What Happened to Aliyah?

As members of the OU in Israel, we await Jewish Action with anticipation. Unfortunately, Dr. Simcha Katz’s article “Supporting the Jewish Homeland” (summer 2012) left us sorely disappointed.

Dr. Katz asks what American Jews can do to “strengthen and support our homeland.” His answer is to prepare like Yaakov Avinu before his meeting with Eisav with prayer, gifts and a “modern form” of battle—that is, policy engagement, and specifically partnership with AIPAC. This is all well and good, but is it really the answer to Dr. Katz’s question?

Something momentous has happened in our time. The focal point of Torah, Jewish history and the Jewish future has moved to the Holy Land. As we contemplate the vast ingathering of Jews to Israel, and as we watch the rise of anti-Semitism across the globe, does anyone really believe that the Jewish future resides in the United States?

Maybe the time has come to seriously focus on aliyah, and to educate the next generation to come home, not for a year of yeshivah or seminary, but for life. Perhaps now that it is possible to do so, the “support” God expects from us is to simply return home.

Yaffa Ganz
Jerusalem, Israel

I just finished reading Dr. Katz’s editorial regarding what American Jews can do to support Israel. I was shocked to read his suggestion: Jews should become members of AIPAC.

Dr. Katz refers to Israel as “our homeland.” Why not suggest, then, that the best way to support her is by making aliyah? I fully support AIPAC and its magnificent work. However, by not addressing the subject of aliyah, Dr. Katz omits the best way to support our homeland. I invite Dr. Katz and Jewish Action readers to join us and come home!

Rabbi Ze’ev M. Shandalov
Ma’ale Adumim, Israel

This article was featured in the Fall 2012 issue of Jewish Action.
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