I found this very interesting post titled The Aliyah Guilt Trip at Friar Yid's blog. I was lead here by a post on Oy Bay, the Jewish Blog by the Bay, which I subscribe to.
Friar Yid discusses comments made by Rabbi Avi Weiss, of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah on the Israel National News (Arutz 7) Aliyah Revolution radio show. Rabbi Weiss states, “A Zionist is someone who lives in Israel” and as a strong supporter of Zionism he classifies himself as a doresh Zion, or seeker of Zion. Friar Yid takes exception to Rabbi Weiss' remarks and feels that Diaspora Jews in general, and American Jews in particular should not be guilted into feeling inferior for choosing to stay where they are.
Many moons ago when I was a newlywed making every decision with an eye towards aliyah, we attended a Jewish Federation gathering in Philadelphia (I think) and the old timers were wearing buttons that said "Real Zionists pay Dues." Of course we young die hard Zionists who were really going to make aliyah laughed this off and someone ran out and got t-shirts or buttons printed "Real Zionists make Aliyah."
I don't think anyone should be made to feel guilty for their life choices but what can I say, I do believe that Israel is the place for Jews to be. Part of it is probably related to being the daughter of a holocaust survivor but I just feel like Israel is home. If you missed my previous post here again are 12 things I love about living in Israel:
1. Being in a supermarket before any holiday and knowing that everyone is in the same boat, religious or non-religious, Sephardic or Ashkenazi; - everyone is hosting or being hosted, buying rimonin, matzot, cheese for cheesecake.
2. The period between Pesach and Shavuot, when Israeli flags are flying throughout the country for the upcoming Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim.
3. The togetherness and solemnity of Yom Hashoah and Yom Hazikaron, when the country shuts down its stores and entertainment.
4. Knowing if chalilah something is wrong by the music on the radio.
5. Really feeling the New Year start in the fall, with Rosh Hashana, as the whole country gets ready for the chagim.
6. Acharei hachagim, and how nothing gets done until then.
7. The kids can play outdoors and go to friends by themselves.
8. Dropping in and visiting neighbors without advance notice.
9. Finding short sleeve or elbow length shirts year round.
10. Not paying thousands of dollars a year for my child to get a Jewish education.
11. Hebrew rap music (Hadag nachash, Subliminal)
12. The feeling that I am truly at home.
It is far from perfect and by no means a Utopia, but it is ours, warts and all. And as Dorothy says in The Wizard of Oz, "there's no place like home."
Random thoughts about living in Israel, books, and anything else that strikes my fancy
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