Sunday, August 12, 2012


Israel…no way

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

th (5)I spoke with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while this Shabbos.  He’s a successful international businessman.  He moved from the U.S. to Israel about 2 years ago, beginning to do his business in Israel in addition to it’s current international activities.  He bought an apartment and set up a comfortable situation, as well as opening an office and hiring some local employees.

He invested significant money in opening his Israeli office, and after two years (and lots of challenges in learning the local business culture), he’s beginning to make a profit in the Israeli office.

When he started in Israel, one of his young adult age children was finishing learning (Torah) in Israel, very successfully.  But the remainder of his family is quite comfortable in their American life.  They came for some months, decided it “wasn’t for them” and headed back to their comfortable life style back in a major American city and Jewish community.  Subsequently, the one (adult age) child learning in Israel finished and also returned to the U.S.

th (4)In speaking with my friend, he told me his U.S. business has been losing money for the past 4 years and is nearing the edge.  He can’t survive in the current U.S. economic climate, and like many a businessman has been accumulating losses – eating up savings and investments and accruing debt, hoping the economic climate will turn before the business runs out of resources.  But that time is coming near for his business, as well as the impact for his employees and his personal financial situation.

He wisely tried to prepare alternatives, preparing both a home and income for himself and family in Israel.  But his family is having none of it.  Israel is not the home they know and are comfortable in.  He’s lonely, spending months in Israel away from his family building up an alternative income stream that may be the difference between poverty and a decent life.

But his family… doesn’t get it.  The U.S. can’t have changed, the opportunities can’t be gone.  We certainly hope that’s true, but for now the facts say otherwise. 

What should he do?  Close down in Israel, sell (or rent out) his family sized comfortably set up apartment, and return to life in the U.S. while watching his business resources dwindle to the breaking point?  Or try to survive alone, preparing an alternative that his family may seriously need if the U.S. business continues on it’s current path another year or two (with his family deriding him for it)?


  1. He is earning money in Israel, so he must stay.
    If the children have jobs in the USA, then they can stay. If not, they should go back to Israel and look for work, or help the father in his business.
    Israeli culture can be a shock to the system for Anglos, but if one can make a living in Israel then by all means stay.

  2. Yes, I agree that he should stay. Eventually I think they will see how successful he is and decide to join him. However, once the kids are adult age they can go their own way. But his wife should reconsider and not be so selfish.

  3. In my opinion he needs to stay in Israel and yes, travel back and forth for the sake of keeping both his Israeli business and keeping his family intact with him. His family may not "get it" yet he needs to understand he "gets it" and he must remain strong.
    they just may thank him in the long run and ultimately they may thank Him in the long run, too. ;)

  4. What about following halacha? I am sure he already knows exactly what he has to do.


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