A survey published last week in London reported that two-thirds of British Jews believe there is a future for the Jewish People in Britain. A similar survey in America, among people who still identified with being Jewish, would probably result in a much lower percentage of blindness and denial since a third would reply, yes, there is a future for Jews in the United States, while two-thirds would reply, “What’s a Jewish future?” having already assimilated out of the fold.
When it comes to Aliyah, the situation is just as dim. While the Jewish Agency has been predicting a huge boom in immigration because of Corona, only 2000 brave Jews from America made Aliyah this past year, in contrast to 3000 the previous year. The overall figure from around the world is down as well, and out of this year’s 2020 overall arrivals, over 50 percent aren’t halakhically Jewish.
A new revolutionary approach to Jewish Education is needed throughout the Diaspora before it is too late. What are we to do?
I would like to reveal an educational plan I am working on for Diaspora Jewry, and which I hope to submit before the Knesset Committee for Diaspora Affairs for preliminary discussion. I am hoping that my proposal will replace the most recent Diaspora Education Program adopted by the Government, which I believe is doomed to failure, in its being just more of the same, in the disguise of a mega-buck, slick hi-tech gloss.
Over the last two decades, programs of Diaspora Education have not succeeded in stemming the skyrocketing intermarriage around the globe. In truth, all such attempts to strengthen Jewish Identity are doomed to failure, because the cultures of foreign countries eat away at the soul of a Jew until he, or she, sets NY, LA, Paris, London, or Berlin above his or her highest joy.
When Diaspora Jews say, “Next Year in Jerusalem,” no one really means it. Sending an army of 10,000 shlichim (educational representatives) from Israel to Jewish communities throughout the Diaspora, and investing hundreds of millions of dollars of educational programs, won’t halt the plague of assimilation and intermarriage. As the Gaon of Vilna warned, the cultures of the Gentiles eat away at the Jewish communities in Galut, even in the most Haredi communities, the way worms slowly devour a corpse. Similarly, Rabbi Kook teaches in the The task of the Government of Israel is not to strengthen Diaspora communities by trying to breathe life into the Valley of Dry Bones of the clearly dying Diaspora, but to rescue Jews from the Diaspora itself.
very first chapter of his treatise, “Orot,” that it is impossible to attain true Jewish Identity, and a true understanding of Torah, in its all-encompassing national Israelite essence, in the polluted environment of alien lands.
A verse in the Book of Lamentations states: “He has made me sit down in dark places like those long dead. He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains,” (Lamentations, 3:6-7).
The Gemara explains the words, ‘He has made me to sit down in places of darkness,’ as follows: “Rabbi Yirmeya said, ‘This is the Torah learning of Babylon,’” (Sanhedrin 24A). In the darkness of the Exile, a Jew’s understanding of Torah, and of his true identity and mission as a Jew, is covered with spiritual “klipot,” impure husks which permeate the air outside of the Holy Land. The spiritual pollution is so thick that it clouds the mind and causes Jews to believe they are American or Mexican or Australians or even Germans, when they are all Israelites exiled from their one and only Jewish Homeland.
The task of the Government of Israel is not to strengthen Diaspora communities by trying to breathe life into the Valley of Dry Bones of the clearly dying Diaspora, but to rescue Jews from the Diaspora itself. And this can only be done by bringing them home to Israel - ASAP.
To do this, a whole new outlook and approach is required. This is the reason why the Diaspora De-Programming Therapy Treatment is so imperative at this time. Just as Gay Conversion Therapy is designed to help homosexuals who seek to develop normal healthy attractions, the Diaspora De-Programming Therapy is designed to erase the polluted educational programming which a Jew receives growing up in foreign lands, and the distorted Jewish Identity which comes with it, and to replace them with a normal, healthy, Israelite consciousness.
Call it a spiritual cleansing of the brain, or a brain-wash, in its most positive connotation. Or, to use the expression used by the prophet Ezekiel – a “new heart,” as in the verse: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh,” (Ezekiel, 36:26). In other words, a new understanding of what being Jewish is all about.
Therefore, the education of Diaspora Jewry must be a process of de-education, or anti-Diaspora Therapy, geared to erase the false information and impressions which darken the mind and betray the heart of the Diaspora Jew. This infected educational “tape” must be replaced by a new cassette of true Torah understanding, the Torah of Eretz Yisrael, and not the Torah of the Galut. The darkness of the Diaspora Jew must be illuminated by the recognition that he or she is a member of the Children of Israel with an Israelite soul, and that he or she is a stranger in a strange land in America, Australia, and South Africa, and that a Jew’s one and only true home is in Israel.
How can this be done? Through proper education, not more of the same education of the past. But since education is a long and slow process, and since Corona and spiking anti-Semitism don’t seem to be waning, a speed course is needed which will lead Diaspora Jews to realize that they are not American, or French, or Belgium Jews, but rather Israelites, a realization that will trigger an immediate yearning to return home to Israel. Therefore, I propose the following (tongue-in-cheek) therapy, knowing that it will raise eyebrows and cause controversy.
Shlichim from Israel need not be sent overseas to administer the Diaspora De-Programming Therapy Treatment. Basic equipment includes a computer, projector, movie screen, sets of electrode arm and ankle bands, and a regular chair. The Methodology involves fastening the arm and ankle bands onto the subject. When shown a photograph of WDC, Paris, or Brussels on the screen (depending on the country of residence), the “therapist” will administer a slightly painful “zetz” of electricity to the “patient.” Then the patient will be shown a photo of Jerusalem on the screen and the therapist will administer an electric impulse of pleasure. This procedure is repeated five times until the desired comprehension is absorbed that Jerusalem is the capital of the Diaspora Jew’s nation, and not WDC or Paris. If the patient resists, the therapist will simply raise the “zetz” level of electric current as needed.
Then the procedure is repeated five times with a photograph of the American flag accompanied by the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner,” with a painful “zetz” each time, alternating with a photograph of the Israeli flag with the playing of “Hatikva” and a counter electric impulse of pleasure. When the desired comprehension is reached, the treatment continues with paintings of George Washington and Avraham Avinu, until the Diaspora Jew understands who the real founder of his or her nation is.
Another 25 pairs of pain-pleasure slides are contained in the Diaspora De-Programming Therapy package.
It is recommended that Diaspora Rabbis, educators, and leaders of major Jewish organizations be the first to undergo therapy, in order to encourage their congregants, students, and constituents to follow.
To all those who protest that this type of therapy coercion violates an individual’s right to freedom of choice, allow me to emphasize that the treatment is 100% voluntary, to be administered only to Jews who register on their own for the therapy.
As for the others, the Torah commentator, Rashi, teaches that 80% of the Jewish slaves in ancient Egypt refused to immigrate to the Land of Israel, only to die in the plague of Darkness. Can Diaspora Jews learn something from that midrash? Let us pray. Amen.