The Connection To Eretz Yisroel - קשר לארץ ישראל
Group Size: 10-50
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
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This is the place!
To open up the subject of living in Israel, as appose to support Israel.
Get the Chanichim to think about how they feel about the subject personally, or even come to a wider conclusion thinking about Jews living in Israel, and their own part in Israel- financial, spiritual, physical, or maybe, all of them together.
Divide the chanichim into 4 groups and hand each one of the groups a card. Each group should discuss the card they received. They should prepare to convince the rest that the person that they are representing has the strongest connection to Israel.
When all of the groups said their part take a vote to see which one gets the strongest connection to Israel. (Hoping that they choose the person that lives in Israel, go on to the second part)
* Josh- Hi everyone, I'm Josh, I'm 29 years old and I live in New York. I'm married; I have two kids and a dog. Of course after 12th grade I went to Yeshiva in Jerusalem. I do my best to go to Israel every few years. I believe in Medinat Yisrael and I do my best to send a donation once a year to support it. Living here, I'm doing what is right! Supporting Israel can also come while not actually living in Medinat Yisrael.
* Tal- Shalom everyone, I'm Tal. I live in Tel Aviv, I have a great job and I love my country- I served in the army. My grandfather helped build it! Growing up here caused me to have a great connection that you can't have if you grow up in a different country.
* Moshe- Hi everyone. I live in a settlement in the Shomron and I love the view. I believe that the connection to Israel comes from God telling us to be here and from the yarning of all the generations to come to settle it. I believe that you have to fight with all your might to defend the country and to keep it in our hands forever.
* Chanan- Hi everyone, I'm Chanan. I was born and raised in Israel and even went to the army. I left Israel a while ago, and came to the U.S.A. My family is here with me, my children go to school here. Every summer we go and visit family and friends in Israel. I gave the best of my years to the country, but I prefer a different environment for my kids. Everything that I was looking for I found here.
* Chaim- Hi, my name is Chaim. I'm 40 years old and I live in Brooklyn. I have a wife and 6 children and we live a lovely life. WE live in a Jewish neighborhood and we have lots of kosher restaurants and kosher stores. I visited in Israel about 3 times- the Western wall is impressive... I believe that if it was time for us to go to Israel God would have already sent the Mashiach. So in the meantime I'm still waiting and when the Mashiach comes and we have a real Jewish Halachik state I will come to Israel.
Is it enough that only a certain percent of the Jews live and fight for the country? Does it still belong to everyone? Are the people in Erets Yisrael on a different level?
On August 1897 in Basle, Switzerland. Binyamin Ze'ev (Theodore) Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement of our time, said:" We want to lay the foundation stone of the house which is to shelter the Jewish nation, Zionism is the return to the Jewish fold even before it is a return to the Jewish land." Is that true? Is that enough? Is that still applicable today now that we actually have a state? Are we still living in the old time and refusing to connect to the present?
Also in our days there are people that want to go to Israel and their way was blocked. There are people that went thru a lot to get there. So what actually puts us in
the position of not even trying? Are we waiting for someone to come and shake us? Are we waiting for something to happen?
*If your Chanichim are mature enough, you can hand-out two sources to read a little about people that aearly sacrifices their life to live in Israel.
Let's take a look at Avraham and the commandment that Hashem gave him to go to Erets Yisrael.
Did you ever hear of Asirey Zion?
Asirey Zion Where people that lived in Russia in the 80's. Russia was a communist country and as such they did not allow their people to have any connection to religion or to political opinions that were not the ones of the government. People that were suspected to have opinions that were different or were actually known to have different opinions were sent to jail. Asirey Zion were people that wanted to make alya to Israel and since that was considered as a religious and political opinion they were denied the right to go and they were upset about it and protested so they were put in Jail. They spent a long time in jail away from their families. When the communist party fell from the government the Asirey Zion were sent to be free and made Alya to Israel One of these people is Natan Shernsky which is a head of a party in the Israeli government. His story inspired a lot of people.
This is a song that was written in the beginning of the 90'2 by a person that made Alya from Ethiopia. As you can see the way they had to go to get to Israel was not easy. When they got to Israel the Rabanot of Israel claimed that they are not Jewish and caused them to go thru trouble to get certified as Jews. That didn't not bring them down and they are still there. Their families that are still in Ethiopia are making a lot of efforts to try and get to Israel.
Hamasa L'Eretz Yisrael
The Journey to the Land of Israel
The moon is watching from above
on my back is a light bag of food
the desert beneath me has no end ahead
and my mother promises my little brothers
"A little more, a little more
lift up your legs, a last push
The moonlight stood fast
our bag of food was lost.
The endless desert
Cries of jackals
and my mother comforts my little brothers
"A little bit more, a little more
soon we'll be redeemed
we won't stop going
to the land of Israel"
And at night bandits attacked
with a knife and a sharp sword
in the desert, the blood of my mother
the moon is my witness and I promise my brothers
"A little bit more, a little more
the dream will be fulfilled
Soon we will arrive in the land of Israel."
In the moon the image of my mother looks at me
mother don't disappear
If only she was by my side
she would be able to convince them
that I am a Jew