Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Where’s It Hard to Live?

imageReb Akiva – (Speaking to a young orthodox American Jew in his early 20’s.)  How’s your job?  How’s the economy effecting you and your friends?

Yosef – Well, thank G-d, I work in my family business which is in the food industry.  Everyone’s gotta eat, so my parnossa (job/income) is fine.  But most of my friends, they get a lot of temp work, jobs that last a few months, places that bring in extra help but let it go if business drops even a little.  Almost none of them can hold down any type of regular job.

Reb Akiva – Have you considered making aliyah (moving to / living in Israel)?  The Israeli economy has been growing (moderately) over the past 4 years while the U.S. economy has been in recession (and now shrinking towards the technical definition of depression).  And with the finding of offshore gas deposits, Israel is getting ready to grow as an energy exporter, with all of the associated economic impact.

Yosef – Live in Israel?  Small apartments instead of stand alone single family houses.  My family has a 3 story house and a pool, where am I going to get that in Israel?  Or be able to afford that in Israel?

Reb Akiva – Umm, Yosef, you already told me for your friends simply having a stable job or income is a no longer easily achievable dream.  While your family has been fortunate and built a nice business, some of that success was due to the positive business and economic conditions of the times. 

Times have changed, and you need to consider the possibilities and options in light of that.  Your parent’s generation’s options are not yours.  The U.S. is not the roaring U.S of the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s.  And Israel isn’t the developing nation slightly above a 3rd world country any longer.

The opportunity spectrum seems to be swapping places between the two.

As I share my knowledge with my children, I find I have to be careful not to fix them into my life/career goals and path to get there – because my path and it’s conditions no longer exist.  Further, I highly doubt those conditions will every return.  (This doesn’t mean new options and opportunities won’t – but that particular generation of conditions is gone.)

For the American Jew, Israel may have been a religious decision in the past that entitled significant sacrifice.  For the younger generation, Israel is becoming a land of opportunity for the future where the U.S. is now providing less.

I wish you and your friends much success in life.


  1. Rabbi Pinchas Winston: "We have to realize exile is not home. Exile is not redemption, no matter how sweet it is."

  2. Menachem from the Absolute TruthJanuary 31, 2013 3:55 AM

    You need to look at Israel, the way it is now. There are frum communities with spacious single homes (with swimming pools) available. The thought is: Why do you need that? Teach your children and yourself that the materialism of America is Avodah Zorah and contrary to what a Torah Jew should want. I moved from America 10 years ago -- from an big three story house with lots of luxuries. I live in a lovely 3 bedroom apartment now and feel totally comfortable. I realize how much I don't miss the decadence since I have the luxury of Torah and find my family and I are much happier with a simpler life. "Materialism is not happiness" which is why the suicide rate is so high amongst the rich. A wonderful life of family, kedushah and Hashem makes Israel the best place on Earth and getting better every day. Come and find out -- it is very comfortable here and absolutely the safest place on Earth for a Jew.

  3. Hashem blesses us with everything we need. Apparently a move to Israel is not in His plans for us at this time.

  4. I am in middle of making that move, and have discussed this aspect with a lot of people -

    The gravy train is over, gentlemen. One less excuse for not making aliyah! :)


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