Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Irony of Waiting

Four years ago, I founded the Baltimore Chug Aliyah. At that time, making aliyah was a very distant dream for me, but I wanted to help those who could go sooner. I had the administrative skills to help. Professionally, I spent several decades working in university admissions, and helping people make aliyah is a lot like helping people get admitted to an institution of higher education. Additionally, running the Baltimore Chug Aliyah was a productive way for me to channel my own frustrated aliyah energy.

One of the most vital parts of the Baltimore Chug Aliyah has been its listserv. The listserv provides daily doses of aliyah information and inspiration for over 250 people. In the same day, messages about real estate transactions in Israel or options for learning Hebrew might come through the discussion list. As important as the tachlis messages are, as often as possible, I like to distribute inspirational aliyah messages that have emotional and spiritual resonance.

I sent just such a message to the list yesterday. It was written by Rabbi Lazer Brody. The opening sentences of Rabbi Brody's message were:

Beloved brothers and sisters, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has been imploring people to make aliya (literally, "ascending"; means coming home to Israel to live) for the last several years. Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak doesn't stop talking about the urgency with which World Jewry should head home to the Land of Israel. Rabbi Shalom Arush stresses the need for aliya in almost every one of his recent lessons. What's going on?

Rabbi Brody's message includes a 5-minute clip from a conservative, non-Jewish American political commentator detailing worrisome trends in America and warning that, when things go bad, the Jews will suffer first. In this message, I heard a powerful call to make aliyah, a combination of warning pleas from rabbis in Israel and a siren call to American Jews from a non-Jewish American political commentator. It was a potent 1-2 punch.

So I had to shake my head at the irony of one list member who replied to that message with one that said, in effect, though not in quite these words, "Family members have just moved to Baltimore, so, instead of making aliyah, we've decided to wait here for the Moshiach. Please remove me from your email list."

1 comment:

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

They have to *yearn*.