Personal thoughts on current events, cultural events, Israel, Judaism, Jewish/Israel innovations and life from a Jewish perspective - read into that what you may.

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Aliyah Update

Shalom to all,

I just wanted to let everybody know that Rachel, Yakir and I are flying to Israel for our aliyah flight on March 17th. We will miss all of you from the States but we look forward to welcoming you to our home in Israel, whether you come on vacation or for a more permanant stay.

The following thoughts were mostly written for my own benefit, to finally put into words abstract thoughts that I have been having about our aliyah plans. If anyone has any fedback, please let me know.

I have to admit that going to Israel today, with everything that is going on, is a scary thing. Obviously, I hoped that our return to Israel would be during peaceful times, but HKB"H had other plans. Even though I would rather not admit it, I'm also scared about moving to Efrat in today's climate. I wouldn't be as scared if it was just me, but now I'm a responsible father and husband and I'm always second guessing myself whether I'm really doing the right thing by moving my family to a place that most consider to be more dangerous than other places.

Even though I have these thoughts, I still believe that moving to Israel today, and moving to Efrat today, is the right thing to do. It might not be the most rational, the most logical or the "sure thing", but I do believe that it is the right thing.

I feel this way because I ask myself 'who really is assured that they will wake up the next day breathing? Who is secure that they won't be hit by a car while crossing the street?' I always answer myself that the answer is nobody. Nobody is secure that nothing bad will happen to them. People might not realize it or just not pay attention to it, but no matter where one lives or what one does, things can happen to anybody at any time. We all want to feel safe and secure, but in truth we feel secure even though we really aren't.

So I then start thinking about what we are really supposed to feel scure about? And I realize that the only thing we can feel secure about is who we are, how we act adn what we do. That is really the only things we can feel secure about, those things that we control. Many of us feel physically secure with an abstract feeling that our surroundings are safe or that our neighbors are harmless. But that really does not address our needs of security. Our one and only security is our emunah in Hashem. It is that belief in HKB"H that can help make a person feel physically secure, because one realizes that whatever they have control over is the right thing to do, regardless of what may happen that is out of their control. It is the belief in God that allows us to feel secure in who we are, what we do, and how we act. It is that security that makes sure that regardless of what happens to us (injury, death etc.) that we make sure to live fulfilling and meaningfull lives.

That is why I know, that even though I'm scared, I'm doing the right thing by moving to Israel and to Efrat. It is a scary feeling to place my sense of security in my belief in Hashem, but I think that is better than falsely believing I'm safe from harm because I live in X place.

People can then argue with me that halachikly one shouldn't place themselves in a place of danger. I'm not a rabbi and I'm not a posek, so I won't even try to deal with that question in a halachik framework. But I do know that my blood is no redder than anybody else who lives today in Efrat or Yesha. And I do know that if people wouldn't live there, then no Jew would be able to live in those areas or visit those areas for a very long time. Yes I think that not enough is being done to defend all the Jews in Israel, especailly in Yesha, but that is not stopping me from rightfully joining those Jews in creating and maintaining thriving Jewish communities in the one place in the world Jews should not be barred from living.

Yes, it is dangerous in Israel today and I'm not going to Israel with a aflse sense of reality. But I believe that unless we live there, stay there and support those who currently live there (by visiting them, staying in contact with them, and, most importantly, by joining them) Israel might not exist tommorrow.


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