OK, so you already heard about this from Rafi, Batya, and Yisrael,... AGES ago.
I thought they covered all that needed to be covered. The story came and went, but it still irks me. So I cannot help, but give my 10ag.
When I first saw the following report, my jaw dropped:
Family Relocation Project
Jewish Family Service's bold objective is to relocate at least twenty families to Dothan, Alabama during the time period January 2008 to December 2012.
Achieving this objective will truly advance the Jewish religion in Dothan by significantly increasing Temple Emanu-El's membership and will be a cause to celebrate as we recognize the Jewish community's 120th anniversary as a vibrant and respected part of greater Dothan.
We welcome your application for financial assistance from the JCS Family Relocation Project....
(Tip-off credit to relatively new blogger JeffGator)
$50,000? Why not ditch the community, and pay $50,000, or even $20,000 to some of the families still living there to help them move to Israel?
I'll bet the thought never even occurred to them.
Even leaders this particular community's umbrella organization are saying that you should consider "aliyah."
This community is the quintessential example of the mentality in which many American Jewish communities are still stuck. Religious or secular, right-wing or left-wing, so-called "Zionist" or so-called anti-"Zionist," it doesn't matter.
Am I being too harsh?
There is a story of Resh Laqish,.... Well, see for yourselves....
There's a saying here in Israel which has become almost cliche.תלמוד בבלי יומא ט,ב
ריש לקיש הוי סחי בירדנא אתא רבה בר בר חנה יהב ליה ידא א"ל אלהא סנינא לכו דכתיב (שיר השירים ח:ט) "אם חומה היא נבנה עליה טירת כסף ואם דלת היא נצור עליה לוח ארז" אם עשיתם עצמכם כחומה ועליתם כולכם בימי עזרא נמשלתם ככסף שאין רקב שולט בו עכשיו שעליתם כדלתות נמשלתם כארז שהרקב שולט בו
Babylonian Talmud Yoma 9b
Resh Laqish was bathing in the Jordan [River] Rabba bar bar Hana came, and shook his hand. He [Resh Laqish] said to him God detests you Babylonians, as it is written (Song of Songs 8:9) "If she be a wall, we will build upon her a turret of silver; and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar." If you had made yourselves [as strong] as a wall, and all went up in the days of Ezra, you would have been likened to silver, which cannot rot; but as you did not, you were likened to cedar [wood] doors, in which rot can take hold.
"If only wealthy Jews from North and South America, Western Europe, Australia, Morocco, Turkey, etc. would stop sending money, and instead would bring it with them when they make aliyah, we could transform the Negev Desert, transform the economy, transform the region....
I try to remember that it's not their faults. It seems that two thousand years of galuth (diasporan living) can really cement a people's disconnection from its homeland.
Still, it is one of the jobs of those of us, Yehudei Eretz Yisra'el, to warn them, the Babylonians.
Do you want to be part of the 20 percent making it out of Egypt, or the 80 percent who didn't?
It's your decision.
Cross-posted on Esser Agaroth.