Algorithm – Should I Make Aliyah?

So you want to move to E”Y? The Kuzari teaches that people who have the ability to move to E”Y should move there. People who have the ability to go there must try.

This “Should I Make Aliyah Algorithm” can help you determine ability. It is based on King David’s words, “I am alone and poor.”

  • If you are alone, but have money, you can make it. Money answers everything, and you’re going to have lots of questions, especially if you’ve got a bunch of kids you need to educate and support in aliyah. And especially if you have weak Hebrew skills. Or if you have health issues or your US based family does (elderly parents, biz class tickets). Money will give you the runway and staying power to adjust and give your family the constant attention it will need to be successful and healthy. Its not pashut to make aliyah, b’clal not pashut.
  • If you are poor, but have really good family, you can make it. I mean a native or vatikin, Hebrew-fluent family that lives there and is willing to take you in and support your aliyah constantly and graciously, emotionally and materially. It has to be people who are not scrambling within their own aliyah, but solid, rooted people who know the Israeli system deeply and well. You must have a good and faithful navigator if you do not have money.

Without money or family, aliyah is very, very hard. And risky if you have any cracks in your core family relationships. If you have any marital stress or kids stress, you must remember that E’Y is pressurized. You will get stretched over there. Ideals and reals collide powerfully. You get stretched.

The land is only acquired through suffering.

And its a deep, uncertain galus everywhere. 


36 Responses to Algorithm – Should I Make Aliyah?

  1. Chava G. says:

    We had some money, a few family members who had been here a long time – and we found some more family right in our neighborhood! You never know, since Israel is the Jewish country (whether the erev ravniks like it or not) after all.

    I’m pretty sure I have relatives in Haifa, but I haven’t had time to go search for them. My grandmother was born and raised there “lifne hamandat.”

    • JJ says:

      The “Erev Rav” concept as is commonly used is a very new one (1300s). There are simply Jews who do evil. When we call them Erev Rav we create false divisions between the Jewish people that don’t exist (and that must consequently be undone).

      And if this whole category of “erev rav” really exists, NOBODY knows for sure who is one, so what’s the point?

      • Chava G. says:

        “There are simply Jews who do evil.”

        Yes, and there is a particular difference between them and the Erev Rav: The former might do whatever their evil thing is, like stealing, murder and so forth, without an extra dollop of hatred added in: They need the money, or the item and don’t have the money, or they had something against a particular individual, they were caught in a bad crowd, or whatever their excuse is.

        The latter direct their evil specifically towards the Jewish People, Judaism, G-d and the Jewish Land, and their hatred against these is enormous, yet they think they are good people, doing good. They enable the goyim to do even more evil against us than would have been possible otherwise. They might even be religious, but everything they teach tends to lower their students’ esteem for, and kesher with, haShem in one way or another.

        I tend to think of Thomas Friedman of the NYT as a good, modern example. George Soros is another. He’d rather have his worldwide peace and harmony without his fellow Jews. He doesn’t support any Jewish organizations unless they are anti-Israel (J Street for example). We even have them here in Israel. The leadership has many (fortunately, not all).

        You can find sources for this that say it better than I can.

        Does this make sense to you?

      • JJ says:

        Friedman, Soros, Jews who do bad (although Soros is hard to judge given his twisted and tragic experiences during the Holocaust).

        But don’t call them ER – it adds an unprovable metaphysical gloss to behavior which is reprehensible without calling them ER at all!

        Remember, ER, the way its understood today, is VERY NEW AGE JUDAISM. None of the core classical sources reference it this way.

      • Chava G. says:

        Also, I want to point out that the examples I mentioned are because of their behavior. They might not be Erev Rav, but they are at least heavily under the influence of ER thinking, philosophy, and so on. We are probably all descended from ERs because they intermarried among us, but that only means we must make sure our priorities are straight.

        Rav Kahane, zz”l, put it this way:

        “We waited so long for the miracle of return and, finally, when it occurred we were cheated. We were robbed of the sweetness and the deliciousness of its pleasure. The state for which we waited centuries became just as any other state, and the uniqueness of the Jew does not lie in a tank or jet – even if they are better than those of the gentiles. We waited for the return to the true lands of the Bible and now we have them – and no Jews can live there. Ebanism has taken a miracle and profaned it, taking it an ordinary thing. It has taken Eretz Yisroel, the unique and special land of the Jews and made it into any state, acting and reacting on the basis of realpolitik and power politics, making decisions on the basis of western secularism rather than on Judaism. This is what happens when Ebanism rules, when the waters that sprinkle the fields of policy making are drawn from the wells of Oxford and Cambridge rather than Jerusalem and Hebron.”

