23 December 2018


15 Tevet 5779

Yeshiva World News headline...
SHMAD ALERT: Campaign Against French Olim Arriving in Israel is in Full Swing

...“We now see thousands of immigrants arriving from France, and representatives of the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Absorption & Immigration do not understand they need to be registered in Talmud Torahs and Yeshivos. Once again, the state is removing tens of thousands of Jews from their Yiddishkeit and this must stop!”

...During a visit to France in 2017, the Satmar Rebbe Shlita of Williamsburg warned the tzibur to “save the children” and not make aliyah, fearing the Shmad that would follow. The Rebbe pointed out that many of the religious members of the community who moved to Israel in the two years prior were losing their Yiddishkheit.

In 2015, Deputy Minister of Education Meir Porush warned that children arriving in Eretz Yisrael from France may not receive a torani education, concerned state officials would place them in secular schools.

In 2015, HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch also issued a warning during a shiur, as following a terror attack in France, the Prime Minister called on French Jews to make aliyah. The rav however issued a warning, concerned with the spiritual future of the children, stating “Israel is not safer,” referring to the Jews from Yemen and their spiritual destruction. The rav stated it is forbidden for them to move to Israel if they are not certain that they will be settled in chareidi areas and placed in chareidi schools.
Regardless of what transpired in the past, there is no justification for such accusations today. This is baseless fear-mongering. The problem today is not the State, it is the religious institutions themselves!!

Any Jewish child who wants a religious education in Eretz Yisrael is very welcome to have one as far as the State is concerned. The biggest hurdle is finding a religious school that will let them in!! 

A chareidi education does not guarantee a child will continue in Yiddishkeit - witness all the Off-The-Derech teens in chutz la'aretz as well as EY! A real connection with HKB"H is not so easily broken!!

Maybe I'm overreacting, but it seems to me that these rabbis are asking French Jews to sacrifice their children's lives for a massive chillul Hashem - the degradation of the Jew in the exile by antisemites.

The more religious Jews who come to Eretz Yisrael, the better life will be for ALL religious Jews who live here.

Antisemitism in Europe | DW Documentary


  1. "Maybe I'm overreacting..."

    I don't think so, Devash. You are 100% on target here.

    Despite all the faults we encounter in Israel - and there are many - any Jew who comes to Israel has the best chance of doing H's will and making teshuva where necessary, even the most religious. In fact, I'd say that religious and patriotic Jews must come here DESPITE the system, not BECAUSE of it.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the religious leaders are in cahoots with the seculars, the way they reject children, particularly Sepharadim. French Jews today are almost 100% Sepharadim (unlike in Rashi's day, when they were Ashkenazim), making them highly vulnerable to rejection by the chareidi schools that dominate this country! So, these rabbis who would leave them at the mercy of the goyim are also to blame for holding up the spiritual development of tender children - not to mention the Redemption itself.

  2. It's crazy, but you know I live in France and I remember when the Satmar came they did not feel safe with their jewish brothers...
    Do you know why ?
    It's because a huge majority among French jews LOVE Erets Israel and LOVE the values of the Torah, and even if they do not always wear kippas/tsitsit, it's extremely rare to find a jew here who openly critize the state of Israel or the Torah itself.
    Believe me French jews do not believe those fools and will not follow their ways.
    I would just like to answer to CDG's com about french judaism : French jews are around 80% Sepharadim, as I am, it's correct.
    Yet 99% of them were born in France, speak French, and are largely "Ashkenazim" in their mindset (cultural background), even when they keep their parents' sepharadim minaguims.
    So here in France we have no problem with ashkenazim/sepharadim since every jew or almost is partly ashkenaze/partly sepharade...
    So it's a little bit more complex that you stated regarding today's french jewry... and I do not believe many of our more religious jews would feel good in an exclusive Hareidi movement, they would feel stuck in a narrow way of living their judaism, in my opinion.
    PS : Many of our children here are in Jewish schools, I believe most of them will make the move toward Israel in the next few years, since they are both interested in EY and Torah

    1. May all of you be strengthened to do the right thing. Thanks for your informative comment.

  3. Thank you, you're wellcome ! And kol hakavod for your blog !

  4. Merci beaucoup, Maurice!

    I'm glad to learn from the native Frenchman that you are that things in France are more nuanced than what I had thought. I find it interesting that France, like the US, is culturally Ashkenazi, even though the majority of Jews is Sepharadi as you said, unlike the US. (I had not heard that there were even 20% Ashkenazim in France!)

    That explains a question I have puzzled over: why, when I was in ulpan here over 10 years ago with a few French Sepharadi girls among others, they didn't seem uncomfortable with the Ashkenazi environment.

    As a group they were the best Hebrew speakers, readers and writers, by the way. They had been well-prepared in advance, as one of them told me: In general, French Jews have been preparing for DECADES in secret. (I envy them still. I am struggling and working hard on my Hebrew literacy because in America, even the best Hebrew schools aren't nearly that good! And I hadn't even had that benefit, growing up.)

    However, my conclusion still stands. Many chareidim here will most likely still reject them due to their Sepharadiness. The good thing for now is that, as you said, the feeling would be mutual, for other reasons. They will find their way, be"H.