Response to Mom

Recently one of our potential aliyah families recieved a “letter from Mom”. “Mom” was trying to convince her children not to take her granchildren to “the war torn” Land of Israel.

The members of our Facebook discussion group responded to the letter. Here’s one of the responses, written by Jerry and Sylvia (New York-Ariel, 1996):

Dear Mom and Dad,

I understand your love and concern for our welfare living here in Israel. I know that the reports you get in the States make Israel seem like a dangerous place to live but that is not the reality of life here. There are so many families our age with young children who have made Israel their home. Living in Israel is a vigorous and challenging experience which offers the opportunity to give meaning to your life that outweighs the negatives that confront us here.

Some times one has to make decisions that are not easy but are the right ones. I feel that a lot depends on what one’s values in life are. Our values are not based only on material success that leads to a life of comfort and ease. Therefore, we feel that our decision to live here is the right one for us.

Contrary to the reports in the media, Israel is a safe place to live and to bring up your children with Jewish values. In Israel, children are extremely important, not only to their parents, but to the people of Israel in general. They are a cherished possession. Schools are very good, education is high, and it is combined with religious education as well that enables them to understand the meaning of their Jewishness.

As to your concern for employment, there are many opportunities here that one can take advantage of. Eventually, one finds their place in the workforce just like in any other location one finds themselves in. Mom, as far as health care in Israel is concerned, here it is socialized medicine and for not a lot of money, one receives excellent care. By the way Mom, Israel is in the forefront of modern medical advances and achievements that are acknowledged worldwide. Health care in Israel is so much more affordable than it is in the States that one cannot begin to compare to the exorbitant cost of health care in the States.

We feel we have made the right decision – it really feels good to live here in a Jewish country — and know that we are contributing to the growth and wellbeing of Israel by living here. Of course, we will miss you and the whole family and we understand your fear of coming here to spend time with us but hope and pray that over time you will see that this is a safe place to visit. By the way, Mom, tourism in general is flourishing. And don’t forget that we can also spend vacation time with you in the States.

Mom, I really hope you will come to understand that Israel is not the dangerous country you think it is. Daily life here is safer than in the States and is far more rewarding. I understand your fear for us but it is based on reports that only give one side of the picture. We do not live in fear, we live with the knowledge that this is where we belong and that our children will grow up in a Jewish country with a full Jewish life and values. This is our land; we are not just here to live the “comfortable life” but to have our lives have meaning and to have our children value their heritage and to know what it means to live a complete Jewish life in your own country.

Mom and Dad, I love you and hope that in time you will come to understand the decision we have made.

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