Monday, August 18, 2008

Blogging For Aliyah

I blog for Aliyah . I believe that living in Israel is one of the positive precepts of the Torah, and as such I believe that every Jew should make his home here. If this is "agenda blogging" than I have an agenda! If what I have published here in my modest corner of the jblogosphere has increased the love of the land of Israel, the people of Israel, and/or the love of Torah among even one reader, let this be my reward.

There is a wise saying: "Not everything you think should be said, not everything you say should be written, and not everything you write has to be published." This is particularly true when it comes to blogging about the land of Israel and its inhabitants. Some jbloggers that are like flies; they abandon the healthy flesh and only seek the sores. These grumblers spread a bad report about the land, often while sitting on the other side of the Atlantic. "Let my soul not come into their council; unto their assembly let my glory not be united...(Genesis 49:6)". A jblogger should accustom himself to seeing the "good of Jerusalem (Psalms 128:5)".

Nefesh B'Nefesh, by sponsoring the upcoming blogger conference, has acknowledged the power of blogs as a way to encourage Aliyah. By reading Israeli blogs, Jews from all over the diaspora get an insider's view of Israel. Instead of seeing the Middle East through the anti-Israel biased eyes of the news wires and their Arab stringers, blogs give these Jews the opportunity to see Israel through the eyes of people similar to themselves. These Israeli bloggers are immigrants from English speaking countries. They did not come as refugees fleeing war, anti-Semitism or an insane tyrant! They came to Israel because of their love of the land. This love of the land is what sustains them and helps them overcome all obstacles. If a Jew currently living in the diaspora is searching for a way to make aliya successfully, these blogs provide a living example of how it is done.

At the end of the Kuzari the Rabbi leaves the King of the Khazars in order to leave for the land of Israel. The Rabbi explains that even when the land of Israel is desolate it is a great Mitzvah to live there. Not only that, is also a great Mitzvah to arouse in others the love of the land. I have no doubt that that many of the English speaking Israeli bloggers have done a great job arousing the love of the land of Israel in the hearts of many of their brothers and sisters that are still in the diaspora. This is an agenda that they can be proud of!

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