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Review Lesson I

By Tzvi Fishman
4/13/2010, 12:00 AM

Lucky for us that Yehoshua Ben Nun (Joshua) wasn’t a typical Diaspora lover. If he had been, when Hashem commanded him to bring the Jews into the Land of Israel, he would have answered, “Sorry, find some other sucker. First, clean out the Philistines and the seven hostile nations, and get rid of all the idol worship, and then we’ll think about coming.”


Sound familiar? That’s pretty much what some of our talkbackers say: “As long as Israeli soldiers kick Jews out of their homes, as long as the Israeli media is biased against the religious, and Iranian missiles are aimed at Israel, we’re not coming!”


Since they have apparently forgotten what the commandments are all about, this review lesson is intended to help set them straight.


A religious Jew does what Hashem wants him to do, whether it is pleasing to him or not. He doesn’t say, “I’m not going to daven the morning prayer because it’s too early to get out of bed.” He doesn’t say, “I’m not going to eat matzah because constipation can be dangerous.” He doesn’t say, “I’m not going to keep Shabbos because it impinges on my freedom.” He or she doesn’t say, “I’m not going to have any children because it will harm my career.”


Reform and Conservative Jews pick and chose mitzvahs, not Orthodox Jews.


So, if for whatever reason, aliyah is too difficult a mitzvah for you, or circumstances just don’t allow it right now, don’t blame you’re not coming on the situation in Israel. Be honest and say, “I know that a Jew is supposed to live in Israel, but I am unable to do so because I’m afraid,” or “my parents won’t let me,” or “I may have a hard time making a living,” or “I’m too rigid in my ways to adjust to a new language and culture,” or “I don’t have enough faith in G-d.”


Yes, there are challenges facing us in Israel, but stop blaming the situation in Israel, when the real reason why you don’t come lies within yourself.