Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Hashem Yerachem. Move to Israel." (Updated Again)



Benji G. was sitting one row away from me on my Aliyah flight. He stepped foot in Eretz Yisrael just seconds before I did. I knew right away he was a very bright guy.

Yesterday someone posted this on the Aliyah section of OnlySimchas. I'm not a fan of posting in OnlySimchas but I make an exeception for the Aliyah section. (By the way I know three separate people that take credit for getting that section added.) I think it's very important to lead the way by example. I think posting your Aliyah on OnlySimchas serves only to encourage others to make Aliyah as well.

Imagine my horror when I noticed tonight that someone seemed to defiled this holy section (yes, I'm being melodramatic but I'm not being sarcastic) by posting what appears to be a Yeridah. Now granted I don't know all the details and it could very well be this couple is making Aliyah, and just for the first step she came here to get her U.S. citizenship.

Still at the very least it doesn't belong in the Aliyah section! Some people might get the wrong idea and think it's a simcha to "make 'Aliyah' to America!"

I think Benji's comment over there summed it up best like this: "Hashem Yerachem. Move to Israel."

My sentiments exactly.
I think that post would more appropriately go here!

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Update: After posting this Benji seemed to have deleted his comment. Perhaps he was asked to by the orignal poster. Though myself and another poster posted there.

I posted:
My freind Benji G. is right! "It is preferable to dwell in the deserts of Eretz Yisrael than the palaces of Chutz LaAretz" (Bereshit Rabba 39:8).

"Tali" posted:
"for whoever lives in the Land of Israel may be considered to have a God, but whoever lives outside the Land may be regarded as one who has no God. For it is said in Torah "To give you the Land of Canaan, to be your God"- ketubot 112 a,b dont go saying youve made aliyah when youre living in america, the heart of exile. and take urself off this page so you dont continue embarrassing yourself

To this (and Benji's comment that was still there) "Daniel" posted:
Tali, Pinchas and Benji, please get an ounce of humor. Hedva's naturalization IS a bona fide simcha. In posting it though, our friends at onlysimchas.com gave us a discreet list of smachos under which this could be classified. The best one that fit was Aliyah in a sort of a humorous way. While I sat there in the courtroom watching her and 92 others becoming citizens, I could not help but be overwhelmed by the emotion of the moment. It made me think about my great-grandparents came to the US, one of the few countries that has offered refuge to so many downtrodden and persecuted people for so long. As one who is proud to serve the people of the United States in embassies around the world, I thank HKBH for giving us a country in which we have always had full rights and have had the freedom to be the proud and openly frum Jews that we are today. If you think about it, maybe that’s why so many Americans who make aliyah never renounce their US citizenship. Being mikayem the mitzvah of yishuv haaretz is indeed a simcha, but don’t detract from the simcha and hodaa to HKBH that Hedva and her friends and family feel about her naturalization.

To this I replied as follows:

Dear Daniel, If it’s a “bona fide simcha” why not post it the category on the left called “Simchas?” Why detract from all the Olim that posted here? Another question. If someone posted a “Movie Theatre Dedication” in the “Torah Dedication” section would you also say “please get an ounce of humor” to those that defended Kavod HaTorah? Such comments stem from an utter lack of appreciation of the sacredness of Eretz Yisrael and the monumental historical importance of the Aliyah Revolution taking place today. In EY this week we lain Parshas Shlach. Think about it.

See you soon in Eretz Yisrael! :)


But why do I even care? It's only OnlySimchas.com after all. I'll tell you why! Because this demonstrates that the Jews in America - the frum Jews in America have reached a level of complacency where they view moving and living in America as a Simcha of at least equal importance to moving and living in Israel.

"yishuv haaretz is indeed a simcha, but don’t detract from the simcha and hodaa to HKBH that Hedva and her friends and family feel about her naturalization."

"I thank HKBH for giving us a country in which we have always had full rights and have had the freedom to be the proud and openly frum Jews that we are today. "

I've quoted this before and I'll quote it here again [bold mine]:

The classic work on Jewish history, Seder HaDorot, by R' Yechiel Halperin, records the following observation in his entry for the year 5380 (1620):

The author of the commentary Sefer Meirat Eynayim (SMA) on the Shulchan Aruch explained why the Jewish community of Worms suffered far more persecution, pogroms and evil decrees than other congregations. That kehillah was founded by Jewish exiles who made their way to Germany following the Destruction of the First Temple. After seventy years of exile, many Jews returned from Babylon to Eretz Yisrael and Jerusalem, but none returned from Worms. The community in Jerusalem wrote to the kehillah in Worms and urged them to join their new settlement in Jerusalem... but the complacent Jews of Worms dismissed this invitation out of hand. Instead, they responded, ‘You stay where you are in the great Jerusalem, and we will continue to stay where we are in our little Jerusalem!' This arrogant response was due to the prosperity and prestige the Jews of Worms enjoyed in the eyes of the local gentiles and their princes.

The success of Worms was its undoing! The prosperity of the Jew in exile is nothing more than a Divine test to see whether it will cause the Jew to forget his homeland and his heritage. Worms and the Rhineland failed and suffered bitterly. In our own times, the vast majority of the German kehillah failed, because, as Meshech Chochmah (Bechukotai) observes, ‘They began to call Berlin, Jerusalem!' (The Artscroll Kinos pp 272-273)

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Update 2: So Hedva's husband posted the following (which was actually only up for a day - see below.)

Posted By Yosi ###### (6/15/2006)
Al naharos Bavel, sham yashavnu... As Hedva's husband, I would like to articulate our feelings about America: The American Jewish population of ~5.5 million has not grown since 1960!!!! Intermarriage rates among the largest segments of the American Jewish community are at 50%+.

America has probably served to stifle the growth of the Jewish people over the past 45 years as much at Hitler did between 1938 and 1945. America is a big, safe, stupid, comfy gas chamber.

Americans work longer hours, have greater rates of clinical depression and obesity, spend more, and consume more than any other industrialized country. It is a saccharine-sweet consumerist dystopia.

Our families have wandered through the empires of Greece, Persia, Rome, Medieval Europe, the Ottomans, and the Soviets. They are all in ruins,on the trash heap of history. Their legacy languishes in museums.

America is no different. If Yisroel is not redeemed, America will be a dissolved empire and we will have rebuilt a Torah society in our next host county.

Target, Costco, and Disney are nice, but ephemeral. We are just passing through.


And with that - the next day the post was in fact moved out of the Aliyah section to the "Simcha" section as suggested. All these other posts were deleted and thus ends this saga.

And now for that poster that posted an "Aliyah" to Nevada...

2 Comments:

Blogger hisbonenus said...

Well done, Pinchas! You are 100% right. Making yeridah is definitely not a humorous "simcha" to add to the aliyah section. I think it's great that you took the time and effort to get your point across, and it's awesome that it produced results.

1:27 AM  
Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Nice blog I forgot you had one. I will come back for more. Email me if you want to know who this is.

12:02 PM  

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