Thursday, August 18, 2005

This sad feeling

I have had this really melancholy feeling for the past few days. Looking at pictures, reading the news, watching images on TV of jews removing jews from their home. And then another nut goes ahead and shoots a fe more Palestinians. Tasteless holocaust imagery and trying some good old fashioned guilt on soldiers who are trying to do their civic duty.

It is horrible to witness and I wonder what we could have done so that we would not be in this position.

I try to imagine the euphoria of 1967. It is before my time, and I can't begin to imagine the pride Jews around the world felt when Israel showed the world that no one was going to push them around.

I don't pretend that this pervasive sadness is the opposite of that euphoric moment. not for me, anyway. Maybe for the people who live their, who have fought their, who defended it and for those whose loved one's gave their lives for the land they are now giving back.

I try to imagine that this is a positive step. Cutting off the arm to save the patient, but I hate that the patient needed to lose an arm. 8,000 people lived their. What if their were more who had been willing to live there? What if, instead of sitting comfortably in America, our community had followed up the feelings of thrill of 1967, and moved to Israel? Gaza would be as vibrant as the west bank. It would be impossible to give step back, and wash our hands of it.

Is it fair to say that giving back gaza is a direct result of American apathy toward Aliyah? That if only ten percent of the American religious community had moved to Israel, Israel would be a vastly different place?

All i kow is that when I watch or read about the goings on in Gaza, I feel a tremendous sadness. Like we have let down Israel. And now, Israel is letting us down as well.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

their??????
there!!!!!
where is veev when you need her??

why just the orthodox of america? what of the rest of jewry? please, dont be so parochial.
and how has israel let you down?

and of course jews have let down israel -- as a rule, they only come when they have nowhere to go, or (as the prez of the ou said) they are losers of some sort.
and then there are a few idealists.

but it sure is sad. why read about it? you know its happening, and no reason to immiserate yourself.

August 18, 2005 5:01 AM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Eventhough, I disagree with the method in which anon used to get his point across, I agree with him to a degree. You're watching from the States, right? You're probable only seeing the less than half a percent of any sort of violence going on. We've gotten to see a lot more of the heart wrenching stuff. I don't think Israel is letting anyone down. One point: No other place or people would ever do this. While taking people out of shuls this morning, soldiers and police were yelling at eachother and making sure that no-one's tefillin fell off.
I think Jews in America, in particular, have the mentality of what anon was saying. Who believes that a person would actually come here b/c they WANT to, not because they have to? That's sad. I believe that you're right. If more Jews had come post-1967, this country wouldn't be giving up one centimeter of land today. Demographics do play an important part in this task.
But, I think there's still time to change that, and the time is now.
-OC

August 18, 2005 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey oc -- whats wrong with my method?

in general, the religious zionists blew it. they were so excited about owning the land that that was all they were concerned with. there was relatively little effort expended in futhering and strengthening israels jewish character, for example. a lot of the religious stuff there was left wide open, and the chareidim filled in. that is one reason that israel has the chief rabbis it does today, for example.

so oc.
what do you recommend we do to avoid such a thing again (assuming it is not called for)?

August 18, 2005 7:51 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

I think that by contracting itself, by forcing Israeli soldiers to evacuate jews from their homes, they are letting us down, especially when taken in context of what I wrote.

I lay blame on orthodox jewry, not other denominations, because as a general rule, we are the ones who claim to have a relationship and connection to god, and to give a damn about what god wants. There may be conservative and reform jews who feel the same connection to god, but most non-orthodox jews that I know attend shul two days a year if they are not too busy, and I don't think we can hold them up to the same level of responsibility toward Israel.

Why read about it? This is one of the most important stories impacting Jews today. To not read about would be foolish and ostrichesque.

And please don't lay the burden of this on American Religious Zionists, who have not done a great job of encouraging Aliyah over the past thirty years. From nursery through four eyars of post-high-school yeshiva, I never once heard a Rosh Yeshiva stand up and talk about the value of living in Israel. I never heard a rebbi talk about it either. Think about it. They have the ear of American Yeshiva youth, and the only thing they say about Israel is that we don't celebrate Yom Haatzmaut, if they say anything at all.

Yes, they will tell you that there is no torah learning like that which goes on in Israel, but even Yeshivas in Israel do nothing to try to show their students the benefits or possibilities of living in Israel.

The blame for the lack of Aliyah over the past few decades can be placed in a number of directions, but right wing yershiva orthodoxy certainly has a large share of the blame.

August 18, 2005 9:15 AM  
Blogger Krunk said...

Don't worry.This isn't over.Im flying over there,and I'm going to kick every camel-humping arab's ass harder than we did in '67.

August 18, 2005 10:54 AM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Well, air, this isn't the first time this is happened. Rewind back to 1982, after giving back the Sinai. It almost completely mirrored what happened today in Kfar Darom. I still don't believe the soldiers let us down. I believe the gov.s of the past let us down.
-OC
P.S. How do I recommend this from not happening again? I have some thoughts, but they're not for here.

August 18, 2005 2:08 PM  
Blogger Jack's Shack said...

It is not a happy time.

August 18, 2005 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

air,
give us conservative or reform jews a break. we also care about people and what god wants. just not in the same way as orthodox do. shul has little to do with it.

if you know the dis is happening, then it cannot be ostrichesque.

and rz can talk a great game, but they got nothin.
the right wingers, while never talking about the state of israel, have a very strong aliya representation. in fact, if you were to run numbers, i would guess that more rw make aliya than rz. cant know for sure, but there are a lot of american rw in israel, and my guess is that without talking about it they once again outstrip the rz/mo.
and very often they send their kids to israel for longer periods of time.

so once again, the rw methodology, while crude, proves effective.

August 24, 2005 6:00 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Anon -
In my post I did say American Religious community, which does not necessarily exclude conservative or reform jews, although, I was talking about the Orthodox community.

I try to say this without sounding judgmental toward reform and conservative jewry, although it may not come across that way. I hold the orthodox community to a higher standard here. Conservative and Reform jews, through their movement's rejection of Kashrut, Shabbat, Taharat Mishpacha, and other basic tenets of Judaism, have shown that they do not accept the torah as the orthodox do. Since they have rejected so much of the Torah, I don't hold them to the same standard when it comes to living in Israel. Why should they bother living in Israel, when they have a wonderful, comfortable life in America.

My point for this post is that if there were enough American jews who got up in 67 and moved to Israel, there would be no disengagement. We would be talking about moving 100,000 jews instead of 8,000.

I don't know if you are right or wrong about religious zionists vs right wing aliyah numbers, but suppose you are correct. That without trying or saying anything, they have managed to lead in the Aliyah department. Imagine if the right wing actually gave a damn, and encouraged people to make Aliyah. That would make quite an impact.

August 24, 2005 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! » » »

April 25, 2007 6:42 AM  

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