Thursday, December 1, 2011

Galut = Diaspora

Yaakov had his dream on Jerusalem's Temple Mount

Photo: Miriam Woelke


Despite all those talks about anti - Zionism and Zionism: I must say that I am more than glad not to live in the Diaspora anymore. Every single day I am thanking G - d for not waking up outside of Israel. No matter if we have a secular or whatever government but living in the Diaspora just made me sick. 

Life in Israel is anything but easy unless you arrive with a few million dollars.:-) However, to me it is just great not to justify myself because of my religion and to go into any Jewish store and get kosher food. To be able buying Jewish books anywhere I want and simply to be among Jews. 

Jews from London, Manchester, New York or elsewhere may be happy in their Diaspora because they are surrounded by large Jewish communities. When I lived in Germany I had nothing unless I took the train to Frankfurt or Berlin. Even if the situation may have changed a bit, I would never go back to Germany to live there. For more than eleven years I haven't even left Israel once and I don't miss visiting other countries at all. It is not a lack of money forcing me not to go on a vacation but my next days off I will spend in Zfat and Tiberias. Staying at the Chabad - Hostel ASCENT for two or three days, visiting the grave of the ARIZAL and just get some Zfat atmosphere. A few days Zfat and Tiberias (where I am going to the graves of the RAMBAM, Rabbi Akivah, Rabbi Me'ir Ba'al HaNess) - that's enough for me. 

In this week's Parashat Vayetze, Yaakov is moving abroad and I don't envy him at all. Just to live in Israel has nothing to do with Zionism but it does change one's soul. Even the souls of secular Jews. It is almost impossible describing the feeling to a Jew who has never been to Israel and the only way I can think of is to say: "Israel just makes every Jew feeling at home !"


  1. It's easy for a single woman. It's hard for a family -- lots more challenges. I feel the same way if I were single. But reality is it may not work for everyone in the family.
    There have been many olim returning to the States to take care of their older parents.

  2. B"H

    That's definitely true. Its easier for a single but think about all the help from Nefesh be'Nefesh, American Olim receive. I hardly got anything and had to find a job very fast in order to make a living.

    I know that many Olim return to their home countries because they just cannot make it in Israel. This is partly a Nefesh be'Nefesh mistake because they should inform those willing to make Aliyah much better with Israel's daily reality.

    On the other hand, those making Aliyah should think of their family members staying behind and how much they are going to miss them. Especially grandparents making Aliyah will miss their kids and grandchildren remaining in the US. This can turn out to be a huge problem and the grandparents may end up very lonely in Israel.

  3. B"H

    Nefesh prefers couples and young families rather than singles.

    And as I have mentioned before. Most Olim from Anglo countries will move directly in over heavily populated Anglo communities.

    Now Nefesh wants people to move into communities in the Negev region. It's hard enough packing up and moving to a new country. Finding employment and immersing in a completely different cultural mindset.

    And when things get hard or if Olim can not find work. It's easier to pack up and leave again.

    Some families will make Aliyah and later on other members of their family will join them.

  4. B"H

    I think that someone planning on Aliyah should live in Israel for a few months and see how things go. Get to knwo the country and people before you make a final decision. Of course, this can hardly be done by a whole family but, at least, one family member should come and travel around. See if they could get used to life in Israel and not only listening to the Nefesh be'Nefesh propaganda without having ever been to Israel.

    Nefesh be'Nefesh used to put most of the American families into the town of Modi'in but now it seems to be Beersheva in the Negev. Actually Beersheva has a developed hightech industry and a large English speaking community now. I haven't been to Beersheva for many years but being stuck in the desert wouldn't be my cup of tea.:-))))

    Of course, there is a train to Tel Aviv several times a day or you can get on many buses but I have heard that even in Beersheva, life gets rough and rents are on the rise.

    By the way, Beersheva is also full of Russian immigrants.