Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fellow Olim: Continue to Dream. Only Otzma Le'Yisrael Share Our Dream

Fellow Olim: Continue to Dream
When my wife and I made aliyah from NYC a year ago, we left behind family (including a toddler grandson) and old friends (some of more than 50 years), good jobs and professional standing, a life that many would consider "the American dream." We came anyway, believing in another dream: the mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael.

We came without jobs, with few connections (our son who made aliyah two years before and a handful of friends scattered throughout the land). The adjustment to a new culture and language, to new attitudes and bureaucracy was challenging. Yet we were comforted meeting olim (in ulpan and elsewhere) who had arrived from all over the world, who were tackling the same challenges with the same level of faith. We came because Eretz Yisrael is a Jew's home--our only home, our hope and our salvation. We didn't wait to be kicked out of the countries of our birth either--we came willingly, giving up the comforts and the familiar.

And yet, in the year we've been here, to my disbelief, Israel has been discarding parts of our homeland as if it were a burden rather than a gift from Hashem to us: bulldozing Jewish homes in Yehudah and Shomron; shutting down Jewish"settlements"; promising to give away the heart of the Jewish homeland to appease foreign opinion; making large areas of Israel off limits to Jews, including entire neighborhoods in Jerusalem; allowing thousands of illegal homes to be built on our land by those who "wage peace" against us.

Following the news this past year, we have become sickened by the daily abuse from our enemies and false friends--worse, the daily gut-punches from our Jewish leaders and media. We didn't give up everything to come here to give up everything again. The dream mustn't die.

The upcoming election presents an opportunity. There is only one party that won't relinquish an inch of our ancient homeland, won't turn its back on Jews who attempt to preserve the land and build it up. Only Otzma L'Yisrael (the Power to Israel Party of Aryeh Eldad and Michael Ben-Ari) shares the dream that drew us here and why others continue to come--including my daughter, her husband and our grandson, B'H, before Pesach this year--from America and Canada, from Australia and Argentina, from France and Russia, from Ethiopia and India. Jews everywhere have recognized that it's time to return home, that Eretz Yisrael has called us back to her.

There is no dream, no Jewish homeland, if Jews don't believe it and continue to give it away.

Shlomo Yashar


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