The Call of the Aliyah
Disclaimer: I am not a Jew. I put this out there because some people will be offended that I, from my admittedly restricted point of view — dare to comment on this topic, something deeply personal and private to Jewish families the world over.
Other than the Bible, not a lot about this is in print outside the Jewish press. But I have a lot of Jewish friends — and a few of them anyway — are interested in my opinion.
Being Jewish is more than a religion; it’s a cultural, genetic, and spiritual experience that contains within it — buried like a seed that can grow even after generations have passed — “The call of the Aliyah”.
Jews from around the world, in ever-increasing numbers, are returning to Israel; and this migratory trend of the “tribes” back home, has been constantly increasing since 1948.
This situation has created an interesting bifurcation inside the complex world of Jewish family hierarchy, and eventually — family destiny.
You see, the Greater Jewish Family, centered in Paris, (and cities elsewhere) with it’s own support network there, homes there, businesses there, schools and synagogues there — undergoes a CRISIS when thousands of their close knit family members, school mates, customers and worshippers — decide to leave.
This AFP piece is what I’m talking about: PARIS (AFP) – Another 5,000 French Jews emigrated to Israel last year, figures showed Monday, continuing a trend that has seen tens of thousands quit the country after a series of attacks targeting the community.The Jewish Agency of Israel issued the update as France marked two years since attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices and on a Jewish supermarket in Paris, where four shoppers were shot dead.
Daniel Benhaim, who heads the Israeli-backed group in France, said that insecurity had been a “catalyst” for many Jews who were already thinking of leaving.
The 5,000 departures in 2016 add to the record 7,900 who left in 2015 and 7,231 in 2014. In total, 40,000 French Jews have emigrated since 2006, according to figures seen by AFP.
“The aliyah (the act of moving to Israel) of French Jews has been significant over the last decade,” Benhaim told AFP.
The priorities of a family located in a certain city, are naturally different, particularly over time, then the priorities of a different family in a different city or country — even if they share a religion and cultural roots.
Macro events and/or the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy are driving these migration events, in other words, as ISIL has spread, the values AND safety of Israel, even under missile attack, must look better and better to the Jewish diaspora worldwide. In the end, people vote with their feet — when all else fails.
But practically and spiritually it’s VERY tough for the Jewish families left behind as well as the ones fleeing their adopted homelands.
It used to be that Giving-it-a-go-in-Israel was an adventure, a rite of passage, for many young Jewish patriots.
Now, its staying behind — that is the adventure. These dwindling communities feel increasingly isolated and conspicuous — in their own cities, where they used to be comfortable, but which have become hostile macro environments.
This creates human anguish, even in America, where the decision to leave is generally not made by people running in fear of their lives, but is a more thought out – life-destiny kind of thing.
Either way, any event which splits families is a tragedy. As always, my heart and prayers go out to the French Jewish community, those that are staying, and those that are leaving.