Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Completely Unmoved By Jerusalem

Last night, I went to a Tehillim rally much like the one held here in August of 2006.

This time, the rally was billed as a Community Wide Gathering for Yerushalayim. The last time, I was moved by the sense of klal but troubled by the silence of the women. This time, I knew to expect silence from the women.

I didn’t know I would be completely unmoved.

There were several big name rabbis who spoke about the importance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people. Normally, I’m a sucker for any topic remotely related to Israel. But these talks didn’t move me. They covered lots of Torah sources, reminding the crowd of the importance of Jerusalem in our tefillos and reminding us about the power of tefillos to change Hashem’s decree regarding the proposed division of Jerusalem, Gd-forbid.

But not once was it suggested that actually leaving galus and going to live in Israel was a way to influence the ultimate destiny of Jerusalem.

What a wasted opportunity! Hundreds of religiously-committed Jews in a room and not one mention of aliyah as a possible response to threats to Jewish dominion over Jerusalem.

And yet, can you imagine the impact of 100,000 or 200,000 Torah observant American Jews opening up aliyah files with the Jewish Agency and planning on making aliyah in the next five years?

This point was made quite powerfully in a recent article by Rabbi Barry Leff. “I would say that for the serious Jew, the ultimate philosophical question is aliyah. If you believe all the stuff you say in your prayers, why aren't you here?”

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