Sunday, June 26, 2011

Only once in my life did I seriously consider making aliya - moving to Israel. A (very) brief thought crossed my mind about how exciting/challenging/fulfilling it might be to cultivate my Jewish identity in our ancient homeland.
Mostly, I have come to understand that it is a gift to be Jewish in the Western world. As a modern, progressive, somewhat worldly Jew, I remain an adamant supporter/lover of Israel - the people, the state, and what it has come to mean emotionally: a symbol of a thriving spectrum of Jewish life after so many years of dispersion, oppression and uprootedness. And yet, our history in the diaspora has allowed and cause Judaism to evolve in so many magnificent ways, and to bring its universal prophetic message of tikkun olam (repairing the world) to all corners of the earth.
Currently, as always, great conversations are underway about the meaning, purpose, and "rules" regarding aliya (for more, go to My question remains: is aliya an ideal for which Western Jews should strive, or the fulfillment of hard-core Zionism (only) for some? I don't think I'll ever have a complete answer, as reality (and my heart) lies somewhere in between.