Over in DovBear's comments, Treppenwitz writes:
I'm still not sure where I stand on the whole issue of rallies. I mean, go ahead and have them if it helps solidify the community over there. But I have to agree that it does hurt when Jews outside of Israel go to a rally and think that they have done their job.
I'm not saying send your kids to join the army and fight. But what's stopping you from coming to stay in a hotel in order to keep the tourist industry alive. Why can't you and/or your kids come to volunteer in hospitals, and on army bases instead of going to Florida. Why can't you figure out a way to do something more for Israel than go out and socialize with your neighbors on some main street in yourtown USA.
And if one more person say to me "I won't tell you how much we give to Israel every year, but..." and then proceed to tell me to the penny how much they give... I will scream. Keep the money if you think that's where your obligation starts and ends. Ezra wouln't take contributions from Jews in Bavel and I think it is bad that today's diaspora Jews think thier contributions are in place of actively helping Israel with their physical presense.
Ahhhhh. Here we are again. The bombs fly, the refugees seek refuge, the world denounces Israel, and the Israelis denounce Diaspora Jews.
OK. Here goes my whimpering explanation:
I cannot go to Israel instead of going to Florida because I am not going to Florida this year. I did not go to Florida last year. It has been three years since I have last taken a vacation out of state. This is not because I have anything against Florida, or Israel, mind you (actually, both are too hot for my taste this time of year. Christmas in Jerusalem, maybe), it's because I have no money to spare. If I scrape together the money for a trip any time soon, I will probably be going to Hawaii, because that is where my machetenim live, and the fella has not seen them in five years. If you don't want the (modest)check I can write, fine, I will use it here in the Diaspora to further Jewish life. I suspect I can get some good cause to cash it, however, plus one for one of those cute ceramic clocks with the skyline of Jerusalem on it.
And honestly, I do not understand why, aside from the money, my spending time in the King David Hotel, swimming lazily up and down the big pool will be helping in any way other than my bringing dollars, and frankly, helping out in a hospital is gonna be a vanity gig for the American girl. Even if I could afford to take off right now, which I, as I may have mentioned above, cannot.
Why do I go to rallies?
1. It creates in the U.S. press a statement of public support for Israel. If you say Israel doesn't care about the U.S. press, you're lying. I read the JPost.
2. It creates a way to connect with other Jews, and share our feelings. Many of us do other work elsewhere, and yes, that includes both sending money and visiting Israel. But standing together in solidarity is worth something. Or were we wasting our time back in the old days of the Soviet Jewry movement by not taking the protests to Moscow?
3. It keeps us out of the closet and in touch with one another, in scary times. As recent news has shown, not all the jihadis bother to get a ticket to the old country either.
4. It is a chance to find out what is happening, and see what opportunities there are to help. Orgs bring their literature with them.
5. I really like standing in the sun and being screamed at by deranged Berkeley students with white-girl dreadlocks. You should try it sometime.
I am an American Jew, and I am damn proud of that. My great-grandparents went to quite a lot of trouble to create this outcome. I am not an incomplete Jew, nor am I simply part of a support system for Israel. I support Israel. I am at home in Northern California. Could that change? Sure. I want to visit some day. Maybe I'll convince the fella he really wants to live in a hot climate. But those Jews of Bavel, and the Jews of all the other great diaspora communities created a whole Jewish world, in the long time between Jewish states, and I am part of that world. I absolutely refuse to be told that anything I do at home is inherently unworthy.
And yes, this is home. I'm a tumbleweed Jew. I carry all the seeds for a next generation with me wherever I go.
You want to know why aliyah has never seemed all that appealing? Because it's never seemed aimed at me. You want to know how aliyah gets advertised for the 'anglo-saxim'? I remember the column in JPost, just a few years ago. It was addressed to 'Alisa and Josh', parents of 'Noam and Tali', or something very like that, and in the very first paragraph it talked about finding a cleaning lady and a 'good' kindergarten. And every time the bombs fall, I get asked why I don't just take a few weeks' vacation abroad.
You know, I think I WILL just send a check.
A peaceful newish week to us all...