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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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A Black Day for American Jews

Diaspora Jewry should examine their role in Israel's failures to combat Palestinian moves at the UN.
Ellis Island

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Today is a black day for American Jews. Why? I’m sorry to say it, but as the so-called “Palestinian Authority” is gaining entrance to the United Nations as an observer, non-voting state, the Jews of America are out playing golf or watching things on TV, instead of protesting outside the UN with all of their might. “Israel Belongs to the Jews!” their protest signs should declare. “Israel is Our State!” their banners should proclaim. But, except for the few regulars and Rabbis who always show up at the demonstrations in NY, no one is there to protest.

In the upcoming Torah portion regarding the casting of Yosef into a pit, the Torah notes: “And the pit was empty, there was no water in it.” Our Sages inform us that there wasn’t water, but there were snakes and scorpions. A vacuum doesn’t stay empty. The same is true of the Land of Israel. If the Jews of the West had responded to the calls of the Zionist Movement and come on mass aliyah, especially with the founding of the State of Israel, the Land wouldn’t have filled up with snakes and scorpions.

Now these same snakes and scorpions are demanding that the United Nations recognize that Israel is their homeland, and the Jews of America sit at home and watch on TV (a least a fraction of them, since the vast majority our totally lost), and they shake their heads and say, “The Government of Israel is to blame. They should have annexed all of the territory… they never should have agreed to Oslo….”, when, in truth, it is they themselves who are to blame for not having said good-bye to comfortable America, and France, and England, and South Africa, and Mexico, and Canada, and Australia, and returned to the Jewish Homeland to reclaim it for the Jews.

So the Arabs claimed it instead. It’s shameful to say, but when it comes to the Land of Israel, the Arabs have more mesirut nefesh and a readiness for sacrifice than Diaspora Jews. The “Palestinians” are ready to give up their lives for the Holy Land. How many Diasporians can say that? They are prepared to suffer, and engage in armed struggle to win sovereignty over the Land. How many Diasporians can say that? Instead they sit in Brooklyn, and Monsey, and Lakewood, and Chicago, and Dallas, and Beverly Hills, and they shake their heads and say, “Too bad those weak Israelis didn’t transfer them all to Saudi Arabia,” while they go into the kitchen to make another bagel and lox.

So, with the hope that a least a handful of readers will hear these words and recognize their truth, I composed a prayer for Diaspora Jews to say on this black day of our history:

“Dear God, and God of my forefathers, Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaacov; on this black day when Arabs are demanding that world recognize their right to a state in the Land of Israel, I sit here silently in America doing nothing to protest, even though Israel is my Land, not theirs.

“I know it is my Land because I know you commanded Avraham to live there, and You promised it to his descendants  the Jews, as an eternal covenant. I know it is the Land of the Jews, and the place you want me to live, because You told Yitzhak to never leave it, and when Yaakov had to flee from Esav, You told him to return to the Land of Israel to raise his family there.

“And when You freed the Jews from bondage in Egypt, You commanded us to return to Israel. And I know I am supposed to live there because it says so in the Torah over and over again, and all the Prophets all speak about our returning from the exile to rebuild our national life in the Land of Israel, and that our Redemption can only happen there.

“I know that I am supposed to live in the Land of Israel and not let other nations dwell there in my stead, because that’s what the Torah says clearly, and that’s what we pray for in our daily prayers, and that’s what I say myself at the end of every Passover Seder, and at the conclusions of my Yom Kippur prayers, “Next Year in Jerusalem,” yet here I am, still in New York, and Los Angeles and Boca Raton, when I know I should move to Israel.

“But I’m stuck, either because I don’t know how I can make a living there, or I’m afraid to go into the Israeli army, or I don’t want to leave my parents, or I’m comfortable here, or a dozen other reasons, some of them real and others invented, and I know that You know what’s really in the heart of man, so I ask Your forgiveness in that I haven’t done as much as I can, whether in going to live in Israel myself, or helping others in whatever way I can, by forming an aliyah group at my synagogue, or convincing our shul’s Rabbi to urge our young people to go, or help to raise funds so families can make a new start in Israel.

