The Truth Sometimes Hurts

The Israeli government recently launched an ad campaign aimed at convincing Israelis now living in America to come home. The ads are emotional and powerful – and had unintended consequences. Many American Jewish figures (probably not Orthodox, but I am not sure) were offended by the ads and in response Bibi Netanyahu ordered them off the air.

I looked at a few that I could find on Youtube, and they are below. I don’t know about you, but I found them incredibly truthful, and not offensive at all. Then again I am an American Jew who realized that Jewish life in America was not enough, and I came to Israel so that my children would have more.

The second video has a bittersweet tinge for me. About a year after we made aliyah my son, who was in gan at the time, came home and announced that he wanted to start calling me Ima, “since no other kids in gan have a mommy”. That stung for a bit, but I agreed, knowing that it was important for him to feel that he fit in, and knowing that this was just one of many adjustments that I would have to make.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 18:48:48

    These ads are not truthful at all.

    The ads imply that children of Jews in America don’t know the difference between Christmas and Chanukkah. The truth is, there are many Jews, of all ages, all over the world, who have never been to Israel and yet can distinguish between the two with no problem.

    The ads imply that Americans cannot understand the Israeli memorial day. The truth is, there are many sensitive Americans who can understand why this day would be important to Israelis. If the man doesn’t treat his wife’s mourning with respect, maybe it is because he is a boar, or she didn’t try to explain it to him, not because he is American. To imply that Americans are incapable of understanding mourning in those they love is insulting.

    The ads imply that American children don’t know what name their parents want them to cal them by. This is ridiculous. If you teach your children to call you “Abba,” that is what they will call you. If there is a gulf between you and your children, it isn’t America’s fault. Many parents in America, who are first generations Americans, have close relationships with their children. Maybe you need to spend some more quality time with them instead of ignoring them while they play.

  2. Keith
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 19:41:21

    I think the ads were spot on. If someone is offended by them, I believe they harbor a little guilt or insecurity because they know they *should* be in Israel.

    Israel needs hearts and minds in Israel, not a check sent from abroad. Jews need a place to be Jewish, and like it or not it isn’t in the diaspora. You can wall yourself off in a corner of Monsey and call that being Jewish, but there are much richer options in Israel.

    I think its hypocritical to say ‘Next year in Jerusalem’ every year with no intention of ever meaning it. I also think it’s hypocritical of those religious Jews to think of themselves as pious and devout when they live their lives outside of the gift of Israel. How can you pray every morning with a straight face outside of Israel?

    History repeats itself, that much is guaranteed. The time is quickly coming when people in the diaspora will have no choice but to hide or come back home. Why not go home now and make a rich, fulfilling life for yourself and your children on your own terms?

  3. shilohmuse
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 20:51:25

    good post
    It’s sad how many friends who proclaimed aliyah decades ago aren’t encouraging their kids to take the first step and study university here. They’d save a fortune and be ready for life in Israel.

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