Thursday, January 26, 2006

Shame Shame Shame

Our family is back in the Holy Land, touring and visiting friends. What really struck me today was an off-hand comment by our dati tour guide. Arabs, non-Jewish, pork-eating Russians, Bedouins, Druze and Baha’is are full citizens of Israel.

And I’m not.

G-d must be some kinda disappointed in the Jewish people. We received this extraordinary, astonishing Land as a gift from G-d. And the millions of Jews who live in chutz l’aretz (outside the Land of Israel) have chosen to live elsewhere. As if it’s an equivalent choice. Chocolate or vanilla? Potayto or potahto? Jerusalem or Baltimore?

I’m ashamed of myself.

1 comment:

Ruth Eastman said...

Oh, Mamaleh. I know you better than this. You would so be there, if you could. Too many Jews who have made aliyah remind me of reformed smokers: bashing everyone on the head for not being as strong as they are. Family, finances, and community obligations are pretty good anchors against aliyah. It is tough to leave aged parents. It is tough to leave grandchildren. Money is also an issue -- and I'm not talking about the rigors of "giving up the swimming pool and the fancy sheitel macher." It is not a mitzvah to move to Israel to become a ward of the State, so to speak. And if you are important in some way to a Diaspora community, you have to think carefully about leaving them. Unless you can convince a bunch of them to go with you, of course... Cut yourself some slack, if any of these reasons are holding you back. Keep telling Hashem that you want to be in Israel, more than anything. Make your best efforts to get there. (Driving one's husband crazy on the subject counts as effort, in my book.) "Be there" in every way you can. Hashem will help. Just don't be ashamed. You give too much to dwell in that useless place.