Monday, March 12, 2007

More Excuses Not To Make Aliyah

Check out this very interesting and well written post by Ron Coleman. In it he delineates the social and cultural obstacles that stand in the face of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish American that wants to make aliyah to Israel. In the end he writes:
Undoubtedly, Israeli haredim are on the front lines of a very profound kulturkampf, a fight for the soul of the Jewish people that is being played out in very stark terms. But where there is war, there are uniforms — rigidly enforced; there are casualties — however regrettably; and there are atrocities — so to speak. Yes, I remain more than impressed — positively inspired — by the wellspring of enthusiasm and, yes, idealism by olim who have grown and blossomed and flourished in eretz hakadosh. The growth of Torah to historically phenomenal levels can only be a sign of Heavenly approval. When I was in Israel, especially as I walked the streets of Jerusalem, I felt truly at home. Perhaps it is because I am a native New Yorker, but to me it is Jerusalem that I picture when I imagine, fantasize really, living in Israel. But as my youthful enthusiasm gives way to reality and the acceptance of who and where I am, I have realized and learned that, unfortunately, there is almost no conceivable way I can be there, short of the miraculous Redemption, in the foreseeable future. What pains me most, though, is the realization that this fantasy, like so many others, can perhaps only be nurtured in the abstract, and that from what I have read, seen and heard, this love may well be unrequited.

We are, after all, in galus.

I left the following comment to his post:
“The Holy One Blessed Be He gave three good gifts to Israel, and all of them He did not give except through affliction, and they are: Torah, and the Land Of Israel, and the World To Come.(Berachot 5A)”


All of the social and cultural issues that you mention here are part and parcel of the affliction that one has to go through in order to acquire Eretz Yisrael. When one knows the importance of the goal, it is easier to deal with the afflictions along the way. When we compare today’s afflictions to what previous generations had to go through, we should be embarrassed to even mention them.

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