For months now, I've been having an ongoing conversation about the viability of aliyah with a family member who I love very much. Drawn to the spiritual potential that he knows exists in a life lived in Israel, he has all the same concerns that you might expect. How will he make a living? How will the transition impact his family, especially his young teen? If living in Israel is so important, why are some of his rabbis actively discouraging him from making aliyah?
I've been sharing concrete information, brainstorming communities where his family would fit in, encouraging him to attend aliyah meetings, referring him to job leads and resource people who can help answer his most pressing questions.
But what I can't seem to communicate as clearly as I wish to is this thought. Once upon a time, a Jew could decide where she or he wanted to live. Israel was a fine choice, but so was Monsey. Or Lakewood. Or Toronto. Or Baltimore. Today, I feel so strongly that we no longer have that luxury.
Things in the world are changing dramatically and time is running out for American Jews. The balance of power in the world is demonstrably changing from the good guys to the bad guys. For myself, my response is to get my Jewish family out of America to Israel where I believe Gd will protect us from what's coming this way. Though I wish that every Jew I love would come with us, I understand this may not be their response. But what I really want to say is, "Folks! Wake up! You're clinging to a withering vine!"
Geert Wilders, a controversial Member of Parliament of The Netherlands, recently gave a speech to the Florida Security Council about the Islamic threat to which Europe is already succumbing and to which America is exceedingly vulnerable. I am not, by nature, a political animal, but I do believe his speech is of urgent importance for Americans, and especially American Jews, to watch. Please take the time to watch these two 10-minute clips so that at least you understand better the enemy that Europe and America is facing because, in time, Gd-forbid, this knowledge could radically change your life.
And if you get it, if you feel in your kishkes that the clock is running out on the lives we have enjoyed in America, I'm sure there's still room on our aliyah flight.