Only In Israel

Saturday, May 14, 2005

on Aliyah and Olim

I've been getting numerous requests to write about Olim and Aliyah (immigrants, and immigration to Israel to those of you not familiar with the term) in the military. But what really triggered me was this story, where a neo-nazi IDF soldier was discovered.
I think the best way to start this post is by quoting a conversation I had with a Canadian teenager I met in highschool during their Israel Birthright trip. We were talking about people making Aliyah and coming to Israel just when she said "I don't get it, what, you want ALL the jews to come live in Israel?". She seemed surprised when I said yes. "Don't you think we can help Israel more from abroad?" she continued. My answer was simple: "I think the best way to help Israel is for Jews worldwide to come here". This is probably the gap we, Israelis have with diaspora Jews.
I believe Jews from around the world belong here. Israel is the only place we can truly call home. I've travelled abroad quite a bit, but always after the first week or two, I had this need to come back to Israel. I guess I'm kinda like a junkie, I'm addicted to this country. And I'm already used to the laughs I get from bystanders when I kiss the ground in the airport, the moment I come home to Israel.
Yes, I want all the world's Jews to come to Israel, do you think it will ever happen? probably not, but it's steal an ideal to strive for.
I'm honestly impressed by the people who come to Israel, despite the hardships, and volunteer for the IDF. During my service, I've met 2 girls, from the states, volunteering in combat positions in the IDF. One was 24, the other 26. They've left their families abroad, their adult lives. One of them dropped out of an Ivy League college, just to come and do what they saw as right. That is in my opinion, true Zionism.
As for the cases reported in Ynetnews, there's really no doubt Israel's immigration policy is too light. For such cases to be avoided, a change must be made, but the truth is, most Russian immigrants here, are good people, connected to their Jewish roots. Sure, some of them eat non-kosher food, but how many Sabras like having Cheeseburgers at McDonalds too?
Israel is a country of immigrants, and even if on rare occasions there are glitches in our systems, it mostly works just fine, so come on, join the fun, Only in Israel.

3 Comments:

  • Shalom.
    I am a recent volunteer, I will be volunteering either in Mahal or doing the army when I make aliyah in 6 months...
    which do you think is a better idea?
    Or do you have any?

    Thanks
    -levy
    shalom2you@gmail.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:40 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Thanks for the post....as someone just beginning to ponder aliyah in the long-term, I always have doubts...can Jews really help Israel better by living abroad? And there are always the stories of olim being poorly treated...

    By Anonymous V. Ko, at 5:41 PM, May 19, 2005  

  • Thank you for a wonderful post. You summed up well what patriotism is all about. Wish last week's Memorial Day speeches here in the USA were half as good as yours.
    Note: About returning to your own country, I believe it was Sir Walter Scott who wrote:
    "Breaths there a man with soul so dead,
    who has not to himself has said,
    'This is my own, my native land'
    When returning from some distant shore!"
    So do not be embarassed about kissing the ground when you get back home to Israel. You remind us all of us, regardless of nationality, how lucky we are to have a country that we can call our own and believe worth defending even with our lives.

    By Anonymous David All, at 12:16 AM, June 07, 2005  

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