Last night (this morning?) I stayed up well past my bedtime to watch the arrival of the first of this summer’s two Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flights. Last night’s flight had over 200 new immigrants on it from North America. The youngest was 3 months, the oldest 88 years old. On that flight were my friends, and neighbors of the last 3 years, the Pillichowski family – Uri & Aliza, and 5 of their children. I waited up to watch, not only because I wanted to see Uri & his Torah get off the plane and be interviewed (he was, it was fun to see) but because I will be IN that next live broadcast of a Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flight arriving.
Our flight is scheduled for 3 weeks from yesterday. Right now, most major airlines have canceled flights to Israel from the US, and from some places in Europe. I understand the precaution. I also understand that people with plans to travel to Israel for vacation might think twice and cancel their trip. I understand parents whose children are leaving for the year to Israel, having second thoughts, and wondering if they should make other plans for the year. Of course I understand. I am in awe of those 230 men, women and children who got off the plane at 7am Israel time today, to start a new life in Israel, at a time when our enemies are doing the best they can to destroy us. I hope, and I pray, that this will end soon. I pray that God will guide the IDF to victory over the terrorists that make up Hamas, that they will be wiped out, that their arsenal will be destroyed. And I pray that it will be over before August 11.
The tears I cry today are not of sadness for leaving the US and my friends here. They are tears for the soldiers who have already lost their lives. They are for the sheer hatred that is being shown towards Israel by the rest of the world. The anger some may hear in my voice when I speak – that is for Hamas, who holds a population prisoner in Gaza. It is for the media, intent on making Israel look like the aggressor. It is for the UN ,who when weapons are found in the schools they run, say “how terrible” and then return them to Hamas. The fear I show when people ask “why are you still going?” – it is a fear for Jews around the world who don’t see why now is the perfect time to go! Look at Paris. Look at London. Look at CHICAGO! The anti-Israel demonstrations around the world, coupled with the torching of synagogues and Jewish businesses is a wake up call to all of you! There is no other place to call home if you are a Jew.
We have no plans to change our minds. You don’t make a decision this big without knowing what you are letting yourselves in for. Israel has always been under threat, and until Mashiach comes, will always be under threat. As long as the Nefesh B’Nefesh flight is leaving on August 11, we will be on it, with our children and our dog. Do we want to start our new life under threat of rocket attacks? No. But we do need to send a clear message to everyone – Jews and non-Jews – that Israel is our God given homeland, and we must all strive to live there.