Q & A Board - View Post
Author:  Chavi
E-mail:  ny@tehilla.com
Date:  9/25/2003 2:31:00 PM
Subject:  Israel & Aliyah
Message:  I have to say that I was rather taken aback by the post about Israel. You replied that many Frum Yiddin do not make Aliyah because 1) Parnassah is difficult
2)Children of those who make Aliyah are messed up with the schools 3)the government and the society is anti-religious.

I would like to comment on each point.
1) Parnassah is difficult:
yes, the economy in Israel today is not very good, but just like the US economy, Israel is suffereing from a global recession and experiencing slower economic growth as a result. However, it is simply a mistake to generalize accross the board that no-one can find parnassa in Israel. Even with the lousy economy, there are Americans who are interested in Aliyah who find jobs with the right contacts. Just like here in the US, someone with more education and experience will be more employable, the same is true in Israel. Obviously, knowledge of hebrew can only help in this process.

Also, many frum yidden today in the US are unemployed and cannot find work.   With the burden of yeshiva tuition and high health insurance costs, it is very expensive to be unemployed in America. Comparitaively, a person who is unemployed in Israel can live (on the same standard of living) and be much better off and experience less debt. The School tuition for Yeshivas is much less and health insurance is very inexpensive in Israel.

So for the right people, for the right reasons (and no, people who make Aliyah today are not, for the most part, running away from reality in America, but doing so for admirable reasons), and with proper preparation, you CAN make a succesful Aliyah to Israel.

2) Children of those who make Aliyah are messed up with the schools :

This is completeley misleading and false. Again, you made a generalization that is unfair. Yes, people who make Aliyah with OLDER children will have a much harder social & Educational adjustment than those with little kids. However, if your children are prepared properly for Aliyah and you know what to expect from your school and Israel in general, the transition will be much smoother.

Yes, the schools in Israel are very different from those here in the US. There are cultural and social differences that make finding a suitable school a complex process, but certainly not the insurmountable obstacle you make it seem. Many religious americans who have made Aliyah have made a transition to Eretz Yisrael quite succesfully. There are even organization that specialize in helping frum jews find appropriate schools for their children in Israel.

3)the government and the society is anti-religious:

Yes, it is true that currently, the religious population in Israel is smaller than the secular one. However, by making statements like this, you offer no solution to the problem. If more Frun Yidden make the commitment to Aliyah or at least investigate the posibility for their families, little by little, a difference can be made. As more American religious Jews come to live in Israel, and let their voices and opinion be heard, they will be able to make a difference. Already today we can observe the significant impact of Americans who have made Aliyah over the years on Israeli society. Years ago, the concept of a shul, like we know it here in America, was foreign to Israel. In Eretz Yisrael, a shul was simply a place to daven, and that's it. Nowadays. in many communities that have been influenced by an american presence, you can see the differenc. Now, shuls are also places of learning Torah and community activities- places where chesed takes place on a daily basis and new people can feel welcomed to a community. This is merely an small example of the beautiful legacy that American Aliyah has brought to Israel.

I invite you all to come an make your impact on Eretz Yisrael. Whether it's coming for a visit, or coming to live, Americans Jews can continuously make an impact in Israel. Even if you are not Aliyah minded, it certainly is important to give emotional support to those friends and family who are considering Aliyah, and not discourage them in their journey.

I welcome your reply and your comments.

Chasiva V'Chasima Tova.

Reply:  1) I agree 100%. I did not say all should not go. I was responding to someone who felt that all those not making Aliyah are bad. I said that there are good reasons not to. Of course, each person must assess his/her situation and make the proper decision. If I had the opportunity, I'd be there in a heartbeat. My father was lucky enough to make Aliyah 10 years ago.
2) Unfortunately, it is a lot rougher to go to school there & many Olim don't prepare themselves for this battle. People forget that real life in Israel is not the same as going to the Plaza Hotel for Succot. When I was looking to possibly move to Israel, I researched & visited schools & I found the right ones for my children.
3) Again, I was responding to someone who felt at home with his non-religious brethren. To me it is no difference if the people around are Non-religious or Non-Jewish. They eat the same pig and they drive on the same streets on Shabbat. I was just responding to this person and all those people who are mislead to believe that being with Jews has some major benefits, even if totally not religious, and especially now with all the anti-religious. This is not the case. If anything, our children will not learn from non-Jews as fast as they'll learn from their brethren. I am all for moving to Israel, if it is a well thought out move with all the angles covered. If you'll look at the Sefer Tzaidah LaDerech, it discusses this at length. In his generation before cars & planes, a few families agreed to pick themselves & their families up & go to move to Israel. The community tried to stop them. They felt that the children will not survive the long arduous journey. The Rav said that it is nonsense, the children travel better than adults. He said that going to Israel was an excellent idea, & if they can go, Kol Hakavod! This he elaborated on for pages. Then he ended with a page that explained that , "however if they will not have a proper source of income there, then they must not go, because their lives will deteriorate, they won't learn Torah, & the children won't remain religious.
I know too many cases like that. People must seek advice from a qualified Rabbi before making such a move, or any move.
Have a good year!

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