“True, I follow what’s going on in The Jewish Press, and I post articles about Israel on Facebook, and I give whatever tzedakah I can, but I know I could do lots more. Please forgive me that I don’t act on the words of my prayers, and that I ignore the great mitzvah of living in the Land, and even though there are Gedolim who say that aliyah isn’t an obligation today, everyone agrees that it is still a great mitzvah, and though I strive to perform all of the other commandments as best as I can, over this one I am surely remiss, especially when I see how You have miraculous gathered in millions of Jews to Israel, and rebuilt the country in a miraculous way, while here in America, and England, and France, assimilation is eating up our ranks, and we look away as if everything is OK as long as it is down the block with the reformers, and not in the bubble of our wonderful glatt kosher neighborhood. Forgive me, Father, that I sit passively in my home while Arabs proclaim their right to the Land of Israel.

“Even though the Israelis could have handled things differently, I know that I am to blame as well for making America my home over Israel. I am ashamed that the Arabs are acting more Jewish than I am. You have commanded us, the Jewish People, to establish our sovereignty over the borders of Israel, and in my procrastination, the sons of Ishmael are doing it in my stead. Woe is me. Woe is me. My shame spreads out up to Heaven. Please, my Father and King, from this time forth, put in my heart, like a raging fire, the desire and courage to extricate myself from galut and come home to Israel, to be in my own Jewish Land, and not continue on as a stranger amongst the gentiles. And if I can’t make aliyah now for whatever reason, let me encourage my children to do so, and do whatever I can to let others know that our only future is in the Land of the Jews, just like it clearly states, again and again, in the Torah, in the writings of our Prophets, and in our prayers.

“May it be your will, Amen.”

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About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." For the past several years, he has written a popular and controversial blog at Arutz 7. A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


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49 Responses to “A Black Day for American Jews”

  1. It is Lubavitcher to blame, they are afraid to help sefardim to return to the fold of the nation of Israel. They helped russian goyim to pollute the land and they were against of admitting the Ethiopians..
    Chabad Lubavitcher is a racist group

  2. Harold Tobin says:

    78% of USA Jews voted for Obama. What you sow you reap. By the way all of you who wish for Israel`s demise I say to you Israel will be here long after you are gone and forgotten.

  3. Dave Lobell says:

    Messaoud Mohammed Don'thold your breath for that you backwards camel jockey!!!!

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    A lot of Palestinians aren't Muslim; in fact some of the worst terrorists have been from Christian backgrounds.

  5. You love Hitler? So you must be with him!

  6. Dave Lobell says:

    Messaoud Mohammed why not take a step back at look where you at and what you stand for? You align yourself with the one is responsible for the murder of six million Jewsih souls you are clearly a very evil person. Please go meet your reward of Matrydom because here on earth you are nothing more than a worthless maggot. Or at least go get laid, maybe that will take the edge off dude!!!

  7. Dave Lobell says:

    Rachel Tate Haha that was a perfect retort Rachel that is the problem with these sick angry people they are so angry becuase they dont know how to love. They don't know how to care for thier woman either!!! All they now how to do is put one boot on their sheep and give them half a chance.

  8. Larry E Cohen says:

    Harold, that is because 78% of all USA Jewish people live on the east coast or the west coast of the states. The other 22% of us are spread among the rest of the country and probably voted against giving oblaimo a second term. As the old expression goes, from your mouth to God's ears, and God bless our stead fast friends and neighbors and cousins the people of Great Britain and Canada.

  9. Dave Lobell says:

    Asher koach Mr. Shulman we must love all of our fellow Jews and encourage them with love perhaps then those who are distanced from Klal Yisrael will gravitate back to where they belong, or at the very least line up en masse to help Eretz Yisrael.

