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Tamar Yonah is one of Israel's most popular English-speaking radio show hosts. She made Aliyah from Southern California and after serving in the Israeli army began a prolific career in radio, including production, news and program development. She was the original creator and producer of 'The Aliyah Show' and still works whenever she can in that field. Tamar is a political activist, wife and mother residing in Judea and Samaria and currently hosts the top-rated shows of The Weekend Edition & The Tamar Yonah Show. Her award winning blog covers current events, religion, politics and anything else that's on her mind.
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You are sitting and reading the newspaper. In the paper, you read stories about famous people, movers and shakers, people who are really making things happen. And you sigh. You put down the paper, stare at it and think, “Gee, I wish that I could do something GREAT in my life, something that I would be remembered by."
But who are we? We are little peons, we tell ourselves. We weren’t born to filthy rich families or have famous parents. What can ‘little old me’ do to make a difference in the world. But hark! There IS something GREAT that we can do. Something that would change the destiny of future generations. It is to move home. To come to Israel.
I have spoken about this on my show, and maybe some of you are wondering why I push aliyah, but you must know, that approximately 5 years ago or more, I started a radio program called, “The Aliyah Show” I knew that Arutz 7 needed a show like this, to talk about the opportunities Israel has to offer people who want to make their lives here. Jobs, communities, lifestyles, etc. The show was a huge success - thank G-d, and the show is still running today. It is still (now with Goel Jasper hosting it) encouraging and helping Jews return home.
About 6 years ago, I went on a 13 city tour to the USA. Speaking to Jews from Toronto to Miami, I told them that all of us have a strong desire to do something great with our lives. I told them that when they make aliyah, they WILL BE REMEBERED for something great. Their grand-kids will say, “I’m an Israeli Jew today because my grandpa David and my grandma Rachel (fill in the blanks with your names) left the 'Golden Medina' (America) and came to Israel.
By you coming to Israel, you are starting a dynasty here. You are planting your seed here and are the first, in 2,000 years of your family line, to make it home after our long exile. YOU have brought your family home after 2000 years! Because you came, your kids and grand-kids will feel at home when reading our prayer books and the Torah, because they will speak their mama-loshen (mother tongue), Hebrew. Hebrew won't be a foreign language anymore, and they will speak it without an accent. They will be home. Comfortable in being a full Jew in their homeland.
If you are a Jew, and you don’t speak Hebrew, then there is something wrong. You are a Jew. Your mother language is NOT English. English is the language that belongs to your host country. Just a couple of generations ago, many of our grandparents spoke Polish, or Russian, or some other European language. They felt that THEY were Russians, and they were proud of their Russian heritage, like you are proud of your American or Western heritage. And in the 1400’s, some of our ancestors spoke Spanish, and were proud Spaniards. But all of these languages and ‘identities’ we defined ourselves as, were just 'clothing' on us. Our bodies, our souls, were Jewish. And we SHOULD know Hebrew. If we do not, it just shows how far we have strayed from our essence.
What Happened To The Real You?
When we were young, we dreamt of our future. We imagined who we would want to marry, what profession we wanted to work in, and what mark we wanted to leave on this world. It’s years later, and what happened to the real 'us'?
This last week’s Torah Portion, Vayeitzei, [And Yaakov (Jacob) departed], speaks about Yaakov leaving home and going out to marry and make a life in Lavan's home. It also speaks about Yaakov's dreams.
Bereishis (Genesis) 28:12 "And he dreamt, and behold! A ladder was set earthward and it’s top reached towards the heavenward; and behold! Angels of G-d were ascending and descending on it.”
(Based on a dvar Torah by Rav Moshe Besdin ZT"L)...
Here, Yaakov is dreaming a very spiritual dream, with angels and heaven in it. It’s a beautiful and idealistic dream. He dreams of man’s ability to connect himself to G-d’s master plan, and build a beautiful and better future. He makes a vow to G-d after the dream that if G-d will be with him, he will serve G-d’s interests and tithe his earnings.
But what happens? Life takes its course, Yaakov marries, has children, works for Lavan, his father in law, and is concentrating on making a livelihood and building his wealth.
20 years later, after living in Lavan's world, Yaakov has another dream. This time his dream is about ringed, speckled and spotted sheep, - in other words, Yaakov is dreaming about his portfolios and his bank accounts.
How many times did some of us grow up, wanting to be a doctor in order to find cures and really help people and make a difference in people's lives, only to find ourselves scheduling cesareans because our golf game is on Wednesday mornings and we don’t want it to conflict. How many times did some of us want to practice law, so we could help the downtrodden and defend the innocent, only to become ambulance chasers or become criminal lawyers knowing full well we were protecting not the victims, but the perpetrators? Somewhere down the line, we lost our dreams and our idealism. We lost ourselves.
