Sunday, March 08, 2015

A Happy but Disappointing Purim

י״ז לחודש השנים עשר תשע״ה

Two young men with kippoth approached me for a photo of me in my costume. I was impressed that they had asked my in Hebrew.

I agreed.

After the photo shoot, I asked them where they were from, and what they were doing in Israel, visiting, living, learning.

They said that they were from the U. S., and learning in yeshiva for the year.

I told them to remember that they have places reserved for themselves in Eretz Yisra'el (Land of Israel).

They smiled, and said that yes, they knew that.

Then, I told them not to wait too long in the U. S., and to get out while they could.

To this, their smiles turned to frowns.

I said Purim Same'ah, and they returned the greeting, but barely able to come up with the half-hearted smiles they produced.

Whenever such things happen to me, I ask myself, "Was I really that connected to galuth (exile)? Was I that stuck there?"

I guess that maybe I was given a gift of not being so connected to the land of my exile. Even though I was a lot more materialistic back then, and concerned myself with many silly and frivolous things.

For some reason, still not exactly clear to me, my roots in the U. S. were not terribly deep, nor terribly strong, enabling me to fly away on my adventure to a Land, with which I had an historical and spiritual connection, yet had never been there.

I guess this is why I find it so difficult to understand where Jews in the U. S., religious Jews in the U. S. are coming from. Many have even visited Israel several times in their lives. Still, Israel seems to them to be a place to visit, and a place to support financially and emotionally, but not were they are actually supposed to live, until....

Until what?

Until Machi'ah comes to whisk them away?

I will tell you what the Mashi'ah will ask these Jews, when he arrives. He will ask them why they left them all of this work to do? Why didn't they make aliyah, invest their blood, sweat, and tears in their only, true homeland, instead of in the Lands of their exile? Why didn't they make his job easier than it had to be?

He will say...

"I sent you 'wings of eagles.' They are called airplanes. Why didn't you get on?"

Those proudly proclaiming their "Zionism" have forgotten, or worse, where never taught in the first place, that Israel is where Jews are actually supposed to be living [leKhathillah], if at all possible.

Now that the gates have been opened, and opened wide at that, there are no longer anymore excuses.


Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

At the end of Vayigash it says of our ancestors that they settled in Egypt and "veye'achzu bah". They were enmeshed in that 1st golus and decided to stay longer than originally intended. We out here in North America are no different. It's like smoking for someone with COPD in some ways. We know it's bad for us but its got us locked in despite that because of transient, ephemeral benefits.

Esser Agaroth said...

Sure, I agree.

But, I find it particularly frustrating that the "we" here includes "rabbis."

Not just rabbis, but rabbis from across the board, Litvish, Hassidshe, AND Modern Orthodox.

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