“You can kill a thousand; you can bring an end to life; you cannot kill an idea.” –Shimon Peres. When I read this quote, this is how I interpret it: You can bring many things to an end. You can end one’s life. You can destroy one’s possessions. But the one thing that will always remain, is someone’s thoughts and ideas. You cannot go into the mind of another and erase what they are thinking. No matter how hard you try, you will never succeed.
Most Jews know how important it is for them to make aliyah to Israel. If you go to a Jewish school, it is probably spoken about everyday. So this idea of us, Jews, needing to go to Israel will always stay with us. It will always be in the back of our minds. It is said that before one passes, they must visit the holy land at least once in their life. There is something about the land of Israel that attracts us so much. Maybe it’s how holy the land is? Or how technologically advanced the country is? Or maybe, it’s just a safe place to call home.
Since 2017, there are approximately 5.3 million Jews living in the United States of America. Of this large chunk of Jews living here, a small portion of them in fact do end up making aliyah to the land of Israel. There are many benefits in doing so. Some of the advantages are: learning Hebrew, having free health insurance, higher education system, and Israel being technologically more advanced. Shimon Peres said, “In Israel, a land lacking in natural resources, we learned to appreciate our greatest national advantage: our minds. Through creativity and innovation, we transformed barren deserts into flourishing fields and pioneered new frontiers in science and technology.” Many new technological advances and discoveries were made by Israelis. Some ground breaking/life saving inventions were created by Jews. But that’s not the only reason why one would come to Israel–for the technology, there are plenty of other reasons.
Many people get very emotional when they arrive to Israel for the first time. I have heard many stories of when people land in Israel, they cry, because they truly feel like they are at home. Many of the people who do not immigrate to Israel end up sending donations to Israel so that they can help people out from their home.
Jews also have another responsibility: All of Israel are responsible for one another. In the Talmud (Shevuot 39a) it discusses the domino effect of sin. We are responsible for everyone actions, and if you can do something to stop someone from doing something bad, it is our obligation to do so. This also refers to helping all Jews when they need your assistance. If someone is in need of food, clothing, or shelter, you must help them. Treat them as if they are your family. Imagine if one of your family members needed your help, you would help them right away. Treat your loving and fellow Jews as if they are family. Because in the end, we all came from the same people: Adam and Eve.