When Yaakov starts to dream about his portfolios, this is the time that G-d comes to him again and tells him, Bereishis (Genesis) 31:13 “Now -arise, leave this land and return to your native land.”
Living in Lavan's world, Yaakov was not connecting anymore with G-d’s plan and his own idealism and true self, as the father of the 12 tribes and the future of the Jewish people. If he would have stayed with Lavan, he would have continued to amass wealth, and forget about his dreams. G-d was telling Yaakov, it was time to go HOME.
The question remains: are WE home? Or have we gotten lost along the way? Are we really the doctor or lawyer we wanted to be, or just an ambulance chaser? Are we really doing something GREAT in our lives, something that is bringing G-d’s plan to fruition here on earth, or are we still just trying to amass wealth, and have lost our way?
Come home Yaakov. Come home YOU, dear reader. Return to our real selves, our real dreams, our real essence - to serve G-d.
NEW YORK -- A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator.
At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.
'Al-gebra is a problem for us,' Gonzales said. 'They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to every triangle'.'
(I didn't write this, it was sent to me in an email, and it has probably made its rounds to your inbox as well. But it's still funny, so I thought I would just post it to bring a smile to your faces.
Here's an additional email sent to me, I don't know who to credit for it.
Are you a Democrat, a Republican, or a Southerner?
Here is a little test that will help you decide.
The answer can be found by posing the following question:
You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children.
Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you.
You are carrying a Kimber 1911 cal. 45 ACP, and you are an expert shot.
You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?
THINK CAREFULLY AND THEN SCROLL DOWN:
Democrat's Answer :
Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
Does the man look poor or oppressed?
Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
Could we run away?
What does my wife think?
What about the kids?
Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock
the knife out of his hand?
What does the law say about this situation?
Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it?
Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
Should I call 9-1-1?
Why is this street so deserted?
We need to raise taxes, have paint and weed day and make this happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for few days and try to come to a consensus.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
Click..... (Sounds of reloading)
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Click
Daughter: "Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?! "
Son: "Can I shoot the next one!"
Wife: "You ain't taking that to the Taxidermist!
(I have disabled the COMMENTS for this latest post, there's no need for any talk-backs, so don't leave a comment. Just enjoy.)
Pictures tell a thousand words. These photographs below show the Jewish presence in our G-d given land, and what's more important, the lack of Arab presence which puts an end to their claims that Israel is so important to them and their (lack of) historical roots here.
Thank you to all our ancestors who stayed in the land of Israel throughout the centuries under difficult conditions and foreign forces who came in and ruled here. They may have had relatives in Europe who told them to come to Spain, Poland or Germany, writing them that it is much easier and comfortable for Jews in the Exile, with big yeshivot, and a thriving Jewish world (which exists no more). But our ancestors here did not abandon their inheritance of the Land of Israel nor their love of the land and G-d. Perhaps they wrote them back that they should come here to the land of Israel, and make our nation grow, and be stronger and safer.
Thank you to the pioneers who left their host countries in Europe and Russia and came to the Land of Israel to build, reestablish, and love the Land. Thank you for the difficult task of leaving your families, knowing that you would probably never see them again. Thank you for leaving all the 'perks' of a wealthier life that offered business opportunities, universities, good schools, operas, and easy access to purchase the finest goods. Thank you also for leaving your shtetles and smaller Jewish villages in Europe, leaving everything you know, to come to entwine your lives with your brothers here, at home. Thank you for establishing your dynasties here, and planting your future generations here.
Thank you for suffering throughout the years to make sure that we living in Israel today, and those of Jews who still live in the Exile have a home to come to if there is ever a need to escape. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Photos from the book: "First Photographs of the Holy Land" by Eli Shiller. Click HERE to view many more photos.
Our Jewish Ancestors At The Wailing Wall, 1898 (Under Ottoman Empire Occupation)
The Temple Mount, 1877 -Note overall disrepair and lack of use.
Jewish Quarter, View From The North-East, in 1870. Behind is our Temple Mount, where the Muslims built their Mosque on top of where the Holy Temple stood.
Jewish Quarter, 1898 -View from the South-East
Jews Praying On The Mount Of Olives, 1893. The Mount of Olives is where King David's son, Avshalom is buried, as well as the Prophet Zacharia, well before Islam ever existed.
A Jewish Wedding In Jaffa, 1899. Thank you, young Jewish couple, for building your home here in Israel, having Jewish children, and building your and their lives here.
Jewish Workers At Abraham's Vineyard, 1860. Thank you for living here in Israel, with no air conditioning, no chic European cities nearby, no promise for wealth, or even an easy life. Thank you.
Jewish Pioneers in Gedera, (Israel) 1910. Thank you Jewish pioneers, for turning the hard and thorny desert into abundant farmland, where today we export to Europe and have our own supermarkets filled with luscious and tasty fruits and vegetables.
