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The talk of the day is anti-Semitism. Wherever you look in the Jewish media you will find stories about the volcanos of Anti-Semitism which have erupted around the world since October 7. But anti-Semitism isn’t the number-one enemy of the Jews. Assimilation continues to eat away at the Jewish People but no one speaks about it anymore. If you could find an honest survey the figure would be around 75%. In another 5 years, if the Diaspora lasts that long, the number will rise to 80%. The steady increase is inevitable. Why? Let me explain. 

Perhaps a simple metaphor will make matters clear. When you take an Alka-Seltzer tablet and drop it into a glass of water the tablet dissolves. In a very brief time the chunky white tablet fizzles away and vanishes. That’s what happens to the Jewish People when you put them in a foreign Gentile environment in a land not our own. They fizzle away and dissolve. They assimilate into the non-Jewish culture and society surrounding them. They marry out of the faith. Whether in Germany, France, England, or America, the Alka-Seltzer phenomenon takes place. It has been that way throughout Jewish history, wherever we wandered, either the Gentiles killed us or we simply decimated our numbers by removing our yarmulkes and joining ranks with the non-Jews around us. The mighty Jews who managed to survive the onslaught moved on to another exile in another foreign land, but once again, after two-hundred years of seeming acceptance and refuge, assimilation began to increase out of control and eventually the Gentiles reminded us that we didn’t belong in their homeland. Our Sages have taught that this ultimate rejection wherever we landed throughout our wandering is one of the ways that Hashem insures our survival. Had the Gentiles completely accepted us we would have been doomed, literally Alka-Seltzered out of existence. The Sages compare this to the dove of Noah’s ark. As long as the bird didn’t find refuge from the flood it returned to the ark. But once the floodwaters receded the bird flew the coop. Bye, bye birdy. So too with the Jews. If we had found everlasting refuge in some fairytale land we would have fizzled away into the melting pot of humanity.   


The Gaon of Vilna, Rabbi Eliahu ben Shlomo Zalman, also known as the Gra, was unsurpassed in Torah wisdom. One-hundred-and-sixty years before the establishment of Medinat Yisrael he sent his students to settle the Land of Israel – long before Herzl was born. He lived in the thriving Torah community of Vilna, where great yeshivot abounded, yet he wrote: 

“Since the Beit HaMikdash was destroyed, our spirit and our crown departed, and only we remained, the body without the soul. Exile to outside of the Land of Israel is a grave. Worms surround us there (gentile cultures), and we do not have the power to save ourselves from the idol worshippers who devour our flesh (via assimilation). In every place, there were great Jewish communities and yeshivot until the body decayed and the bones scattered, again and again. Yet, always, some bones still existed, the Torah Scholars of the Israelite Nation, the pillars of the body – until even these bones rotted, and there only remained a rancid waste which disintegrated into dust – our life turned into dust.” 

Today we can see how correct his vision was. Even the great Torah Scholars, the pillars of the Diaspora, are no more – Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the Rebbe of Chabad. The Gaon of Vilna was not talking about his time alone. He stated a fact of existence which has occurred over and over again. The minute you send little Moishe to an American college where you see non-Jewish beauties wherever you glance, that’s the end of Moishe. The Hillel organization can’t stop it. Chabad can’t stop it. Hanukah candles and jelly donuts simply can’t compete with laughter-filled, easy-going blonds.   

The Jewish People simply don’t belong in foreign lands. They belong in their own Jewish Homeland. That’s one of the reasons why G-d gave Israel to the Jews. We belong here. In the Holy Land, the air is Jewish, the mountains are Jewish, the language is the Jewish language, the calendar is the Jewish calendar, the army is Jewish, etc. etc. While there is some assimilation in Israel, it is a fraction of the amount found in the rest of the world, perhaps ten percent, and that is because of the disastrous immigration Law of Return which allows non-Jews to become citizens of the country. 

So what’s the solution to assimilation and to the tsunami of anti-Semitism around the world? Aliyah. Coming home to our own Jewish homeland. It’s either that or Alka-Seltzer. 

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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.