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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776
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The Diaspora Has Failed!



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Father and son studying in Hevron

Father and son studying in Hevron



In my humble opinion, with all of its institutions, organizations, synagogues, day schools, and Jewish newspapers, in this important matter, Diaspora Jewry has failed. Yes, for most of the long and dark exile, it waged a mighty and glorious battle, against all odds, to preserve Jewish traditions and keep the light burning, but when the gateway was opened to return to our homeland, it balked. Its task was to keep the remnant of our nation intact until we could return home to Zion, and when the time came, it neglected to get on the boat. Instead of sending their children on aliyah to Israel – they sent checks. Instead of coming to live here – they came for a week-long visit (all 20% of them – the others haven’t bothered to come at all.) And in obvious punishment for their preferring to remain amongst the goyim, assimilation is rising and rising at an unstoppable rate, a hundred thousand Jews per year! The Birthright program is noble indeed, but you cheapen the Land of Israel when you bill it as a 10-day tour. The real birthright of these kids is to live in Israel, not merely to visit. Visiting Israel won’t prevent interfaith marriages. Living here will!

All of the directors and presidents of the Jewish organizations and federations and committees and leagues and unions who didn’t and still don’t call upon their members to pack up and go, they all should be replaced with braver souls. With the scourge of intermarriage decimating our ranks, all of the rabbis who didn’t and still don’t urge their congregations to go en mass to Israel should read through the Torah once again. True, for mature people who are long settled in their ways, the challenge of aliyah is not easy, but any Jewish parent who doesn’t exhort his children to leave the galut and build his or her future in Israel betrays his true duty as a Jewish parent. Every Jewish leader in the Diaspora who doesn’t pour all of his energies into rallying his constituents to make aliyah fails as a Jewish leader. BECAUSE THE WHOLE GOAL OF THE DIASPORA WAS TO SURVIVE THE EXILE AND PREPARE THE JEWS FOR THE DAY WHEN WE COULD RETURN HOME TO ISRAEL – and that became possible on a mass scale 64 years ago with the establishment of Medinat Yisrael!

Living a life of Torah in Israel is the goal of the Torah, of our Prophets, and the goal of our prayers. The Diaspora isn’t meant to last forever. The curse isn’t supposed to be extended and embraced. We are meant to come home.

But when the opportunity arose, something went wrong, went wrong, went wrong, went wrong, went wrong, went wron, went wro, went wr, went w, went, wen, we, w……….

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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