Sunday, April 21, 2013

'The Aliyah Manifesto': Introduction to Introduction

Starting Yom HaAtzmaut time, I am happy to share the introduction to ‘The Aliyah Manifesto: Living the Dream…Volume 1’
The work has been in progress for a while and you will be receiving a new excerpt each week
Some of the stuff may not make sense to you. Cross that out of the book. It will make the book more enjoyable to you. Feel free to do your own edits. If something is repeated, look at it as review. If that bothers you, cross it out too. That will also make the book shorter and easier to read.
This book is about making the Aliyah experience real. Humor deals with reality and humor involves exaggeration too. I trust the reader is smart enough to figure that out.
You may be offended, as all people who do not have strong moral beliefs are. If you are offended, even better.

I am an Oleh, of the Olim. The renegades of the USA. The traitors who betrayed the right to success. A generation of people who have decided to leave the good life, for the meaningful life. It is good for some Americans as well. However, we made Aliyah because of a necessity to be awake, to be aware, to be of the people who need life to hit them in the face. Life is not always easy for us, but we made that change. I am of the Olim who did not want to leave my family. I am of the Olim whose heart yearns for connection. I am Aliyah.
Nice strong ending to that statement. I know. It sounds beautifully self-righteous. That is how all Olim speak when we are asked about our Aliyah. Sometimes we even throw in a real spiritual, life changing story, about how there was almost death and we were saved, and then we saw G-d and we had to move to Israel because we got a raise. They are all inspirational stories. Not mine. There is nothing inspirational in this book. Even so, you might get inspired. Do not blame me for that.

There is a story (in the Magedei Meysharim of Rabbi Yosef Kairo) where a voice told Rabbi Kairo to leave his money behind and move to Israel. If you do such, there will be no Beit Midrash (house of Torah study) that will not use your book and know of you, discuss you (or so I think it goes- I was just in Tzfat and this is what I heard). What happens in Tzfat, stays in Tzfat, and I do not remember anything I learned there. Around 500 years ago, the rabbi whom is learned in every Beit Midrash as the basic source of Jewish Law, was living the same promise and reality that Olim live in this generation, today. The voice is saying ‘Move to Israel…’ And we moved to Israel and we are broke. We left our wealth behind, and our families talk about us in the house and discuss our mistake.
Olim are people who made Aliyah. Oleh is one of them. Aliyah means going up. Somebody did the action a long time ago and wanted it to sound spiritual. Leaving Israel is called Yeridah, which means going down, or the action of any Israeli of moving to another country to make money and enjoy your life. A Yoreid is also known as a person who loves Israel, but thought it was a better idea to sell Ahava products at a stand with wagon wheels in a mall. If there is one justifying factor in the Aliyah process, it is that you are going up. That is to say, duty calls. That might be vague to you, but If you do not live in Israel, you suck.
There is a concept of Aliyah LaRegel, going up to Israel for the holidays. Back in the day, people would come up to Jerusalem for holiday sacrifices and good falafel. Nowadays, people come for the Passover hotels, so that they do not have to clean their homes.
Do not worry, the funny will be coming. It just takes a lot of buildup. A whole long three introductions of buildup.

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