        I think “Ebanism” describes the ER mentality when it comes to Israel. You can find the rest of this article here.

        Sorry I took up so much space today!

      • JJ says:

        Keep ER out of your thinking. There are Jews who do good, and Jews who do bad.

        You live in E”Y – you see all of the baseless hatred being sown by one group calling another “ER” or “Amalek”.

        Stick to the facts – no need to characterize people you disagree with.

      • Chava G. says:

        “Remember, ER, the way its understood today, is VERY NEW AGE JUDAISM. None of the core classical sources reference it this way.”

        Are you saying it only applies to those original ERs in the midbar? and I’m not sure what New Age Judaism is. I know something about non-Jewish New Age – it’s a lot of avodah zarah.

        Many thanks for taking time to explain things to me. I’m sure I have missed some things along the way.

  2. dvorahrw says:

    your algorithim is very limiting, there are so many more factors than these two, you make it sound as if life depends upon the material, when it fact, we know that it does not, that HKBH makes all, provides for all and with emunah and the commitment to fulfil the mitzvah of living in the Land, HaShem will provide the “family”, the parnosa, the home, shalom bayit, chinuch for the kids and everything you need. It does not take lots of money to live here. I made aliyah with $500 in my pocket and that is it! Yes, it was just me, but still, even for one. How did I make it? On nissim, nissim abound here. This is the only place for yidden, in all the world, the factors that you list are illusion, lies, shecher, not a single one is a valid factor for consideration.

    • JJ says:

      Dvorah, perhaps my alogorithm is more suitable for families with young children. After all, that was my experience.

      Certainly, being single is much, much easier – it allows a “feather on the wind” approach. I’m curious – where did you sleep when you came over? Did you get a job or rely on the kindness of strangers?

      Before you critique these factors as “sheker”, I think you need to do a “compassion check” and start try to empathize what other people experience. The only sheker here is your statement that people get everything they need – just not true – I saw with my own eyes many broken homes and incredibly stressed out people. But then again, probably 80% of the stress is due to religious strife as it relates to hinuch and ancillary community.

      Bottom line – your “single” experience is not really what I’m talking about. Surely, for singles, “Go East Young Man (Woman).”

      • tiferetmoshiach says:

        Lashon Hara – Sins of the Spies – Do NOT Speak Derogatorily About Eretz Yisrael.

      • JJ says:

        The core sin of the spies was trying to kill Yoshua and Calev, who were innocent. Go open your Humash right now. See. . .WHEN Hashem appeared.

        I am not speaking loshon hara – I have counseled several people making Aliyah, and based on this advice have made very successful Aliyot – because their eyes were WIDE OPEN and they were PREPARED and UNDERSTOOD the challenges involved.

        I am not trying to persuade people not to go. My algorithm is just the truth as I see it. And many people have found it a very insightful, easy to apply analytic to help them decide whether, when, and how to prepare for, to move to E”Y.

    • Naomi says:

      I believe you 100 per cent, Devorah. This is the attitude we have and we dare not veer from it. We have to have faith that this is the right thing to do because Hashem is closing all the doors for us here. It’s as if he is narrowing the straits – the neighbor throws her leaves and sweeps her dirt into our yard. The car died, the job got eliminated. We lost our medical.The government opened four Syrian ‘refugee’ centers mere blocks from our shul. Crazy people are filling the neighborhood. Hashem is saying something and we better listen. Your post is such a comfort, thank you..

  3. Shimshon says:

    I made Aliyah once but I have moved to Israel many times.

    I think desire is perhaps even more essential. You have to really, REALLY want to live here. And some amount of determination. As you mention, the hurdles can be daunting.

    • JJ says:

      Desire is a given. The challenge is that many people don’t adequately check that desire with “reality”. The alogorithm is the reality check.

  4. Naomi says:

    I almost wish I hadn’t read this. My husband and I are older and the children are grown, They are gentiles as both of us had a kosher conversion with an Orthodox Beit Din. We don’t have a lot of money but we have a lot of desire. We have faith in Hashem because who else can we have faith in? We have no savings to speak of. We live under constant hashgacha pratis. He has tested us many times and the latest is my husband’s job got ‘eliminated.’ I have to say that your algorithm is posted at a bad time when so many are on the fence. They’ll see your algorithm and jump down when they see they don’t fit

    • JJ says:

      I am glad you DID read this. I can’t tell you how many wonderful, deeply spiritual, very idealistic friends I have that are gerim who tried to make aliya. They did not run their move through the algorithm, and were forced to go back to the States. This was extremely painful for them. A few families even STOPPED BEING RELIGIOUS.

