When things got uncomfortable for the Jews in Quebec back in the 70’s, and everyone started moving to Toronto, my father decided to take us to Israel. But of course we couldn’t go the regular way – that would be too boring. He decided to buy a sailboat, practice in the lakes around Canada a bit, and sail to Israel! And that’s exactly what he did. In July 1978 we set sail from Nova Scotia, spent 21 days out at sea in freezing cold conditions. We finally saw land, and arrived in Cork, Ireland safe and sound, without having turned on the motor once – just like the captain planned.
Before and after the trip I kept hearing over and over again — what a crazy way to make Aliyah! (Especially from my mother’s family who were not at all pleased with the whole idea). How did my father get this crazy idea to begin with — not the sailboat part but taking us out of our great life that we had in Canada. I grew up skiing, water-skiing, camping, hiking, skating, swimming and went to a great private Jewish school my whole life. But in reality, my father owned a very big and successful heating and air conditioning company and at some point people stopped doing business with him because he was Jewish, so he handed things over to his young French partner.
I even remember getting slapped by an older French girl one day walking across a parking lot with my sister, but I was too young to really understand that it was because I was Jewish. So all this hatred toward us Jews has been brewing beneath the surface for decades.
Why is this on my mind? Just like we got driven out of Quebec in the ’70s, there is a huge exodus right now from France to Israel, and from London and the rest of Europe too. I’m happy that people are coming to live here but it’s a shame they are making Aliyah out of fear for their immediate future.
Everyone wants to talk about how bad the situation is and show all the soldiers protecting the Jews everywhere, but no one wants to hear or understand why all this is happening. If we were aware of what is wanted from us, we could go through all this in a much more pleasant way.
The world’s foremost Kabbalist, Michael Laitman, has a message for Jews everywhere: show the world an example of unity. That’s the only thing the world wants from us. There is a wave of terror and anti-Semitism on the way to Europe and we have the key to prevent it. You can see more information about this and particpate in a free course on anti-Semitism here: http://www.bundleofreeds.com
“The singular essence of Jewish tradition comes down to human connection and doing for others. This is our legacy and spiritual DNA that has been passed on from generation to generation.”
Here are some photos from our sailing trip in case you don’t believe this story! Guess which two are from the day we finally spotted land:
This post is in loving memory of my mother, Simi Kersen, who passed away exactly one year ago.