Israeli news during the past week has been upsetting (at least to me). Wimpy officials gave in to the terrorists’ hunger strike, civilians attacked at Rachel’s Tomb, and more rocket and rock-throwing attacks as Arabs “celebrate” their Nakba day.
What other country in the world would continue to allow their citizens to be subjected to terrorism at all? What is wrong with this country? I’ll tell you… Continue reading
Whether you’ve been on-the-fence about making Aliyah, have already moved to Israel or are completely ignorant of what Israel is all about, I highly recommend this informative and inspiring film – Israel Inside – that makes me proud to call myself an Israeli.
The film is hosted by Dr. Tal Ben Shahar, who gave up the unique distinction of being Harvard University’s most popular lecturer to return to his native country, Israel. In the film, Ben Shahar explores the core character strengths – called “actualizers” – that enable Israelis to succeed against incredible odds. Through Tal’s eyes we explore the deep-seated values such as education, family, and responsibility for the world (a Jewish concept known as “tikkun olam”), which directly contribute to Israel’s accomplishments in the economic, technological and humanitarian spheres. And while none of these actualizers are in and of themselves unique to Israel, in combination they are bringing about unparalleled progress and achievement. Continue reading
Earlier this week I watched a brief AISH video by Lori Palatnik about the song we sing at the end of the seder – Le Shana Haba b’Yerushalayim (Next Year in Jerusalem). In this message, Lori asks how many people really mean those words. I found this surprising since she doesn’t live in Israel and this is a question most often used when challenging Jews to come home.
Many of the comments on the AISH page under the video are sad and surprising. I wonder how some people can be so blind to the dangers and negativity in their own surroundings; they look at their galut through rose colored glasses while viewing Israel (the unknown!) through the lens of the worst media propaganda available to them. Some have even visited Israel and had negative experiences during a vacation that has solidified their resolve to never live here! Imagine making a life-changing decision based on a few unpleasant experiences because you weren’t open to exploring and appreciating a different culture (or traveling to the communities in Israel that are densely populated by Americans) while on vacation! I wonder how many of their ancestors ran away from the US because their early experiences left a bad taste in their mouths (very few, I’m sure).
And then at the other extreme, there’s the convert who said “I am a convert. A year after I said these words the first time, I was in Jerusalem (without all the helps and money a jew can get for his aliya). It’s true: Whoever really means it can make it.” Why is it that a convert “gets it”, but someone who has spent their entire life immersed in Torah life and culture doesn’t? Continue reading