      Aliyah is no joke. You must do your homework. If you think being broke in H”L is tough, try in E”Y.

      Without kids it may not be as hard, but being over 50 with no Hebrew skills and no $$ is also an incredibly hard row to hoe.

      Faith is not believing HaSHem will do you miracles. Faith is believing G-d is good, no matter what obstacles we face in life.

      • The only algorithm required is an open heart. This is a marriage. Nothing less. You have to acquire an open heart that is ready, willing and able to receive blessings, bounty – and love. In a marriage you sacrifice your ego for your beloved, you tend to be forgiving towards your betrothed, yourself and if you have a beef and lose your footing you take it up with your Creator. You have to pray with that open heart, pray for wisdom, pray for strength, pray for knowing how to forgive, pray for what you need to be sustained by. You have to be grateful with that open heart – for everything – and see with that open heart as well. See all the blessings disguised, because with that seeing reality becomes that blessing magnified. You cannot move into your inheritance until you are spiritually mature, until you are able to see Hashem’s Hand in everything that has transpired before Aliyah and after. You have to do teshuvah and cheshbon nefesh at every turn and consider this union to be holy. Respect your beloved, because you have no other. Claim her and live with her in peace. Create heaven on earth because of her, she has all of the ingredients, all of the elements, all of the factors and all algorithms to make you whole. You, Torah, Israel, Hashem are one.

      • JJ says:

        Sounds great, but it doesn’t pay the bills. Make sure you know what you’re in for, especially if you have kids.

        BTW, the saying, “Hashem, Torah, and Israel are one”, while brought down in many seforim in the name of the Zohar, does not actually exist in the Zohar. Challenge any Rabbi to find it. . . they won’t.

        We are created entities – we are not HaShem.

  5. londonmale says:

    I made Aliyah, then left.
    I simply could not find a job.
    One must have relevant employment skills to the Israeli job market.
    Remember it takes up to three years to have workable Hebrew language skills, up to six to have a professional level of Hebrew.
    My best advice to is save as much money as you can, and to train in a career in your Galut country first, so that you can go to Israel and be employed, rather than a company having a need to train you in Israel, which is unlikely to happen.

    • JJ says:

      Smart advice.

      • And it is a zchut to clean toilets in the Holy Land if and when needed. Very good for the nefesh. Many a teacher and engineer, highly educated got down on their knees and swept the streets of Jerusalem for a living. It all depends what your priorities in life are. And need one be reminded that all of the Mitzvot together are compared to embracing your inheritance by Living on the Land Promised to You.

        Not Mitzraim.

      • JJ says:

        For 40 shek an hour? Good luck paying the bills if you have kids and want to provide them any decent quality of life.

        If you have family, maybe. But if you’re doing it alone, you could end up making unintended sacrifices.

  6. Naomi says:

    Do you not post views that disagree with yours

  7. Leah says:

    To all of you who are reading this, especially Naomi, my family just made aliyah 2 years ago and I know others who have made aliyah. I also know many wonderful geirim here (who were told not to go…) and we are baalei teshuva. Please, please, please, practical plans are fine to make, but please realize that you are not immigrating or moving to a different country., You are coming home back to your Abba’s house and He has been waiting for you for a long time. He has tried with your parents, with your grandparents, and now HE will hopefully succeed with you!

    There is nothing practical about this… All the tests here are geared to each individual to help him realize that there is NOTHING but HKBH. He will provide for you. Don’t ask how, but you will get what you need. Yes, we become smaller here… our gaiva, materialism it all fades away. Don’t you see it has to… Yes we get stressed and stretched but that is what life is all about… GROWING! The meaning of life is Not a comfortable house, etc etc. and you know what?? our apartment here is older and smaller BUT we are so comfortable, and at home! What do you need to be happy? if it is to be close to Hshem, then come to E’Y. Period. Don’t listen to anyone’s negative talk or ask anyone’s opinion. Make practical arrangements, and your normal hishtadlut… and Lech Lecha.
    Shabbat Shalom from Yerushalaim,


    • JJ says:

      Leah, thanks for your comment. Do you have family there? Children under 18? How do you pay your bills? If you are going to start giving advice based on your experience, you need to be sure people understand where you’re coming from.

