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News & Call-In with Tamar Yonah
David Lev produced documentaries and television commercials before making Aliyah in 1999. He then organized Diplomatic Supplements for the Jerusalem Post. Later he led a PR mission to the British Government, aimed at increasing awareness of Israel's terrorist problems. David decided upon more practical measures by serving with a volunteer unit tasked with preventing such attacks. He has won a leading writing award for a competition hosted by A7. David is founder & editor of Aliyah Magazine, dedicated to attracting Jews to live in Israel.
While Aliyah Magazine is busy trying to encourage Jewish Aliyah to Israel, one could be forgiven for wondering if some Jews in the world are more concerned with building up an Arab homeland in its place.
Islamist Morsi scored a victory that represents renewed Fundamental Muslim aspirations worldwide. What exactly does this triumph mean for Israel, the tiny Jewish thorn in the side of the mighty Arab empires? Probably, our enemies will find stronger motivation to remove the needle in their midst, which injects a regular dosage of unacceptable truth into their arteries. Our very existence serves to negate their own, as we are living proof of a higher more divine message to mankind.
What key factor has helped them to gain this revitalized strength and new found independence? In this world, a finger can be fairly pointed at the President of the United States of America. Can we easily forget the public humiliation that Egyptian President Mubarak suffered from the present American regime, when they decided to cast a loyal friend to the wolves, in favor of a democracy that surely pointed to an outcome that would be anything but democratic with the rise of radical Islamic rule?
Today’s victory for Arab extremists is also a defeat for American Jewry, make no mistake about that. Jewish voters helped secure Obama’s leadership of the strongest nation on earth, fully aware of his commitment to present a balanced face to the forces of evil in the world, such as Iran and other ascending radical Islamic regimes. Upon what sort of premise did these Jews opt for this presidential direction in foreign affairs? It would appear that the appeal of universal acceptance of their brand of Judaism holds more sway than their own commitment to the religion.
The Pollard sacrifice is a prime example of demonstrating a Jewish allegiance to an American flag, rather than an Israeli one. Without for a moment condoning America’s right to enjoying its valid security needs, it seems that many Jews in America are more concerned with proving issues of loyalty even at the expense of trampling upon their own spiritual birthrights. Just like selling Joseph into slavery, it is then a simple matter to cast off one’s remaining brothers to an unknown fate. Only this time the motivation is even less noble.
In supporting a regime that encourages extremist elements to gain power, they are also condemning their own Jewish Homeland to suffer a more hostile Arab world. However, once again, this will be self defeating for those Jews, as they are further separating themselves from their own divine source.
For people who feed themselves on excuses not to make Aliyah, they have now successfully added yet another reason in their wrapped logic. First they elect a president that promotes Arab democracy that leads to radical Islam. Next these new power addicts will surely encourage further conquest of the Jewish Homeland…an Arab Aliyah. This completes our circle as the fear of competing with Arabs for a share of Israel will be used as a strong reason for Jews not to move to Israel. Fait accompli!
Well not quite? I still believe that Israel has many good friends, including non-Jewish ones, who can help raise their voices in support of the Jewish State of Israel. I also ‘know’ that the Diaspora includes courageous Jews who have the inner faith to withstand this latest nonsense leveled against our people.
However, let me share another insight with you, my dear friends. Upright Jews in Israel are less afraid of the unity of our enemies, than the disunity of the Jewish people. For every Jew willing to stand with us, rather than behind us, our strength becomes multiplied well beyond any basic mathematical equations. An elderly or sick Jew, a young child or baby, each precious soul brings something unique with them. Israel is the total of Jewish souls living on the Jewish Homeland as a host to Hashem; what could be stronger than that. The other side of the coin is also true. Every Jew able to make Aliyah, but preferring instead to swear allegiance to a foreign land, especially at Israel’s expense…well I don’t think that’s you!
Don’t allow impostors to claim your share of the Jewish Homeland. Encourage Jewish Aliyah and not an Arab one. Shalom!
Please visit us at Aliyah Magazine
The following is an amusing encounter I had in London before making aliyah and setting up Aliyah Magazine. A few names have been changed to protect the guilty!
I left the synagogue feeling great, there's nothing like praying & then shmoozing with other Jews. A few of us turned left and took a path that narrowed, as it crossed over a polluted stream. Our attention was focused on a squirrel that swiftly darted up a tree. How I love London, and its gorgeous nature trails. Mark avoided slipping over some rubbish left on the ground. We continued walking towards Kenton Road.
It was Sabbath eve and we had some heavy obstacles to navigate. Those Jews in Israel really can't understand the challenges we face over here. A pedestrian immediately ahead triggered off an automatic exterior lighting system outside an old house. Mike whistled with relief that it wasn't one of us that innocently could have broken Shabbat by causing electricity to flow into those bulbs.
'Stop whistling, its forbidden!' Mike looked irritated, it wasn't a melody, I just let air escape through a gap in my teeth. Mark disagreed. 'No! I've told you before, its written somewhere that whistling is prohibited.' I kept quiet, not really knowing if that was true or not.
