Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Way G-d Intended Jews to Live.

This isn't the first time I've seen such ideas articulated -- but this is the first time I've seen them so disconnected from traditional Judaism that views Israel as a central theme in the religion.

The following is a letter from a Jew living in the USA who can't fathom moving to Israel because its not nearly as spiritual as living in the United States, where she gets to keep 2 days of every holiday instead of 1. She addressed to letter to Shmuel Katz, and it was published in the 5tJt
“I recently read an article of yours in which you list reasons for making aliyah. While your reasons are quite compelling, there was one reason listed that our family always considers the one sad thing about making aliyah and that is the less yom tov days celebrated.

“While we look forward one day to live in Eretz Yisrael, during every yom tov that we celebrate in galut, we end up mentioning how if we would already be in Eretz, we would have a day less and we can’t imagine how hard it would be.

During Pesach, we cannot imagine only having one Seder. While we often enter the first Seder quite tired from all the preparation, we are always thrilled to know that we will have a second one the next night, which, after our yom tov naps, we enjoy even more.

“We cannot imagine Shavuot being one day. Our first day of Shavuot is spent half asleep, as the men (and sometimes the girls) have spent the whole night learning. We can’t imagine the loss of not having a second day when everyone is more awake to enjoy the yom tov meal and shiurim that take place that day.

We can’t imagine how the seriousness of Shemini Atzeret and the joyfulness of Simchat Torah have to be combined into just one day.

“Please do not be upset with me for my suggestion that perhaps your yom tov celebration is missing something if you conceive that less yom tov is a wonderful advantage.

“May all your yomim tovim be an inspiration and a source of spiritual growth and may we meet soon B’eretz HaKedoshah.
Shmuel Katz has a decent answer for her in his article. I just wonder if this woman would also be offended by billboards calling on yordim to move back to Israel.

Why would mashiach bother coming, when he can stay in Monsey and continue having 2 sedarim for Pesach (without kitniyot or gebruchts)

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Lakewood Falling Down said...

Never w/o Gebrochrts!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I understand the sentiment, but it still is no excuse for not making Aliya. One doesn't always do things b/c they are comfortable w/ them, but b/c they are the right thing to do!
(Disclosure, we made Aliya 11 yrs ago, and still loving it)

josh said...

I actually miss the second seder. In any case, I'm told that each time we were redeemed, we kept a tradition from the galut and after our upcoming final redemption, we will be taking on the extra day of chagim.

Anonymous said...

there is a quote attributed to the BESH"T that the reason he didn't make it to Eretz Yisrael was because he couldn't bear to give up the 2nd day of chag.

MiriamS said...

My initial reaction was a hearty laugh!

But to the writer's credit, she is also responding to the idea that keeping Yom Tov can be a burden.

And there's also a hint of the "no Sundays" theme - that life in galus accords more leisure moments which includes savoring Yom Tov.

However, that usually results in overeating for days on end - which is definitely not the way G-d meant it to be!

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Wow. How much worse can the effect of galut be, when we adopt the aberrations of exile as ideal! That's religiously pathological. Pretty apropo for Chanukah. Do you realize how many people think lighting ner hanukah indoors is the norm?

משגלו ישראל ממקומם אין לך בטול תורה גדול מזה

Anonymous said...

are their articles always so poorly formated? I can't read the bloody thing, its giving me a headache!

What you are seeing is the result of the Jewish people knowing that Israel is the place to be now, and the minority now distancing themselves from the Jewish people.

Any excuse to make them feel better about not actually believing in Judaism.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Josh: Why would we keep 2 days after the final redemption? People living in Israel don't keep 2 days...

israelionthewayout said...

Israel is definitely NOT the place to be any more, but not for the reasons the lazy woman mentions: Jews fighting each other and behaving disgustingly at every turn, from the highest level of government to the taxi driver or store owner who takes pleasure in ripping off his clients.

I'd rather take my chances against assimilation than be part of this travesty.

Anonymous said...


Nothing like that happens where I live.

And I don't see any peace amongst Jews anywhere else in the world either.

Anonymous said...

If you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...


1. What did you expect after 2000 years of exile, that this would be easy?

2. What do you think it was like for the children of Israel when leaving Egypt?

You can criticize from the sidelines, or join the game and try to make a difference.

Avraham said...

I do miss the second day of yuntiff, along with sundays, lower prices for just about everything, and customer service. But the writer is is seriously missing perspective here if any of those things can keep them observing a central mitzvah to Judaism and being part in the process of geulah.

Shlomo said...

"are their articles always so poorly formated?"

Are the comments always so poorly spelled?

Michael Sedley said...

The writer missed a fundamental point - Yom Tov is only one day, but Holidays are all marked publically for weeks before each holiday.

I once heard Rabbi Riskin say that he traded 2 days Shavuot for a month of Purim.

I remember in Chutz La'aretz many (most) people worked on Chol Hamoed, Purim, and even Tisha B'Av. If it wasn't for 2 days Yom Tov, there would be no time off for Jewish holidays at all.

Anonymous said...

" lower prices for just about everything, "

Do you have a salary in Dollars?

I find I have less money, but own and purchase more stuff living in Israel than I did in the United $tate$

Anonymous said...

"Are the comments always so poorly spelled?"

Yes, after all, they don't get paid to write them.

So, are all the articles formatted without any paragraph spacing?

Shlomo said...

"I find I have less money, but own and purchase more stuff living in Israel than I did in the United $tate$"

Ah, overdraft :)

"I once heard Rabbi Riskin say that he traded 2 days Shavuot for a month of Purim."

The downside is that your teenage kids have a month of Purim too... :)

Anonymous said...

"Ah, overdraft :)"

I don't over draft, and come far from it. I have a lot more left over each month to put into savings than I did in the states.

Shmuel Katz said...

Josh and Jameel and Anonymous:

The issue you mention is actually (if I understand it correctly) something written by the Chasam Sofer. He wrote that there WILL BE a Yom Tov Sheni in the times of the Moshiach in order to remember the time when we were in Galus (now).

Please see (in the left hand column - the maamar for Acharon Shel Pesach beginning Lemaan).

However, to my understanding this opinion is in the extreme minority.

Thanks for reading and sharing your opinions.

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Joel Gold said...

As a Messianic believer, my sabboth rest is perpetual. Having ceased from my own works (human efforts to try establish my own righteousness) as G-d ceased from His work on the 7th day, I have truly entered into His rest. Yeshua did the work by His atonement that the Father required. And by faith in Yeshua, we can truly know what the sabboth foreshadowed. This concept may be difficult for some to grasp, but there is nothing to compare with this peace from G-d that passes all understanding. May you come to know this peace as well.

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