      • Leah says:

        I have no extended family in Israel but all in America, children under 7, I work online and pay the bills, my husband learns in kollel. There are many different situation and variations. What is the difference? I am coming from the position of emunah. We have Hshem here and He knows what we need and don’t need.

  8. Leah says:

    and we have to trust Him!

    • Leah says:

      Shavua Tov!
      Naomi, lean on Hshem and He will help you with your aliyah and provide you with all the ideas/opportunities that you could never imagine in a million years. If there is anything you need to ask/discuss, let me know and we’ll connect somehow. I am excited for you!!
      The most fearful enemy today… yes, it is true, and that for many is the hardest nisayon, I think… because they are within… Don’t let anyone cool you off… stay strong. I hardly told anyone we were leaving until it was ALL set. Then I got many funny responses… from people I least expected, excitement… and “you are doing what I should be doing…” and from people that seemed… xyz and I expected understanding, chizuk… at least, I got the opposite… “you know there are people there who can’t feed their family there… etc. etc..” Yes, of course, there are people everywhere who can’t make ends meet for many different reasons. One of them could be that they don’t work for example or can’t work… ok, It can be… but is that a reason to assume that you will not be able to survive. I know pensioners who have come here on a wing and a prayer, and they are doing just fine… E’Y has everything you need on a material level and physical level… but loshon hora about every aspect of life here is rampant… The most important thing to remember is this. You can’t really be half and half here. Frum … with one leg in materialism. It doesn’t work here… for real jews. Hshem wants more from us and what is possibly acceptable (if i can say it like that) in chu’l, is not in E’Y

  9. And what do you think? That you will have the luxury to debate this as the days unfold? Think again. Right now you have this luxury to decide – should I – or should I not. Know that this decision will soon be made for you – and you will be lucky to get out alive – let alone with your prized possessions on your back. When they close the air space and waterways you will be trapped with no where to go, Muslims at your left and KKK nazis at your right. What will you do then? Cry that your Land is beyond your reach? Where will you go? How will you then get there? Wake up. Your G-d is telling you – there is no more debate time – the time is now to make your Aliyah. Hashem will take care of the rest. Just go. As in Exodus – so it is again.

    • JJ says:

      Sweetheart, I tried my best. I made aliyah and acquired the land through much family suffering.

      I was shown clearly from Heaven that I am supposed to live in America now. How I was shown was personal, and known to my closest friends and family. But, believe me, you’d be convinced.

  10. This was an excellent summation of advice for aliyah. People just don’t want to face the practical facts because doing so seems anti-spiritual or anti-emunah somehow. But what about faith in the wisdom of the Torah that clearly says that one should not rely on a miracle? And that it is forbidden to do so? Or what about the prohibition from Hazal to actively rely on public charity or the largesse of others? It’s wrong. We all need help at times, yes; and we all experience personal miracles at times; yes, but to put yourself in a place where you are forced to rely on public assistance – it is against the Torah. And to call it “nissim” is naive – it is the rahamim of the community whose hands are forced not to let your children starve or your family to go without basic needs. That’s not a miracle, that is imposing on the generosity of others – and it is forbidden when done on purpose. I challenge anyone to look it up, you’ll see that it’s true.

    I left before I became trapped by debt. I was actually advised (by rabbis!) to max out my kartis ashrai and live tens of thousands of shekels in minus. To do this knowingly is destructive and against the Torah. I also knew a family who followed this advice and when their debt became too much, their passports were seized and they could not leave the country. This sounds like a dream come true for you faith-niks out there, but for them it was a nightmare. Their daughter needed medical treatment that was unavailable in Israel and they could not give it to her because they were stuck in EY woth no money. And the rabbis that gave them the poor advice? Where were they? They were nowhere to be found – they could not and would not help.

    Aliyah is extremely special and important, but it is not to be done lightly or with pollyannish notions of “emunah.” It takes money, language skills, and a family support system to make it properly. EY does not need another leech or another burden on it’s resources. So, I urge you to listen to JJ’s advice in this post and do things right. For your sake, for your children’s, and for the sake of your future.

    One thing I was shocked by though, habibi, was your final statement “And its a deep, uncertain galus everywhere.” We are certainly not “there yet,” but being in the land is not “galus.”

    Keep up the good work, my friend.

    Shavua tov and Kol tuv,


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