'Joe made Aliyah' We both looked at Mark. 'When?' Mark looked pleased with himself, he was obviously more in the know than we were. 'Oh, last week. A few rabbis tried to dissuade him, but he wouldn't listen' It was my turn to show surprise. 'Why would rabbis try to talk a Jew out of making Aliyah?' Mark looked astonished at my ignorance. 'Did the Moschiah come last week and say it was time to go? No! Of course not. He could have waited, at least a little longer.'
Joe, the thin guy who wore a Union Jack flag on his kippur, proudly displaying our British heritage. Who would have imagined that he was such a deviant?
We arrived at the traffic lights. Surely someone would come and press the green button for us, so that we could cross that busy intersection without breaking Shabbat. After 20 minutes and no slowing down of the heavy traffic, an elderly Pakistani walked by. Mike was the boldest of us, and approached the gentleman. 'Psst, Mike take off your kippur, he's one of them!' We instinctively all removed our head coverings. Who knows he could be a Hamas representative? Living in London was getting dangerous.
'Good evening.' The Pakistani looked at the three of us with suspicion. 'We're new here, how does one stop the traffic?' So far so good, it is forbidden to directly ask a Gentile to do something for you on Shabbat. The old man slowly answered. 'You press the button.' Mike adopted a bewildered look. 'Which one?' As we carefully studied his reactions for signs of coming to our assistance by actually pressing it for us, we failed to notice that a couple had pressed the button from the other side of the road. Mark was the first to quickly step into the road, but the lights had already changed back.
It started to rain, and we would have to wait for the next pedestrian to come. More Jews joined us at the lights. A passing nun also joined our group waiting patiently and politely for someone to activate the button. The rabbi felt a little embarrassed to raise the issue, so we continued our debate.
'I guess waiting for Moschiah to come before making Aliyah is a little like our problem now?' We stared at Mike, waiting for him to explain what he had in mind, but he didn't. I took up the thread instead. 'You mean like waiting here for someone to press that damn button?'
Just then there was a pause in the traffic and they all rushed to the other side, all except us.
Mike looked philosophical. 'Maybe, its permissible to wait for a gap in the traffic before making Aliyah? I mean none of us needs to break any laws to move to Israel.' It was Mark's turn now to turn the organized chaos into something even less tangible. 'What if we're all getting it wrong, maybe making Aliyah will actually bring the Moschiah to us, rather than the other way round?' Mark answered in his best British accent. 'Let's ask the rabbi? We looked round and realized he was also ahead of us on the other side of the street.
I knew that there were at least two other traffic intersections ahead, and I was already late for the evening meal. I eventually said goodbye to my friends and prepared myself for cold fish and chips.
'Joe! Who would have thought of all people that Joe would have left our community to make Aliyah?'
All I knew now is that I couldn't wait to join him!
It was my pleasure to receive a letter from an Ethiopian, addressed to Aliyah Magazine. No, he is not Jewish, but describes a very challenging and moving episode in the life of his family, that might be timely to share.
He wrote for help in speeding up an Aliyah application. While, we are limited in this field, there are no bounds around wanting to re-unite the Children of Israel in the Jewish Homeland.
June 8th 2012
I have learnt that you are so caring and highly respected. I did not have
such fast experiences in responding someone’s request. I thank you very
much for your advice and the concern as well.
If it helps you can print the information. Because, I know your objective.
Even our history is worse than the stated. Thus, if it helps, please do
not hesitate to use it.
June 5th 2012
Let me give you clear picture of the whole story. I am not originally from your blood line. But married your blood sister 20 years back and having 2 children (1 boy and 1 daughter). My wife is clearly Israeli descendent
from both parents line.
Where has the spirit of settling the Land of Israel gone? Early pioneers came with determination to conquer the land, despite ever increasing hardships. There were certainly many unresolved issues that remained between the socialist, almost atheist nature of those veteran settlers, and the mainly religious Jews that dwelt in the land. However, when it came to essential questions of Jewish survival, few would argue as to the meaningful cooperation that existed in those heady days surrounding the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel.
One only has to look at the establishment of settlement blocks that helped to create ‘facts on the ground’ and provided continuity to the Jewish presence in the land. Religious and non-religious Jews alike, and from across the political spectrum created those settlements and in the process the State of Israel.
‘Jeshrun grew waxed’…the Bible refers to a time when the Children of Israel would become well fed and complacent on its land. Indeed, many succumbed to foreign demands more than local ones. As much as Israel tries to reach out to Jews in the Diaspora, we remain ever vulnerable to reverse arguments. Why don't we become more like the Jewish citizens of other countries, and conform to their own standard of values? Like a trogan horse, Israel can thus become penetrated with foreign and damaging ideology, wrapped in the mantle of Jewish concern.
Such issues become more apparant when attempting to attract Jews home. Israel then becomes vulnerable to the added baggage collected from centuries of spiritual decline in exile, the Diaspora itself stands ready to enter our land. After all, making Aliyah is also about exchanging one's national identity. One can be forgiven for holding on to some semblance of belonging, especially during a difficult transition period.