Jewish workers and Arab women picking oranges in Jaffa, (Israel) 1915. Many Arabs immigrated to the Land of Israel looking for work on Jewish farms and with other Jewish enterprises.
Arab Family travelling in the Galilee looking for work.
Jewish Pioneers In Galilee, 1912. Thank you, beautiful young Jewish men and women, for living a simple life, a sometimes hard life, to build our country, develop our land, and raise Jewish families here.
Jewish Guards In The Galilee 1915. Thank you brave Jewish men, who guarded Jewish families and property from thieves and marauders.
Turkish Military Camp, 1911. What? Foreign occupation of Muslim Turks and Jews still came to Israel on Aliyah to build for the future?
There was no Jewish government to help Jews open businesses, absorb them into the country, teach them Hebrew for free, give them mortgages to buy comfortable homes, or pay them money to have Jewish children like our government does today. This was a hostile Muslim regime in charge. They were no friends of the Jews, and did not treat them well. Yet we still chose to make our lives here. Were we 'friars' (suckers) or heroes?
Beginnings Of Tel-Aviv, 1919(?) Missing in this and all the photos are all the Arabs of that quote 'great country of illustrious Arab history', Palestine. Seems like their claims on history never existed.
First Well In Rishon Le-Zion. 1913 Jews bringing LIFE back to the region with water wells, cattle, farms and orchards.
Synagogue Of Abraham Avinu, 1925- Hebron. Thank you Jewish ancestors, for making your lives in Hebron, guarding the holy graves of Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Sarah, Rivkah and Leah (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah). Thank you for living there, working, raising families, praying, and teaching your sons and grandsons our Torah and Jewish ways.
These two Jewish men above, what are they thinking? They are looking at YOU. They came, they lived, they built. We are enjoying the fruits of their labor and well-lived lives. Thank you my dearest, dearest brothers. Thank you to all our Jewish people throughout the centuries who nurtured Israel, never giving up on her, loving her, and loving G-d.
Are you a visionary? Look at the picture below. How do you perceive it? What kind of a person are you? I know that many of you have already seen this picture before, maybe from an email that you received or in a psychology or business class, but play along again anyway. What's your first impression? Look closely, and decide what you see BEFORE you scroll down. There is no wrong answer.
Did you see in the picture, an old woman who looks like a witch, or a young woman looking into the distance? Again, there is no wrong answer really, but what you perceived can tell you a lot about yourself.
From the replies I received below from my last blog piece, I think that maybe we can divide ourselves into 2 groups: The Me Jews and the We Jews.
The Me Jew is one that sees the warts of today, or sees only the 'instant gratification' of pleasure and comfort. They are like, what my Iranian guest said on my radio show this week, "Americans usually act for the moment's benefit. They don't care what will happen tomorrow. They say, "I need this today, so I'll do this today. If there is a price to pay, I will pay it tomorrow." These Jews are not visionaries. They see only the moment and what is good for them. Imagine if our ancestors who came to the Holy Land in the early part of the century said, "There's swamps there, malaria, and Turkish/Ottoman rule. I'm not going to THAT place." These 'Me Jews' are trapped in the moment. They have no view of what waits for them in the long run. They are not visionaries, because they cannot see beyond their immediate scope. Their scope of view is severely limited. They will pay a price for this. We have seen it all throughout our history. Yet it appears that each generation of Me Jews think it won't happen to them, that THEIR host country is different. Spain was enlightened and Jews lived VERY well there. Jews were employed by the King and Queen of Spain. What could happen to them when Jews were welcomed and saw such comfort? Impossible that Spain would turn on them.
Come up further in time. It's Germany, in the 1930's. Berlin was the hippest place in Europe. The poets, writers, actors, transvestites and homosexuals all sat at cafes and smoked and drank. They were 'the Beautiful People' of their generation. They argued politics, philosophy, Spinoza, religion, capitalism, communism, and reveled in their Yiddish and Yiddish theatre. They were IT, at their pinnacle of coolness, hipness, intellectualism and comfort. Berlin was the new Jerusalem! They fought in wars, were German war heroes, and proudly wore their medals. They are all dead now, because they thought, "The cultured Germans could never do such a thing! They could not burn people at the stake like Spain and Portugal did in the inquisition." No, Germany burned their Jews not at the stake, but in the ovens.
And today's American, British, French, (fill in the blank) Me Jews say the same thing. Our generation is different. They would never do such a thing. But what they do not remember, is that G-d said he would wield His justice on the nations of the world in the end of days. If it doesn't happen that a certain country will turn against its Jews, the Jews should know that they will suffer whatever fate the host-nation suffers. The safest place for the Jewish People will be in Israel. Perhaps it looks like Israel is not the 'young woman in the picture above', but this may just be the 'Yetzer haRah' (evil inclination') just testing you. G-d wants you to YEARN for Israel, not YELL at Israel. He wants you to DESIRE His Land, not DISS His Land. He wants you to not only love your own tuchus, but your nation. If our forefathers were Me-Jews, we would never have merited the Torah. It is contrary to Torah to be a Me-Jew.
