prevent culture shock. Everybody who travels, even on vacation, undergoes culture shock. It's also unavoidable, but it's not fatal. People adjust. They recover.

Finally, Moriyah, as I've tried to point out before. It's completely irrelevant. A Jew performs a mitzvah because it's been commanded by Hashem and issues external to that are simply not part of the equation. Whatever is here has been allowed by Hashem for His own reasons.

The seven nations were the worst of the worst, but Hashem did not say "Oh, children, stay in the wilderness until I remove the seven nations. You don't want to be exposed to their tumah." No! He told us to come home to the Land promised to our forefathers and to begin work immediately to remove the tumah ourselves. And nothing has changed!! Hashem expects us to do the work and the Jews still in chu"l have no right to shirk their portion of the responsibility. (Not unlike the two and a half tribes who wanted to settle over the Jordan.)

Don't you see that the key to overcoming the Erev Rav regime is large numbers of Torah-believing (Torah-acting) Jews to come home? It is a war to conquer the Land. The Erev Rav brought 300,000 goyim from the CIS and now they are bringing all kinds of "refugees." If our religious brothers and sisters won't come and help do their part to conquer the Holy Land for Torah, what else can we do?

At least in Eretz Yisrael we have the right (and the obligation) to conquer it for Torah. In chu"l, you're just a (tolerated) guest in someone else's home.

Yesterday I quoted a letter from Mishpacha magazine written by a reader irate that an entire magazine issue was dedicated to the issue of aliyah. I'd like to end this current discussion of the topic with a portion of a letter from this week's edition of Mishpacha written in response to one of the aliyah articles. It was authored by a rabbi whom I love and respect and whom I feel greatly privileged to know personally---Rabbi Sholom Gold of Har Nof, Yerushalayim:

"...I was profoundly disappointed that the one crucial and vital imperative that brought me on aliyah in 1982 was totally absent from the roundtable [featured discussion]. I came on aliyah because it is a mitzvah----plain, simple, period. A mitzvah! The only role "tafkid" can play is as a temporary exemption from the mitzvah.

The Chazon Ish writes: 'The halachah has already been decided like the Rambam and the Ramban, that it is a mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael, and it is well known how much the Chofetz Chaim longed to come to Eretz Yisrael.' It couldn't be clearer or more emphatic than that.

Before I left the Young Israel of West Hempstead, I flew to Toronto to meet with Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, who was visiting there at the time. We had a fascinating, wide-ranging conversation during which, in response to a question I asked, he said (the words are engraved on my heart and mind), 'Sholom, I hold that it is a mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael now, as it always was, and if I could, I would go to the airport right now and get onto a plane, but I can't...'

...American Orthodox Jews need to hear a clear clarion call to come home, and soon. They should come face-to-face with the reality that Eretz Yisrael is ours, it is accessible, it is Hashem's great gift to His people. Everyone knows the words of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, that Hashem gave three good gifts to His people, and all three were given through toil and sacrifice: Torah, Eretz Yisrael and Olam HaBa. No one would ever say, 'Okay, Hashem, Torah is a good gift, but no thank you, it's not for me.' Nor would one ever dismiss Olam HaBa. But Eretz Yisrael seems to get in the way of many people's "tafkidim,' so it is not on the agenda. That is a pity."

Amen!