Let it be said strong and clear: There are thousands of dedicated Torah Jews who live in America who desperately long to move to E”Y but do not have the capacity as a result of their financial, family, and/or physical health situations. For folks living in E”Y to besmirch “Jews” in America as people who “can’t leave the gashmiut” is unjust. Where I live, nobody is living the life of gashmiut – the weather is harsh and cold, we have no kosher restaurants, over 80% of the community subsists on lower-class to lower-middle-class incomes – and they work hard for the money.
In this regard in fact, last year I visited the tzaddik R. Chaim Kanievsky to ask whether I should move to E’Y. His first question was, “Do you have parnassa?”. I replied, “What if I come with a sizeable chunk of money.” He replied, “Then you spend it and go back.” R. Kanievsky probably has seen more “data points” in this area – should I come or should I go – than any other Rabbi in the world. He’s seen the devastation poverty and loneliness can wreak on families. He’s advised to stay, and he’s advised to go – nobody can judge any other person’s particular sitation, and certainly no one can question the actions of a Torah Jew who abides by responses to questions asked to a Gadol and Tzadik like R. Chaim.
Literally dozens of Aliyah blogs talk about the very real hardship of making a parnassah in E”Y if one does not speak the language. Many olim are unemployed or severely underemployed. Never mind the issues of family, cultural, social, and religious integration, and the added pressures on these critical areas that come with financial problems.
The parnassa and high cost of living situation is real. It cannot be simply dismissed by – “just have faith and HaShem will help”, “be a brave immigrant like your great grandparents were”. We are not supposed to walk under leaning walls. Can a person really provide for a family of 4 or more kids making 25-50 shekels an hour in E”Y? Because that’s what’s facing the typical 40-something Anglo frum Jew with a family.
The Torah states clearly that in the fight against Edom, we are to split into two camps. Despite what folks want to believe, there is no source declaring the inyan of “two camps” has been nullified. We are still in galut, and for anybody to point fingers and claim that “I am physically safer than Plony” is, quite frankly, laced with dangerous conceit – a person should really think carefully before “prosecuting” Jews in America with an insensitive and too broad brush.
A person could dismiss the Gedolim as “blinded”, just as many Gedolim in Europe failed to see the holocaust coming. Perhaps, too, here, the Gedolim don’t see a holocaust in American coming and are blind – but, for sure, they see a real threat of one, G-d forbid, to Jews in E”Y if Jews worldwide don’t do tshuva.
While it may be true that Jews who live in America are doomed, G-d forbid, it only may be true.
Truth be told, the choice is ultimately, “Where do I want to give my life for the sanctification of HaShem’s name?” Because, if, G-d forbid, the Jews do not do tshuva and war comes, nobody can be so confident they will live and not die, wherever they reside.
I plead to the Moshiach Blogosphere and Torah Jews everywhere:
Confidence in miraculous salvation must be tempered by humility and compassion for other Jews. This doesn’t mean we should ever stop urging folks to make Aliyah, nor that Torah Jews in America should not constantly strive to make Aliyah and encourage their children to do the same. But rather it means that we must check ourselves to make sure when we make that call, its coming from a good place and is not tinged by a perverse “I told you so” hope that are “right” and that gentiles will ultimately slaughter millions of good Diaspora Jews who “failed” to move to E’Y.
We in America suffer when you suffer. It is true.