A response to my blog post….

Aliya bloggers on same page

Sun, 08/28/2011 – 16:00

choni blogpic.png

MyShtetl’s two Aliya bloggers are Choni Davidowitz and newish (immigrant) emigrant Rolene Marks. After the latest post by RoRo, Choni has posted a lengthy supportive post which he asked us to carry on the home page as well.


Firstly Rolene, A big Yasher Koach on fulfilling the great mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisrael.

The greatest Mitzvot are the most difficult to fulfill. May the rewards of your Aliyah also be great while your idea of an “information offensive” is highly commendable, I would suggest an entirely different approach. Israel does not need the approval of the world.

You yourself allude to the fact that nothing Israel does will satisfy the world (except giving the Arabs another state) Israel needs only for the Jews in exile to return Home.

For that to happen information about Israel should be concentrated on the complete Jewishness of living in Israel, and the futility of strengthening the exile.

You have now been living in Eretz Yisrael for a few months, and I’m sure you have been blown away (as I was) by its immeasurable holiness and value to the Jewish nation. Wherever one goes, be it museums, archeological sites, settlements, the tomb of our forefathers, Yad Vashem, or walking the streets of Jerusalem, the experience is 1000% Jewish.

Everything is Jewish here; the mountains, the stones of the buildings, the trees, the sky, the towns, the shopping centers, the police and F16 fighter pilots, the very air you breathe permeates everything with such profound holiness that even the things that you would not think of being holy or Jewish, like Madison Ave.-style billboards or Arab neighborhoods, are dwarfed in the transcendental Jewishness of the Land, and in no way blemish the towering holiness of Eretz Yisrael.

In contrast when speaking of life in exile, one can only experience the terrible feeling of gentileness. Their everything is the opposite of Jewishness. The streets are gentile, the faces are gentile, the mountains are gentile, the language is gentile, the signs are gentile, the culture is gentile, and the air is anything but holy. “Small” pockets of Judaism are dwarfed by the overpowering gentileness of a foreign land.

Rolene, having lived in exile for many years and now having made Aliyah, I would unabashedly ask your fellow brothers and sisters who choose to remain in exile: How can you live there?

Someone who is assimilated and estranged from his roots, I can understand that he doesn’t feel the emptiness and strangeness of living in an unholy foreign land.

But for a Jew who cares about being a Jew in his own land as part of a unified nation, I cannot understand how he can live in a foreign land. If he was born there, and doesn’t know anything else, then that is what he is used to – he thinks that is all there is.

But for a Jew who knows that Israel is the (only) Land for the Jewish people, I don’t know how he can tolerate living anywhere else. Why would anyone want to live in a gentile land amongst the gentiles when he or she can live in the Jewish Land?

Even for people who complain that much of Israeli society is secular, it is still the Holy Land. The holiness pervades everything, making it a million times holier and more Jewish than anywhere else in the world.


The truth is that not enough Jews feel things so deeply. Even in the days of the exodus, four-fifths of the Jews didn’t want to leave Egypt and died in the plague of darkness. And in the wilderness, the spies cooled the hearts of the people, and dissuaded them from journeying to the Land, a national disaster that haunts us until today.

So Rolene, may I humbly suggest that you assemble your many friends who have made Aliyah and promote Eretz Yisrael in the way that matters most to Hashem. COME HOME EXILE JEWS!!!!

Choni Davidowitz. babchon@telkomsa.net

When the going gets tough, the tough get…….blogging!

When the going gets tough. The tough get blogging! Despite relative calm in Israel’s south since the end of Operation Cast Lead, last Thursday saw a drastic escalation in tension when terrorists killed 8 Israeli’s and wounded many others.

As an Olah Chadasha (new Immigrant) living in Israel you are always aware that your chosen country exists in a somewhat hostile and volatile neighbourhood. Our neighbours in the south  prefer to welcome us with a barrage of rockets and mortars than say, a homemade pie or cup of tea! Since Thursday, in excess of 100 rockets have been launched towards southern Israel.

Despite a ceasefire agreement, terrorists continue their barrage on Israeli cities and towns. This weekend while many enjoyed rest filled respite from a busy week, citizens in Southern Israel spent theirs in bomb shelters and on alert. How does one describe the anxiety that you feel when the victim whose description you have just heard matches the person you know? And then the bitter sense of relief when you realise it is not your friend but another family/person has lost someone they love? Or that fear you feel when the people you love could be called up to serve in the army at any time? It has been said time and time again that we see our young soldiers as sons and daughters that belong to us all. When you live here that feeling is so pervasive you ache. Our army who is often vilified by the world media are our fathers, sons, daughters, lovers, wives, mothers, husbands. They are the people we love. This is Israel when her citizens are under threat.

I have never been one to rest on my laurels and am quite famous for my well used soapbox and seeing that this blog is dedicated to my rantings, funny or otherwise, I will take advantage of the platform it allows to shoot my mouth off.Now that I have a small cult following of dedicated readers (thanks Guys, your cheques are in the mail!) I invite you all to share your opinions and
vent your frustrations here. One rule though: any interpersonal insults or abuse will be removed.

Of course what compounds our sense of frustration and anger at the situation is not only the fact that once again, we are reminded about the security challenges that we as a nation face but that the world media is silent. Where are the condemnations from the UN? United Nations or Useless Nations? Where are the world leaders when we need them to open their well excercised mouths while our citizens are running for cover? Where are the outcries and chart topping songs of the celebrities and human rights activists when international law is
flagrantly breached and Israeli citizens (and we come in all shapes sizes, religions and cultures) are targets? WHO SPEAKS FOR ISRAEL’S CHILDREN???

I have decided that it has become incumbent on us,the average person that cares, to launch an information offensive. Many point fingers at the Israeli PR machine. I have to disagree.

As someone who is addicted to information and digests a steady diet of news fed to me by info merchants, I cannot fault those in the relevant positions their ability to disseminate the facts as they happen. Yes, I do feel a difference in opinion from some  heading towards me at lightening speed!You are entitled to your opinion but I can confidently say that my email box has seen a steady stream of info coming in from people in the know.

In an age where social media networking tools such as this, afford opportunities for ordinary citizens to become newscasters, I urge you all to get blogging/emailing/tweeting/facebooking/writing to your local papers and become activists. In my many years of advocacy work for Israel and my experience working both sides of the media coin I have discovered that despite the amount of information available to certain editors or producers or people of influence, their mandates will always be decided otherwise. No, CNN and the BBC are not going to magically change editorial policy anytime soon. Sadly.

We can jump up and down and play the blame game or we can take matters into our own hands and become informed and active. Everything we need to know is available at the click of a button and a few second subscriptions to the relevant sites. If you need help or need to be pointed in the right direction, I am more than happy to help. Be smart! Remember that the information you share and how you communicate it represents us all.

At the risk of sounding like a giant cliche, I say, lets take back our power, become informed and take to the…erm…..information super highway now.

Now who is with me?