Article 7 in the Arutz Sheva aliya series.
A few readers have written me lately, saying that my essays are too hard-hitting, and that I would have better results with honey than with a sledgehammer. I am not totally convinced. Most lovers of Gentile lands have barricaded themselves in Diaspora ghetto communities, of one type or another, whose walls are as thick as bomb shelters when it comes to the mitzvah of living in Israel, and a sledgehammer is needed to crumble their defenses.
But for a change, I’m willing to give honey a try, so here’s an Op-Ed dripping with love. Let’s hope it brings hundreds of thousands of new olim to Israel. And I won’t even mention the dangers of Corona, uncontrolled riots, and the unavoidable Tsunami of Antisemitism on the way to remind the Jews that they are still, as always, strangers in strange lands. So here goes:
50 Reasons to Make Aliyah:
1. To get closer to G-d.
2. To fulfill the Torah commandment to live in the Land of Israel.
3. To perform the mitzvot in the place they were meant to be performed, and not in a place where we do them as reminders, so that will still remember how to perform them when we return to the Land.
4. To live in the Land of our Forefathers.
5. To live in the Land of Prophecy.
6. To live in the Land that Hashem promised to the Jews.
7. To break free from being a despised stranger in gentile countries.
8. To escape gentile cultures and the spiritual pollution of the Diaspora, which clouds and distorts pure Jewish thinking and prayer.
9. To play a part in the ingathering of the exiles.
10. To play a part in Israel’s Redemption.
11. To play a part in the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
12. To actualize our daily prayers to return to Israel and thus be true to the words that we say.
13. To make the wish, “Next year in Jerusalem” a reality.
13. To have a government of Jews.
14. To have a Jewish army.
15. To live in a country according to the Jewish calendar.
16. To live in a country where the official language is Hebrew.
16. So my children won’t intermarry.
17. So my grandchildren won’t intermarry.
18. So my great grandchildren won’t intermarry.
19. To forget about non-Jewish holidays and the advertising overkill that goes with them for weeks without end.
20. To erase the Chillul Hashem of living in a foreign land, where the Gentiles mock G-d, saying that He doesn’t have the power to keep His People in Israel.
21. To live amongst Jews.
22. To live in the place here prayer ascends to Heaven.
23. To live in the place of the Shechinah, the Land that Hashem watches over from the beginning of the year to the end.
24. To live in the Land where Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaacov lived and are buried.
25. To live in the Land where every place I walk earns me a higher place in the World to Come.
26. So my children will grow up to be proud Jews.
27. So my children will grow up without dual identities and schizophrenic complexes.
28. Because Israeli men and women are brave pioneers, no matter how politically confused they might be.
29. Because Israeli mothers still cook meals for the family.
30. Because there is more Torah in Israel than anywhere else in the world.
31. Because there are more Torah Gedolim in Israel than anywhere else in the world.
32. Because there are more frum communities in Israel than anywhere else in the world.
33. Because there are more yeshivot, heders, Talmud Torahs, religious colleges and religious schools for girls in Israel than anywhere else in the world.
34. Because the Kohanim bless the congregation each day.
35. Because of the extra mitzvot you can only do in Eretz Yisrael.
36. To become a bigger Jew, ready to live for the Clal, to become a building of our Nation in our Land, even if it means sacrifice, rather than living a small private life motivated by personal interests and pleasures.
37. To live in a place where my taxes support yeshivot, Tzahal, Jewish charity organizations, terror victims, Jewish hospitals, the city of Jerusalem, the ingathering of the exiles….
38. To be near Jerusalem.
39. To be near the Kotel.
40. To be in the place where the Jewish holidays are natural to the climate of the Land.
41. Because of the beautiful biblical scenery.
42. Because the food is great with the most delicious kosher pastries and cakes in the world.
43. Because you can get bagels there too.
44. Because radio broadcasts begin in the morning with “Shema Yisrael.”
45. Because of the modern apartments and fantastic villas and the most beautiful and holiest views in the world.
46. Because of the thriving economy.
47. Because Israel’s an international leader in high-tech.
48. Because of the excellent medical care.
49. Because of the respect for the elderly.
50. Because that’s where I truly belong and where G-d wants me to be.
Is there something I missed? With love from the Land of honey. Hope to see you here soon!
Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Culture and Creativity. Before making Aliyah to Israel in 1984, he was a successful Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbis A. Y. Kook and T. Y. Kook. His other books include: "The Kuzari For Young Readers" and "Tuvia in the Promised Land". His books are available on Amazon. Recently, he directed the movie, "Stories of Rebbe Nachman."