This is a significant issue in the global Jewish world today that remains unseen and unknown to “Diaspora Jews.” In a recent article arguing that “France is no longer a home for Jews“, a fellow American opiner took issue with my statement that “Jews are geirim everywhere outside of Israel. There is no other “home” for Jews.”
My American critic argued “Our home is where ever one is. My family was born in the USA, and we have buried 3 generations here. Israel will always be a Spiritual home, but Where I live now will always be home.”
I imagine this sound quite reasonable to most Jews. My family has been in America since before there was a USA, before there was a New York; only 27 years after the pilgrims in the Mayflower when it was New Amsterdam – since 1647!
Nevertheless, when I realized being a Jew, the parallel realization that I had to consider myself a resident alien even though I enjoy American citizenship. Failure to realize this reveals that the individual is unfamiliar even with the most basic Judaism – the Pesakh Seider – and that his assertion contradicts Torah, which is the ultimate authority on who is, and who is not, a Jew (equivalent to Israel since the Syrian expulsion of the Ten Northern Tribes in B.C.E. 721) as well as who is, and who is not, a geir.
Every Pesakh, Orthodox Jews review the answers to four questions, one of which, according to the Teimani Baladi Hagadah, quotes Tanakh: “כי גר יהיה זרעך בארץ לא להם” (ki geir yiꞋhᵊyëh zarᵊakhâꞋ bᵊ-ërꞋëtz lo lâhëmꞋ; because a geir shall be your seed in a land that is not their own). In Shᵊmot 2.22 and 18.3, Avram acknowledges, “גר הייתי בארץ נכריה” (geir hâyiꞋti bᵊ-ërꞋëtz nâkhriyâhꞋ; a geir was I in a foreign [to Israel] land).
Even Avram, outside of Israel, realized that he was a geir (popularly rendered “sojourner”) outside of Israel, that outside of Israel was “ארץ נכריה” (a foreign land) – not home.
Thus, a Jew can only be “home” in Israel, that outside of Israel the Jew is a geir. The implication of this is that if one is “home” in a foreign land, (s)he is not a Jew. Each “Diaspora Jew” must make up his or her mind which (s)he is: foreign homey or Jew.
Neither rabbis nor any other mortals have authority to countermand ha-Sheim in Torah – despite many who claim to (see Dan. 7.25).