by Akiva at Mystical Paths, cross posted at Dreaming of Moshiach.
YNet posts a front page article on the topic of whether to stay in Israel or not. That's the conversation among the lead Israeli secular elites, all from the top zionist families of the past. Is it worth it to stay and be Israeli, or "The choice of whether to stay or leave. Whether we should leave our children with this exact life, or give them a new start in a new place. Whether we should offer them Canada, or Australia, or the United States."
While the secular elites are debating whether there's enough Western material excesses to keep them in Israel or whether they can get more in Canada, Australia, or the US, the orthodox Western Jews are having the reverse debate. Should they come to Israel?
Is there a chiyuv, a halachic requirement to be IN ISRAEL? I'm not going to go into that here, far better halachic minds than mine have been discussing that for quite a while now. Though, I would ask this question to anyone who says there is not...please explain to me why we don't have a chiyuv right now to bring the, or at least prepare to bring, the korban pesach (the logic I believe is similar, and ends with a similarly unsatisfying shrug for an answer).
The Jews of Bavel (Babylon) did not return. Their Torah lives on (the Talmud Bavli), but the communities did not. The Jews of the West have not returned...
It seems to me that there was a window of opportunity to leave to Eretz Israel, with maximum kavod (respect). All asset prices were up (housing, stocks), and Nefesh b'Nefesh along with the Jewish Agency were literally battling each other over who could do the most to get you to come.
But, like the Jews of Bavel, we didn't come. Interestingly, Ezra HaSofer (zt'l) returned from Bavel with 3,000. Nefesh b'Nefesh is now bringing 3,000 per year (which, btw, is a 90% increase from 5 years ago.) We built the beautiful synagogues and yeshivas and mikvahs, and supported Israel from afar. (We did send our children, at least to learn, planting good seeds for the future though.)
So Hashem changed the situation... there might be a little to worry about, and if you were there you could make a difference. Terrorism wasn't an only Israel thing anymore. We still didn't come.
Ok, we didn't appreciate the opportunity, the tide began to swing. The Jewish Agency stopped trying (their new idea is to put all their money into bringing reform Jews, who have no interest in coming, good luck with that.) Housing prices started to fall. Freak natural disasters started hitting major American cities. We didn't come.
Housing prices started to collapse. Freak natural disasters started hitting American cities every couple months. The stock market went wild, up, down, up, down. The situation in Israel cried for some Western Jewish influence. We didn't come.
Housing prices collapsed. The markets started a steady fall. Major financial tremors began. Freak natural disasters starting hitting American cities every 1-2 months. We didn't come.
The mortgage market completely collapsed. A credit crunch began. Markets fell major percentages. The value of the dollar began collapsing. Freak natural disasters started hitting American cities every 3 weeks! No change, the Jews aren't coming.
It was about as easy as could be, but now it's getting progressively harder to come. Assets may not be disposable anymore without major losses. Can't sell the house, maybe not even the car? Hopefully, Jewish communities haven't been buried in a snowstorm, hit with a hurricane, or a freak tornado, or a flood.
I'm worried, my friends, for the window of opportunity to come to Eretz Israel easily seems to be progressively closing.
It's NOT an easy transition. But, it's the place for Jews to be, it's the land that Hashem gave us, it's a place where even a few people can make a big difference, and a place with Torah like no other.
And the opportunity to come b'kavod seems to be fading.
Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
// 3/26/2008 //