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The Worst Addiction of All

By Tzvi Fishman
2/8/2010, 12:00 AM

Tragically, more Jews are addicted to the exile than to all other addictions combined. If you add up all of the unfortunate souls addicted to alcohol, gambling, pornography, or drugs, the number is far far fewer than those unfortunate souls addicted to living in the exile. The number is in the millions.

Even worse. As nefarious as the addiction is, exile lovers don’t realize that they are addicted. Like an alcoholic or a heroine junkie, when confronted by their problem, they will adamantly deny it.

“I don’t have a drinking problem,” the alcoholic insists as he staggers out of the bar, not remembering where he parked his car.

“I don’t have a drug problem,” the junkie insists in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

“We aren’t addicted to the exile,” Talkbackers insist, denying the simple fact that they are living their lives in foreign lands amongst the gentiles.

Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook was unquestionably one of the most influential Rabbis of our generation. Because of him, all of the political leaders of the world wake up in the morning wondering what other steps they can take to force the Jews out of Judea and Samaria, G-d forbid. As the head of the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva, HaRav Tzvi Yehuda sent his students out to settle the land and build settlements all over the Biblical hillsides of Israel, from the Golan Heights in the north to Elon Moreh, Kedumim, Yitzhar, Har Bracha, Beit El, Shilo, Ofra, Gush Etzion, Hevron, and Gush Katif in the south.

This week’s Torah portion of Mishpatim relates the tragic case of a Hebrew servant who does not want to go free after serving his master for six years. The Torah instructs that his ear should be nailed to a doorpost to remind him that the Jewish People were commanded to hear the call at Sinai to serve only one Master – G-d, and not a master of flesh and blood.

This was the case, HaRav Tzvi Yehuda taught, with Jews in the Diaspora who fall in love with their master, the goy, and don’t want to go free. They are like slaves, when the Torah commands us to be free men in our own Land.

"Go to Israel? That's not what I heard."


This is a terrible, pernicious addiction.

Having done a lot of work on the subject of pornography addiction, in addition to ghostwriting a book on gambling addiction before I made aliyah to Israel, I can vouch that many of the general symptoms of addiction are similar to exile addicts as well. On our website, in our section on Pornoholics Anonymous, we included a questionnaire put out by a sex addiction organization to help people identify if they have a problem that needs to be treated. In the same light, a simple questionnaire can help you to recognize if you are addicted to the exile. If you can answer yes to six or more of the following questions, then you are addicted to your life amongst the gentiles in the foreign gentile land where you live.

1 – Most of the day I speak a language other than Hebrew.

2 – Besides, most of the websites I look at have nothing to do with Judaism or Israel.

3 – I consider Barak Obama to be the political leader of my country (or the Prime Minister of England, or the President of France) rather than the Prime Minister of Israel.

4 – I say things like, “We’re taking a beating in Afghanistan,” or “Our troops sure taught the Iraqis a lesson.”

5 – I enjoy watching TV shows like the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards, the President’s Inaugeration, the Miss America Beauty Pageant, the Emmy Awards, Sixty Minutes, the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and get all choked up with pride when they play the Star Spangled Banner.

Goosepimples and tears to my eyes


6 – My kid’s heroes are Michael Jackson, Michael Jordon, Arnold Schwartenegger, Bruce Lee, Bruce Springsteen, Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone, and Batman.

7 – There is an American flag in our shul, the Rabbi doesn’t have a beard, the mechitzah is low enough to see the women, wives don't cover their hair, and the Shabbos Kiddush has enough food to feed half the people of Haiti.

8 – I send a Valentine’s Day card to my girlfriend, my wife, or my mistress.

Was Saint Valentine a Jew?


9 – I get peeved off reading Fishman’s blogs.

"I can't stand the guy!"


10 – I will definitely consider making aliyah when Israel gets its act together.

Now add up the number of yeses you have. If you have six or more, you’re an exile addict.

I told you so.