Global Weekly Aliyah News: October 1, 2020Oct 01, 2020 • By Aliyah News Reporter
“Before she travailed, she brought forth; Before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy. “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons. “Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord. “Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” says your God.” Isaiah 66:7-11
Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, recently gave an interview to Jerusalem Post Editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz in which he said that interest in Aliyah to Israel remains high among Jewish people in North America. “Corona has made people pause and recalibrate their personal compass, by allowing them to see how they can move their lives and become part of different communities, while evaluating if they can work remotely and bring their professions to Israel as well,” he said. “Nefesh B’Nefesh, in partnership with the various government ministries and aliyah agencies, are working round the clock to enable the expected increase in Aliyah.”
Elsewhere, Marina Rosenberg-Koritny, head of the Aliyah Promotion Department of the World Zionist Organization, also spoke with the Jerusalem Post recently to explain a new program for generating interest in Aliyah through the vehicle of Hebrew language instruction among Jewish communities around the world. “One of the most important things in moving to Israel is learning the language,” she says. In addition, she reported that many Jewish communities gain a renewed communal life and identity through the Hebrew language classes, leading to higher interest in knowing about and, in many cases, immigrating to the Jewish State.
“We teach them the language, and we also tell them about what is happening in Israel. We adjust their expectations to the reality of life here.” Speaking about the courses designed for school-aged children, she added that “If we don’t start with them when they are young, and present Israel as an option, we will lose them. We have to give them the feeling that they have a place in the world to come whenever they are ready…I moved here in 1995 and began to learn Hebrew. Now I help others to decide to make aliyah and learn Hebrew. We have to make it easier for them to come here and make their acclimation easier.”
Netanyahu Addresses the UN General Assembly
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his annual address before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday evening, using a video link as did most other world leaders at this year’s conference. During his brief, nine minute presentation, he boasted briefly about the recent “Abraham Accords” normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, before moving on to revelations about some of the war crimes recently committed by the Iranian-backed Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah.
Recalling the terrible explosion at the Beirut port two months ago which killed 180 people and destroyed hundreds of buildings in the city, he pointed to a map of Beirut’s Janah neighbourhood and warned that it was “where the next explosion could take place” because of an illegal missile explosive depot which Hebollah operates in the neighbourhood, just a short distance away from gas canisters, trucks and other infrastructure containing highly flammable materials. The depot is also situated a short distance from the end of the main runway for Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport.
“If this thing explodes, it’s another tragedy,” he added. “I say to the people of Lebanon, Israel means you no harm. But Iran does.” Drawing attention to another Hezbollah weapons depot which exploded and burned in the village of Ain Qana earlier this week, he added that “The international community must insist that Hezbollah stop using Lebanon and Lebanese civilians as human shields.”
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah immediately issued a rebuttal to Netanyahu’s presentation, saying that Hezbollah does not store war materials in civilian areas before menacingly adding that “We know very well where we should put our missiles.”
At the close of his remarks, Netanyahu also criticized the UN Security Council for failing to act against Iran despite having been presented with a great deal of evidence that the Islamic Republic is violating the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal.
“Both Arabs and Israelis are together urging tough action on Iran,” he said. “And when Arabs and Israelis agree, others should pay attention.”
Archaeological Discovery Sheds Light on Time of Jesus
Israel’s majestically pastoral Galilee region was the scene of Jesus’ earthly ministry 2,000 years ago and it continues to be a source of blessing to the world today. Earlier this month, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of a Jewish agricultural farmstead from the Second Temple Period, the Era when Jesus walked the earth.
The discovery, which includes a nearly intact mikveh (Jewish ritual bath) was made as part of a salvage dig being conducted near the site of a major interchange at the Hamovil junction in Lower Galilee.
According to the IAA project leaders, "the discovery of the mikveh in the farmstead changes what we knew about the lifestyle of the Jews in the Second Temple period. Until now we hadn't discovered Jewish farms in the Galilee. It was considered that the Jews in the Roman period didn’t live in farms outside the villages or towns. The discovery of the farmstead at some distance from the village of the Shikhin and the large Jewish town of Sepphoris, showed that Jews also settled in farmsteads that perhaps functioned as the rural hinterland of Sepphoris".
As the construction of the interchange necessitated the mikveh’s removal, it was removed intact and moved to the nearby Kibbutz Hannaton to be displayed for the public next to the community’s modern, fully functional mikveh.
Reports Indicate that Israeli Hospitals Nearing Capacity
The IDF Military Intelligence and Heath Ministry information center released reports on Tuesday including estimates that Israel’s hospitals are nearing the upward limit of their ability to provide care for the general public in light of the growing number of COVID-19 cases. The reports added that Israel’s per-capita rate of infection and deaths from COVID-19 is near or above the highest rates in the world.
Israel’s Observe Yom Kippur in the Shadow of COVID-19
Israelis observed Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on Tuesday in the shadow of the surging COVID-19 pandemic and a general lockdown throughout the country. Although the government failed to agree on measures such as curtailing public protests and closing synagogues on Yom Kippur, many prominent rabbis and even the Shas Council of Torah Sages issued public statements calling on congregants to hold prayer services outdoors and to keep them as short as possible in order to minimize the risks of infection.
The statement read in part that “everyone must abide by and be stringent with every single health regulation with all their strength, without any exception, so that they do not harm anyone or get harmed and, God forbid, to become a possible murderer…we have come with a holy call for whoever fears God in their heart, to hold prayer services, including on the [Jewish] holidays, outdoors only, with a small number of worshipers, observing distancing [regulations] and with a mask for the whole prayer service, and to be especially diligent about distancing… Prayer services should not be held at all indoors.”
The statement also included prohibitions on traditional activities deemed high-risk to spread the coronavirus for the upcoming holidays of Succot and Simchat Torah.
Analysis – What Does All This Mean?
Despite Israel’s surging COVID-19 numbers, Jewish people around the world continue to study Hebrew and otherwise prepare for and make plans to come home to the Land of their forefathers. The magnet of all that Israel has to offer continues to pull them home even as the increasing tensions, economic hardships, persecution and rise of anti-Semitism around the world push them home.
The tension Israel is experiencing along its own northern border with Lebanon does not deter interest in Aliyah. On the contrary, many young Jews around the world have stated that their interest in making Aliyah is partially due to their desire to serve in the Israeli Army to defend their people and their country. To that end, the Jewish Agency has reported that a sizeable percentage of immigrants in recent years have been young Jews who came without their parents in order to serve in the IDF as “Lone Soldiers” and many of those stayed in Israel after completing their military service.
While this is going on, the business of Israel continues. Jewish people find ways to observe their Biblical festivals despite difficult conditions, archaeologists continue to find the remains of the ancient Jewish presence in the country, further establishing the legitimacy of Israel’s claim to be the eternal homeland of the Jewish People, and despite present hardships, the future of the Jewish State of Israel looks bright, beckoning many more Jewish people home.
The Aliyah Return Center was founded to assist the government of Israel and the Jewish agency in welcoming and absorbing the many Jewish people who are making this journey. With your help, we have already refurbished several buildings, trained staff and carried out expansion projects which have allowed us to assist hundreds of new immigrants. But we are not content with these accomplishments and we have plans to do much more, to build and expand our capacity and do our part in this prophetic homecoming.
Please help us to do this vitally important work.
Aliyah News Reporter
Bringing you weekly Aliyah updates from the land.