Monday, October 07, 2013

Do You See It Coming?


Who is wise? One who sees that which is being born. (HaRoeh Et HaNolad)
        -  Pirke Avot 2:9


Scenario - The First

It's 1930 and you're a German Jew. You've been blessed with a sixth sense about what Hitler and the Nazi party's rise to power will mean for the Jewish community in Germany. You emigrate to America. You try to convince the rest of your loved ones to leave as well, before things get worse. They think you're overreacting. Anyway, they won't leave because:

A) They have businesses or good jobs in Germany. How will they make a living in America?
B) They have beautiful homes, substantial investments, affluence and prestige in Germany. How will they be able to duplicate that in the US?
C) How could they ever learn English?
D) This Hitler is a nuisance but he'll never amount to anything. The German people won't tolerate it.

Now it's 1933 and Hitler is the new Chancellor of Germany. Now it's 1935 and the Nuremberg laws, stripping Jewish citizens of Germany of their civil rights, have been instituted. Now it's 1938 and 1000 synagogues are set on fire during Kristallnacht.

You've been urging, pleading, begging your loved ones to leave, but now the gates are closing. You watch with horror as the noose tightens on your family members and dear friends who would not listen, who would not see.

How do you feel? What do you say?

Scenario - The Second

It's 2001 and you're an American Jew. You see the tragedy of September 11th as a foreshadowing of what's coming for the Jewish community in America. You make aliyah. You try to convince the rest of your loved ones to consider, to think about, to make plans to make aliyah as well, before things get worse. They think you're overreacting. Anyway, they won't leave because:

A) They have businesses or good jobs in the US. How will they make a living in Israel?
B) They have beautiful homes, substantial investments, affluence and prestige in Baltimore, Monsey, Boro Park, LA, Chicago. How will they be able to duplicate that in Israel?
C) How could they ever learn Hebrew?
D) This US President is a nuisance but his policies won't ever amount to anything. The American people won't tolerate it.

Now it's 2013 and the Pew Research Center announces that 58% of American Jews have a non-Jewish spouse. Twenty-seven percent of American Jews (more than one in four) don't actually consider themselves Jewish. The economy is under tremendous strain. The government is on yet another furlough.

Like the first peck of the first bird in Hitchcock's The Birds foreshadowed imminent disaster, is this the beginning of the end of the North American Jewish community? It's impossible to know. Who can say for sure?

You know that the mishna in Pirke Avot teaches that the wise one sees what's coming before it's here. Your understanding of the Torah's teachings about this stage of Jewish history, your rabbis in Israel and your sixth sense tell you that there is no future for the North American Jewish community.

You've been urging, pleading, begging your loved ones to consider a future for themselves in Israel. You sense that the gates are closing. You watch with horror as the tide seems to be turning against your family members and dear friends who will not listen, who will not see.

How do you feel? What do you say?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hence is the reason we moved in July. We decided to come but not be forced out.

LeahGG said...

Sad, but I'm afraid you're too close to right...

Yocheved said...

According to Rabbi Winston's materials and the 80:20 rule, they will miss the point by choice. They want GOD to knock it off and go away. What goes around comes around and survivors will weep.

Jackie GH said...

My husband keeps saying that a major part of his reason for aliyah is to get out before we're forced out (or worse). I'm not so sure about his 5-10 year prediction, but I also know he has an uncanny ability to see future patterns long before they're obvious. It's not my primary reason for making aliyah, but I admit it's there in the back of my head.

SaraK said...

My mom's paternal grandfather had a premonition of what was going to happen and he left Hungary for America before WW II started and managed to get out his wife and 9 of his 10 children.
My mom's maternal grandfather wanted to leave Romania and move to Israel, but was discouraged by a "great rabbi" and the majority of the family were killed in Auschwitz.

Unfortunately, most of my family are not learning these lessons. But we who have made aliyah are perceived as "holier than thou" and "preachy".

Anonymous said...

We made Alia in 1973 because there is a Jewish State. We did not runaway from Am haraka we came home.

Midlife Singlemum said...

The first scenario was absolutely tragic. The second scenario is very sad for us but I wouldn't call it tragic if I have non-Jewish grandchildren in America living good healthy lives. I think the comparison is flawed in this respect.

Hillel Levin said...

I posted this to FB on 3 Oct. Nice to see that I am not the only one looking at how the world is going and connecting the dots For years I have said that I feared that the Doors of Aliyah were closing and that all Jews choosing to live Chutz L'Aretz should make Aliyah now.

I was not being Prophetic, I was just doing what the Sages have told us to do: Ro'eh es ha nolad. Look at the outcome.

