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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why Not Move to Africa? Why Israel?

As Chaim Weitzman replied to the Peel Commission, when asked why the Jews didn't simply accept land in Africa, which would be so much less fraught for the British to arrange - his answer was, "Sir, that would be like asking you why you drove 50 kilometers to see your mother last week when there are so many lovely old ladies on your street." The future of Jewish life around the world is dependent on a strong and dynamic Israel...from Rabbi Marvin Hier in his L'Shana Tova greeting today.

I can attest to this. When I moved to Israel in 1980, I studied and passed the Hebrew test which I thought was an impossibility after studying Hebrew earnestly for only 10 months.

We then moved to Safed where I wound up writing many plays. I helped to produce them as well as act in them in a theater that the city gave to us. I had gifts that I never knew about. There in that special air I was able to accomplish what I set out to do like at no other time. That feeling of "Yes, I can" has stayed with me. Here I am writing two blogs about Israel.

What floors me is the technology and inventions that continue to come out of Israelis living under very tense times in Israel. They're being threatened from Lebanon in the north, Gaza in the west, even the Judea/Samaria area on the east as well as very seriously from Iran further east and yet they continue to create. I think it's the power we get while living there that I experienced. We've been tested so much, and G-d has always played the important role in our lives and this belief has brought us back. That in itself is a miracle as no other ancient group of people have lasted for so long a time.

That experience with Moses receiving the 10 commandments must have been one traumatic event for all. We've been praying that we not forget Jerusalem for 2,000 years, and we never did. Though we've lived throughout the world, we wanted to go back home to Israel.  Let's not forget that G-d told us that this piece of land was to be our home.  He had his reasons.  We obeyed.  It was our land from 1271 BCE to 70 CE-that's 1,341 years.  The USA has only been in possible American hands in a sense since 1620 with the Pilgrims of the ship, Mayflower or a little sooner than that when the south received immigrants.  It was a country from 1776-which is 239 years of being the USA, starting off with only 13 colonies.  Israel started off with 12 colonies, the 12 tribes of Israel.

Here we are once again. As tiring as others may feel about it, we're aiming to stay. We've played musical chairs enough already.

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