The 'We Jew'
The 'We Jew' is a Jew that looks beyond his inner circle. He is one who cares and acts for his fellow Jew and humanity. He knows we have a long history and that we have a future that is up to us to develop. He is the young woman in the picture, looking towards the future. The We Jew understands that there are more important things than his comfort for the moment. That is why he is willing to immediately give 10% of his earnings to charities and the Poor. He knows that whatever money he made, 10% of it is NOT his, it is G-d's and he is to use it for helping others. The We Jew is willing to live in a tent, in uncomfortable conditions, because he loves the land of Israel and cannot stand to see it sit fallow and uncared for. He wants to bring Jewish life back into the area, where Jewish children will run and play and go to school, and Jewish mothers and fathers will walk their babies, play with their children, plant gardens and raise Jewish families. The We Jew will not make 'conditions' that suit him before he does the RIGHT thing. He CHANGES the bad situation and makes it better for future generations. He is not a wimp. He does not rationalize to himself and others, making excuses why he does not have to roll up his sleeves and move. The We Jew knows there is MORE to life than being comfortable. He is the one who is willing to walk the walk. The We Jew is a visionary. He is the person G-d wants us to strive to be. G-d wants us to leave our comfort zones, and go above and beyond what we are today.
I will finish with this song, probably my favorite of all time. And if you think it is corny for me to post these lyrics of this song, you can laugh, but I hope you would join me in striving for more than comfort, illusionary safety, and a life lived not having filled its potential. Sing, "If you don't have a dream, how are you going to have a dream come true?" Sing along with this song as well, my favorite. Please view this great 3 min video below:
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause
And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star
Come home. Join your nation. The Impossible Dream is NOT impossible.
It's there on film! No denying it. Those blankety blank blank &%#!*%#$ enemies of Israel, as well as the world's media who refuse to show this footage makes me so angry! Why doesn't CNN show this? Where is BBC, SKY news, FOX, ABC, CBS. I want YOU to watch this video. Then, if you care a hoot about Israel and Jews, you can write your TV stations and ask them why they don't show this footage that I am posting for you below. Please view video before continuing on.
Write Bush and tell him, "Is this what you want to divide G-d's city and land for? These murdering terroists?" Bush is leading the way in giving the terrorist ilk a state of their own. Giving them Judea and Samaria means putting them within firing range of our airport near Tel Aviv. They will shoot at our planes taking off and landing. It will destroy tourism and our economy, and worse.
Another thing that makes me want to use expletives &%#!*%#$ is that our own government cares more for the enemy's children than they do our own. They won't attack the terrorists launching bombs at OUR CHILDREN in Sderot, because it might harm THEIR Jew-hating children in Gaza. Is there something terribly and revoltingly wrong with this thinking?
And to all of my brothers and sisters, sitting smug in the USA thinking we have such a terrible government, and that you are so smart, and you claim that you need to be there because you can help influence American policy by fighting for Israel... Well, your president is hosting a conference in Annapolis, in order to divide Jerusalem and our land. This city is YOUR city, you are Jews, and it is YOUR inheritance. If you are staying in America to be safe or to influence from there and help, you sure aren't doing a very good job!
You'd do infinitely more by coming here and helping us to vote and throw out our lousy politicians and bring in more Torah loving and patriotic Jews like you, into the Knesset. If Jerusalem is divided, I don't want to even think what will happen to America. Remember Hurricane Katrina when Jews were expelled from Gaza? I don't know for sure whether this was divine retribution for Gaza, but as a G-d fearing person, I know that NOTHING happens by accident, and G-d controls everything. Click HERE to read a controversial article I wrote back in 2005 on 'Katrina and Katif: some connections to consider'.
If Judea & Samaria are given over to the enemies of Israel, and we become even weaker, it will affect JEWS everywhere on the planet. No more Israel = weak Jews, less respect and safety for Jews everywhere in all host countries around the world.
The German Jews thought they were safe in Germany. They were proud Germans. They're dead now.
Do you really think America is any different than Germany, which was one of the most liberal and 'enlightened' countries in Europe in the 1930's.
As for authentic Jewish life, I am sure you want to give your children a REAL Jewish experience, a FULL Jewish life, but you cannot do it in the Exile. Only here can one live a FULL Jewish life doing all the mitzvoth.
Do you want to know what most Gentiles think of us? They are laughing at us. If many of them had the chance,,,,
Watch this video taken in Britain.
Come home my brothers, strengthen us, strengthen yourselves, extricate yourselves from the Exile, and make Israel strong again. Bush certainly isn't doing it.
Remember, the Exile was a curse!