These type of issues become more revealed when the question of one's expectations from the Jewish State comes into play. This is a variaton on the theme of what can my country do for me? Maybe the fundamental question could be…’how to claim Israel as mine?’ Israel is not an employer, a benevolent health care provider, nor an open bank offering a social welfare system; although, the country does its best to offer such an important infrastructure. This takes us back fall circle to the founding of our state, which was accomplished despite much poverty and general world hostility. The pioneers left a legacy that we would be wise to emulate...the spirit of settling the land!
This country is ‘your’ true home, and it needs to be fully claimed as such. This might involve standing upright and arriving with a dogged determination to make things work out, come what may. This is how to approach the subject of making Aliyah the right way. We declared our intention to abide by G-ds’ commandments, even before we received them at Mount Sinai. That was a hallmark of Jewish courage and faith in our mission. It is this very same attitude that can serve the Jew well, when making the move to live in Israel, and staking one’s own claim to the Jewish Homeland.
The Diaspora has no long-term future for the Jewish people. Those who think otherwise are just fooling themselves. Just ask the simple question of what does a Diaspora suggest in the first place? When one arrives at the ultimate conclusion that it stands for the dispersion of our people, then the next logical step should be about rectifying that disaster. This is called the ingathering of the exiles.
We do our best to welcome and assist new arrivals, even though we do have our own individual challenges to worry about. However, the key to a successful move to Israel can often be associated with one’s own attitude towards making a claim on the land, and this involves shaking off the dust of the Diaspora.
Support Israel by all means, better still move here! However, don’t make the mistake of trying to drag Israel down to the level of the Jewish Diaspora, which was built on the sad fate of Jewish captives from the Holy Land. It is well past the time to reverse that injustice, and the best way to do that involves adopting that pioneering spirit, and breaking those chains of foreign captivity for good!
By David Lev
No matter how many generations might pass of animals born & bred in a zoo, their offspring are still captives. The only difference is that they have become so dependent on their foster environment that they can be forgiven for feeling that they are truly at home where they belong.
A famous Roman Anti-Semite nonetheless came up with a remarkable quote: “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero.
So is the case of Jewish captives living in the Diaspora. Can one truly ignore the original route that led to their current home? The inescapable fact is that the Jewish people originally lived in the Land of Israel, and through invading armies, many were forcibly removed into exile. Those that voluntary followed their kin to foreign shores, often due to famine or other hardship, still does not alter the original fact…Jews were captives of the Diaspora. Accordingly, their offspring are born and bred in captivity, albeit of an often benign nature.
Today, Jews are once more being alerted to the fact that they are strangers. objects of contempt, derision and sadly physical abuse. Why is this happening in the Diaspora, and in particular why now?
Israel stands upright once more as the Jewish Homeland, which many attribute to divine intervention. It is like one’s real parents’ appealing to children brought up in a foster home, to return to where they truly belong. Yet the children of Israel often don’t get the message. Meanwhile the benign facade of their foster home is gradually withering away, revealing cracks in the wall, from which vermin crawl out to attack those too slow to escape.
What is the reaction to the current spectacle of Jew hatred in the Diaspora? New self supporting groups are formed, some to defend battered communities, others to appease their persecutors. ‘Why attack us, we are just like you, surely the real culprit is elsewhere!’
Enter Israel into the fray. Just like Pharoah wanted to retain his slaves and keep them downtrodden, so too, do modern rulers prefer to keep ‘their’ Jews under their thumb. Who can deny the claim of being an American Jew, a British Jew etc., some Jews even served under Nazi Germany in WW2! They’ll be knighted, decorated, enriched, as long as they don’t cry out for reunification with their true parents, Israel. Hence, Israel is continuously the subject of scorn and unbridled hatred. Justice cannot be attributed to the way Israel is compared in the world to being the ‘bad guys’. Little by little recognition of one’s true identity is eroded and replaced by a new national consciousness. The face and call of their historic parents reborn in Israel today, offering a renewed homecoming, goes largely unnoticed. Indeed, the campaign of outrageous misinformation, often aided by our own mistakes, has almost succeeded in eradicating the true image of Israel. However, the lion within roars and a chill echo shivers through the spine. Words of the heart go to the heart, and the spirit of Israel lives on in its rightful place.
Replacement theories abound..it seems as though everyone wants a slice of Israel, from a claim on its spiritual legacy to the actual physical home of the Jewish people. We are indeed thankful for the sincere support of many non-Jewish friends of all religious denominations, who have our welfare at heart without ulterior motive. Sadly, they seem to have a better understanding of the serious nature of the problems we face, than do many of our endangered kinsmen.
Yet, we have faith in our people and their inborn ability to recognize truth when they see it. More importantly, we trust that they will be able to rise like lion cubs disturbed by a long sleep, to be greeted with the dawn of a bright new day, a day in which they can bravely trace their steps back home. There is a natural bond between Jews worldwide, and G-d willing we can once more be gathered together in peace.
Coming articles will further explore where the Jewish people stand today concerning the Diaspora and Israel.
Is it the moment to wake up our people to the time and place we live in? Check us out on Aliyah Magazine
Isaiah 59:20-21: The Redeemer will come to Zion