Friday, November 21, 2008

$50,000? ...To Stay In Babylonia

Erev Shabbath Qodesh Hayei Sarah 5769

OK, so you already heard about this from Rafi, Batya, and Yisrael,... AGES ago.

I thought they covered all that needed to be covered. The story came and went, but it still irks me. So I cannot help, but give my 10ag.

When I first saw the following report, my jaw dropped:
Family Relocation Project

Jewish Family Service's bold objective is to relocate at least twenty families to Dothan, Alabama during the time period January 2008 to December 2012.

Achieving this objective will truly advance the Jewish religion in Dothan by significantly increasing Temple Emanu-El's membership and will be a cause to celebrate as we recognize the Jewish community's 120th anniversary as a vibrant and respected part of greater Dothan.

We welcome your application for financial assistance from the JCS Family Relocation Project....

(Tip-off credit to relatively new blogger JeffGator)

$50,000? Why not ditch the community, and pay $50,000, or even $20,000 to some of the families still living there to help them move to Israel?

I'll bet the thought never even occurred to them.

Even leaders this particular community's umbrella organization are saying that you should consider "aliyah."

This community is the quintessential example of the mentality in which many American Jewish communities are still stuck. Religious or secular, right-wing or left-wing, so-called "Zionist" or so-called anti-"Zionist," it doesn't matter.

Am I being too harsh?

There is a story of Resh Laqish,.... Well, see for yourselves....
תלמוד בבלי יומא ט,ב
ריש לקיש הוי סחי בירדנא אתא רבה בר בר חנה יהב ליה ידא א"ל אלהא סנינא לכו דכתיב (שיר השירים ח:ט) "אם חומה היא נבנה עליה טירת כסף ואם דלת היא נצור עליה לוח ארז" אם עשיתם עצמכם כחומה ועליתם כולכם בימי עזרא נמשלתם ככסף שאין רקב שולט בו עכשיו שעליתם כדלתות נמשלתם כארז שהרקב שולט בו

Babylonian Talmud Yoma 9b
Resh Laqish was bathing in the Jordan [River] Rabba bar bar Hana came, and shook his hand. He [Resh Laqish] said to him God detests you Babylonians, as it is written (Song of Songs 8:9) "If she be a wall, we will build upon her a turret of silver; and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar." If you had made yourselves [as strong] as a wall, and all went up in the days of Ezra, you would have been likened to silver, which cannot rot; but as you did not, you were likened to cedar [wood] doors, in which rot can take hold.
There's a saying here in Israel which has become almost cliche.

"If only wealthy Jews from North and South America, Western Europe, Australia, Morocco, Turkey, etc. would stop sending money, and instead would bring it with them when they make aliyah, we could transform the Negev Desert, transform the economy, transform the region....

If only....

I try to remember that it's not their faults. It seems that two thousand years of galuth (diasporan living) can really cement a people's disconnection from its homeland.

Still, it is one of the jobs of those of us, Yehudei Eretz Yisra'el, to warn them, the Babylonians.

Do you want to be part of the 20 percent making it out of Egypt, or the 80 percent who didn't?

It's your decision.


Devorah Chayah said...

I had an upsetting call from a dear friend Thursday night. She was beside herself over news from contacts in chu"l that "gedolim" of frum communities there have announced to their communities that America has always been good to the Jews and will continue to be so. No worries, get behind the new preident, be respectful of him and their communities will continue as usual.

Esser Agaroth said...

< sigh >


"Frustrating" would be an understatement.

Leah Goodman said...

I honestly don't understand it. If you're a frum Jew, how can you not feel completely empty living in America? I certainly did.

Batya said...

Yes, old story in more ways than one...
Of the 80% which stayed in Egypt... what happened to them?

And worse are the rabbis who insist they must stay in galut for their Jews and then they work hard to recruit more to their congregations...

Zachariah Raphaelson said...

You can't force people to make aliyah. Often times when I meet people from Israel (even "yordim"), they try to convince me to make aliyah. I am not a zionist, I don't believe that all of the 613 mitzvot derive from the single precept of living in Israel. At least the American government wouldn't give my home away to the Indians that inhabited Illinois. The Israeli government would let thousands of Jews die and let another thousand lose their homes to arabs in order to secure another billion dollars of US aid.

Leah Goodman said...


If you and those like you who hate to see one inch of our holy land given away would make aliya, then we could get a REAL government instead of the clowns we've had recently.

Look at the Torah as a whole. From the middle of Shemot until somewhere in Yehoshua is all about Am Yisrael going into the land. Do you think that's a coincidence?

Esser Agaroth said...


You're right. You can't force a Jew to make aliyah.

We've seen this time and time again, thus triLcat's comment, and my statement by Resh Laqish.

The Israeli government would let thousands of Jews die and let another thousand lose their homes to arabs in order to secure another billion dollars of US aid.

...because you weren't here to stop them.

robert said...

I don't know if it's true anymore, but due to the socialist heavily centralized and corrupt economy in the 50's and 60's there used to be a joke:

How do you become a millionaire in Israel?

A: Start out as a multi-millionaire.

Jewzilla said...

In my current unfortunately complicated situation, I can't officially make `aliya. But I'm moving to Israel anyway and staying put, bli neder, to the best of my ability (may HaShem who controls everything sustain me).
There's two very likely possibilities (at least one will surely happen) that will allow me to make `aliya, and so I will patiently do what I can do until that point.

For me, it aggravates me that so many Jews who clearly have full oppotunity and ability to make `aliya don't do so. If only they had the same hhesheq that I and others have. And why don't they have such hhesheq? I don't really know for sure; all I know is that I'm disappointed.