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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776
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‘Hear O You Deaf and Look O You Blind!’

Some readers accuse me of harping on the mitzvah of living in Israel, but it isn’t me – it’s the Torah.
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“Much did you see, but you did not observe it,” Isaiah rebukes. “Ears were opened for him and he did not hear!” (42:18-20).

The Master of the World has miraculously returned us to our cherished homeland after an exile of 2000 years. What are Diaspora Jews waiting for? Why do they prefer gentile lands over our own? Why do they cling to foreign identities and raise their children to believe that they are Americans, and Canadians, and Frenchmen?

For an assimilated Jew who has no connection to his Jewishness, or to Israel, OK, I realize that convincing him to come on aliyah is like talking to the deaf. But for a reader of The Jewish Press who goes to shul and prays to come home toIsrael three times every day, what is he waiting for? That everything be 100% to his liking?

It’s truly exasperating!

But there’s comfort in the end. Even if they don’t come of their own free choosing, Hashem will drag them here by their peyes if need be, as the Prophet assures:

From the east I will bring your descendants  and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up! And to the south, Keep not back! Bring My sons home from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth… to bring forth the People who is blind though they have eyes, and who is deaf though they have ears (Isaiah, 43:5-8).

So my beloved brothers and sisters from Chicago, and Lakewood, and Brooklyn, and Facebookland – if you really want to affect change in Israel, and transform it into the place of your dreams, then come and help with the work.

We’re waiting.

Tzvi Fishman

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." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. His recent movie "Stories of Rebbe Nachman" The DVD of the movie is available online.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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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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