  10. Dave Lobell says:

    Asher koach Mr. Shulman we must love all of our fellow Jews and encourage them with love perhaps then those who are distanced from Klal Yisrael will gravitate back to where they belong, or at the very least line up en masse to help Eretz Yisrael.

  11. Dave Lobell says:

    I hear you load and clear Mr. Katz but you would, I am sure realize that those agreements have more to do with US influence than is ever mentioned whenever the issue is broached. That said, we as Jews in the Amercian Disopora cannot and should not abrogate our responsiblities as Jews just becuase the Israeli leadership has not been very sucessful in dealing with the Palestians. Short of killing every last one of them and not ever giving our land back to them which is and always will be met with disasterous results for Israel what could have been done differently? Let us all as Jews strive to be part of the solution and not part of the problem in solving what is our greatest dilema. We as Jews are obligated no matter where we live to help the Land of Israel in any we can. Lets us all come together
    to strive to do just that and more. Shalom!!!

  12. Unfortunatelly, is a fact!!! They're here: "who say, 'Keep away; don't come near me, for I am too sacred for you!' Such people are smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day." Isaiah 65:5

  13. my friend left Israel after Yom Kippur war and is glad that her son, then aged 8 is still alive. Sad.

  14. Liad Bar-el says:

    Moshe, let me say what Tzvi is saying in a different way; yet, relating to what you said. The Torah says, “Esau took…all the souls (nefashoth) of his household” (Gen 36:6). The Torah uses the nefashoth (נפשות), which is in the plural form. When speaking of Jacob’s descendants, however, the Torah calls them, “seventy soul (nefesh)” (Exodus 1:5), using the term nefesh (נפש), which is singular. When we were one soul unified together in the Holy Land that HaShem commanded us to live a Torah way of Life in, HE protected us and performed great miracles for us so that we could inter the Holy Land, purge it of sin and built it to be clean and holy. Now, after we had sinned, been exiled and return to the Holy Land to rebuild it, many choose to stay and assimilate to non-Jews who worship idols. The whole effort here is not to blame but to bring us all back together again to be one nefesh in the Holy Land close to HaShem as HE wanted and still wants for us all TODAY.

  15. Yudy Brody says:

    Great article I agree.

  16. Liad Bar-el says:

    Moshe Mordechai Zalman Shulman, Another reference of “nefesh” is in this week’s parasha, VaYeshev Gen 37:21 “Reuben heard and rescued him (Joseph) from their hands. He said, “Let’s not strike down a soul.” Literally this verse says in Hebrew, “Let’s not strike down our (own) soul” (לא נכנו נפש). We all feel the hurt when we are split apart from each other and living not according to HaShem’s wishes. The commandments are to be kept and can only be kept fully in Israel.

    May the time be soon when all evil will submit to HaShem and be erased from this world so that we all will honor Him in pure Holiness, Wisdom, Awl and in Oneness to the Light of His Countenance.

  17. Liad Bar-el says:

    Moshe Mordechai Zalman Shulman, Another reference of “nefesh” is in this week’s parasha, VaYeshev Gen 37:21 “Reuben heard and rescued him (Joseph) from their hands. He said, “Let’s not strike down a soul.” Literally this verse says in Hebrew, “Let’s not strike down our (own) soul” (לא נכנו נפש). We all feel the hurt when we are split apart from each other and living not according to HaShem’s wishes. The commandments are to be kept and can only be kept fully in Israel.

    May the time be soon when all evil will submit to HaShem and be erased from this world so that we all will honor Him in pure Holiness, Wisdom, Awe and in Oneness to the Light of His Countenance.

  18. Liad Bar-el says:

    Charlie always trying to confuse the issue. Palestinians is not a religion, just another arab faction with a heritage from Ishmael/Esav. Marrying out of the Jewish religion to the family of Esav like you and Anthony Weiner is not going to change the fact/law that Esav hates Jacob.

  19. Afsaneh Wheeler says:

    You are a jew to me.

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Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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