So now President BO is playing chicken with the Republicans in Congress holding the budget as hostage. This has frozen the US Government. A direct result has been that 800,000 of the 1.4 million government workers have been sent home w/o pay. Keep in mind that a fair number of Jews are employed by the US Govt.

Another result is that Govt spending is on hold, so any number of businesses that supply goods or services to the US Govt are now slowing or shutting operations. So there are less goods being shipped, so less need for truckers etc.

So this has consumers spending less since that is what happens whenever there is a blow to the economy. Property values will decrease. It will be even harder to sell real estate so that one can pay of their mortgages.

Another result of a shutdown US Govt is that routine passport applications are not being processed. This will have a direct effect on the ability of any Jews looking to make Aliyah. No passport? Can't leave the US.

Brothers, sisters, get the message: THE GATES OF ALIYAH ARE CLOSING. Please come home immediately.

David D said...

I don't see how it's in any way unlike comparing modern-day Israel to the times before either Holy Temple destruction. It might be fair to say that the level of seeming hatred between different Jewish factions in Eretz Yisrael today is reminiscent of the Sinat Chinam of past generations and therefore one should anticipate another physical diaspora on the horizon. So, is there a way to change that? Yes, work together toward a prevailing environment of shalom. I think it would be best to focus on that. As far as leaving the US before the next Shoah, it would be equally productive to help Jews here become more educated about their Judaism, sometimes simply by example. But if people choose to make aliyah, I applaud that as well.

Chana said...

The American Jewish scenario reminds me of Maurice Sendak. "And the Wild Things said, "Oh, please don't go! We'll eat you up, we love you so!""
The ability of American Jews to survive as Jews depends on their ability to be particularistic.

Anonymous said...

There is the possibility of teshuva -returning(not only to Israel but to G-d) through fear and there is the merit of teshuva through love! We have the merit of seeing beforeour own eyes the fulfillment of many prophets' words!!! Just look and see how we are coming home after 2000 years of dispersion and building our own country and culture and each other against all odds!!!

Anonymous said...

There is the possibility of teshuva -returning(not only to Israel but to G-d) through fear and there is the merit of teshuva through love! We have the merit of seeing beforeour own eyes the fulfillment of many prophets' words!!! Just look and see how we are coming home after 2000 years of dispersion and building our own country and culture and each other against all odds!!!

Shira said...

I'm in Ireland (originally from the UK) and my atheist husband agrees with me that the time to get out of Europe for all Jews and their families is *now*. We are desperate to make aliyah, and I am terrified that we won't be able to before it's too late. Many of us who are still in galut are not here by choice, but because we don't have the money to move.

Marian P. said...

Yeah, I was raised on that kind of fear, and it didn't start with pre-Nazi Germany. Got me where I am today. I even told people as a youth group leader that "It could happen here!!!!!" Don't believe it now, and even if I did, I could understand someone choosing to take the risk rather than pick up and come here.

Gershon Dov said...

It's why I made Aliyah! The USA is in dire straits and Obama is a proven tyrant. I saw this coming since he was "elected" and made Aliyah a year and a half ago. Everybody thinks I'm meshuggah about my predictions for the old USA but I clearly see it happening and it's not pretty

Scott B said...

I saw some of the same warning signs in San Francisco and figured it was time to leave.

Yakov Butterfield said...

I have been bloging for years about Aliyah and the dangers. See: http://jerusalemcats.com/novels-mr-happys-pages/mr-happys-outer-limits/

I call it outer limits because no one will believe me and I expect that 80% of the Jews will either 1)Become Christians willingly since already 1.3 million christian have a Jewish Mother and are under Jewish law Jewish,or
2) will die under Obama, such as in Nursing Home and Hospitals under ObamaCare.

Yakov Butterfield said...

I have been bloging for years about Aliyah and the dangers. See: http://jerusalemcats.com/novels-mr-happys-pages/mr-happys-outer-limits/

I call it outer limits because no one will believe me and I expect that 80% of the Jews will either 1)Become Christians willingly since already 1.3 million christian have a Jewish Mother and are under Jewish law Jewish,or
2) will die under Obama, such as in Nursing Home and Hospitals under ObamaCare.

Anonymous said...

Today I tried to cash an IRS US refund check-NO one wil l cash it! Not the bank or the money changer...The US shutdown is affecting us in Israel, too! I think this explains the contradiction in the Gemara that there will be prosperity but also scarcity. People will have the money but not the means to access it. I hope that is not true because so much in Israel relies on donations from USA donors. But on the positive side, Moshiach is on the way!