It should never be said that I don’t love my mother in law.
Over the past month, under constant attack from Hamas trying to infiltrate our western border, and Iran arming drones to attack our eastern border, the State of Israel asked some of its Hollywood support crew to come here for an afternoon, sip some cocktails, have lunch with the elite, and light an Independence Day torch in solidarity with us.
Steven Spielberg was too busy. Barbara Streisand had other plans. Even Miriam Bialik wouldn’t make the effort. Wasn’t Natalie Portman born in Israel?
I’ll bet if Hillary asked these people for a light, they would drop everything.
I understand that we need some dim-witted Hollywood diva to make us look like the “cool people” are on our side but we should have considered Sarah Silverman. At least her nephew serves in the IDF.
The True Heroes of the Diaspora
But despite her naiveté on Israeli politics (being from the left of course), Mrs. Silverman is a real Diaspora hero. She is a close family member of someone who made the leap to join us. We, the chosen, chosen because we choose Israel, know what we chose. Our friends and family often don’t.
They have to go along for the ride as if they were tied to the back bumper. If there were an honor we in Israel can bestow upon the Diaspora Jews who support us, these people should be at the top of every list.
They are the parents of hundreds of thousands of Jews from the west who returned to Judaism or became born again Zionists. They parents don’t see the reason for praying every day, keeping Kosher, or going to pro-Israel demonstrations instead of Goldman Sachs Meetups.
Imagine the difficulty in having to accept being apart from their children for the rest of their lives.
This isn’t to dissuade anyone from moving here. Our Creator clearly states in His Torah that He gave us that a person is obligated to honor their parents in every walk of life except for a very limited number of narrow circumstances. One of those circumstances is if they object to us living here.
Someone who makes Aliyah to Israel chooses to accept the sacrifices and challenges that come with the life. Their parents, friends, and in-laws are being force fed an involuntary duty where they don’t see the upside. They have to tell their friends that we are learning Hebrew while their friend’s kids are working for Google. They get invitations to their friend’s grandchildren’s bar mitzvahs knowing that when their grandkids come of age, they can send postcards.
The Stress That Gets You to Heaven
Living here, we know that 90% of the stereotypes about Israel are hogwash. Most of the things they worry about, we don’t. It doesn’t change the fact that they still worry about us,
Like when your mother calls to say, "There was an explosion in Haifa, I was worried sick."
"But you know I live in Jerusalem, that's 150 kilometers away!"
"150 kilometers are just 3 miles dear, I was so scared."
“I heard it’s raining in Be’er Sheva. Are you sure you put all your pots and pans out to collect the rainwater?”
“We have running water, you know.”
“Yeah, but it’s the desert. You can never be too careful.”
Our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora claim as their own lone soldiers, settlers, hi-tech leaders, kibbutzniks, even political leaders. They support us with their boundless and baseless love. They visit as much as they can, pushing aside all other vacation plans forever. Some even move here to be close to their grandchildren.
They help with money. It can be monthlies until we are settled in. It can be a small sum here and there to get us through tough times. It can be the hardest gift they can give.
When they help us make a down payment on a home, they are giving up any hope of living close to their children. They still do it because the happiness of their kids means more to them then their greatest wish.
May we be as dutiful to our children. May Hashem bless them with everything.
These are the people who should be lighting the Diaspora torch this year. An honor they didn’t seek, but certainly deserve.
Every week you can expect me, David Ben Horin, to be writing this column, Thank God for Israel. Writing and fighting to give my every morsel of wisdom to the good people who love my beloved country. Even to the not so good people who should love my country, it's never too late to see the light.