THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 242
Chapter 7: Aliyah: Time to Go Home
 
 
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242 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bresult in disastrous failure. The tens of millions of dollars bthat you will spend on your efforts will produce a pitifully bsmall return. You will not be able to convince a Jew who has ba comfortable home, a well-paying job or profitable business bcareer, and all the conveniences of modern life and who has bdeep roots in a familiar atmosphere, to pick himself up, buproot himself, come to a strange land with strange and bdifferent customs and people, begin at an advanced age to blearn a new language and cope with economic and social bconditions that are unfamiliar to him, unless there is a very bdeep and impelling motivation.

b“For the American Jew, that motivation is simply not bpresent and thus a positive approach must fail. He is not bdeeply religious and so the mitzvah (commandment) of liv- bing in the land of Israel is meaningless. Indeed, how many breligious Jews ignore or obscure the commandment because bthe uprooting is too difficult and life in the West too com- bfortable. At best, there is a deep emotional attachment on bthe part of a certain number of American Jews, but this is banswered by visits to Israel and by giving of their money and bperhaps time on its behalf. In short, the positive approach bcan only work with those who already have a deep, positive bmotivation.

b“The possible answer to mass aliyah lies in looking at the bhistory of aliyah throughout the ages. Never in the history bof the Jewish people has there been even one example of bmass aliyah from affluent countries while life was comfort- bable and satisfactory. The Babylonian Exile had its opportu- bnity to come to an end when the Persian King Cyrus issued bhis declaration allowing Jews to return to their land. Of all bthe many, many Jews in Babylon, a bare 42,000 returned band these were mostly of the lowest caste and class. The bPsalmist wrote: ‘By the waters of Babylon there we sat, yea, bwe wept.’ Indeed, they may have wept but they sat—and did bnot go up to the land. No doubt Babylon had its stock- bmarkets and UJA . . .

b“The affluent Jew—religious or not—does not generally bleave his comfort to live in the difficulties of the Land of b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 242
Chapter 7: Aliyah: Time to Go Home