Yet, I remain seated in New York, my frustration building daily and I can't understand why.
As I read through article after article on Facebook, Twitter, and other shared news sources, it dawns on me that I, in fact, am doing nothing. I can write and repost and make comments on pictures, but what am I doing?
France. Seattle. Atlanta. Morocco. Sharia Law in parts of the UK. ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The Diaspora is dying. The once beautiful communities of Aleppo, Baghdad, Provence are no longer. Prague is but a shadow of its former glory. With the increase in anti-Semitism in America and Europe, what is keeping us here?
My frustration is that I am doing nothing tangible to help Israel and my extended family that live there. Sure, its all well and good to give money to an organization (I prefer One Israel Fund, tell them Simon sent you) but that is passing. So what can I, or for that matter, you, the Reader do?
A lot of my friends (which you can see on Facebook) will tell you: " Make Aliyah!! G-d will provide!" Very nice. So when my daughter needs formula, G-d will magically send it to my kitchen table? Probably not, I am not that holy that miracles happen to me. You have to put your work in too. Life is not a handout.
"Israel has a lot of jobs now! Its different now then it was 10 years ago." Also very nice. Most jobs in Israel now are tech related. Or Medical. Or Research and Development. What about me? I work in the Kosher Food industry. Where is my opportunity? For that matter, what about those in the construction industry? Film industry? Education?
Israel excels in many high range industries. Thank G-d for that, but I believe that a strong economy leads to many things: National Security, desire for immigration, new trade partners and a stronger international standing.
Israel must be too big to fail. Unfortunately, it's not enough to be a light unto nations, we must be too big to fail. When Hamas or Hezbollah, May their names and memories be eradicated, attack Israel, Russia must say enough. America must say enough. China, Japan, India, the UN, South Africa all must say that Israel is their greatest ally. Not only because Israel sends herculean humanitarian teams to areas that need, but because an existential threat to Israel is an existential threat to them by proxy.
So, for those who are in my shoes, who cannot make Aliyah at this moment, but want to do something: Invest. Grow. Build branches of your business in Israel if possible. Real Estate developers, start building commercial spaces for businesses to come. Build them in areas that the government is forgetting! One new office building, with one new business equals more taxes for infrastructure. It means growth. It means new communities to help ease the over-stuffed housing issues in the main cities like Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. The growth of these communities then require amenities such as restaurants, grocery stores, dry cleaners, banks, coffee shops, nail salons. All which can bring more jobs and more security for an area.
How do I know this works? If Israel were to give the "West Bank" away, one of the towns it would probably annex is Ariel. It is too big to give away. With a hospital, University, many businesses with a population of over 30,000 (residents and students), it produces too much tax income and is too important to give to the Palestinian Authority. If this is the case with Ariel, imagine what could be done in Karmiel, Rishon l'Tzion, Be'er Sheva?
With the growth in jobs, the growth in Aliyah comes. It opens up the opportunity for the regular Jew to make Aliyah a reality without worrying about where his paycheck will come from.
As I have often said, governments don’t produce economic growth, people do.” - Ronald ReaganThere is a story told of HaRav Kook ZTZ"L I heard from Rav Berel Wein. Rav Kook was sitting with his kids and his daughter bit into a bitter olive, making a face, she said "this tastes awful." Rav Kook said you cannot say that about produce grown in Israel, you can only say you don't like it.
My sincere hope for part of this blog is to strengthen Israel's security through a strong economy. In the future, I would like to highlight businesses that are either starting in Israel or opening branches in Israel to make Aliyah more accessible. When I hear "Its too hard to live in Israel, how am I going to make a living?" It kills me. You can't say that about Israel, you can only say that you need to figure it out. This one nation, so divided throughout the world, has to make it work.
If you are a business owner, or know of one, that is opening in Israel, please contact me. I would love to get the word out.