Gideon's Blog

In direct contravention of my wife's explicit instructions, herewith I inaugurate my first blog. Long may it prosper.

For some reason, I think I have something to say to you. You think you have something to say to me? Email me at: gideonsblogger -at- yahoo -dot- com

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Monday, April 29, 2002
I did a little figuring on the numbers, apropos of this article from Arutz Sheva about bringing 1,000,000 Jews to Israel in ten years. If you could get 30% from France, 30% from the Former Soviet Union, 30% from Latin America, 3% from North America, and a reasonable number of Jews from elsewhere (South Africa, Britain, Hungary, and so forth) you could just barely do it. There are about 9 million Jews (estimated) outside of Israel, so 11% of the total would be necessary (net of emigration, of course). I think substantial emigration from France and Argentina is highly likely. Elsewhere? More questionable. But it's particularly hard to figure how many Jews there are in Russia and the other former Soviet states. They keep turning up more and more, particularly as people learn about Jewish roots they had never been told of, and particularly in poor areas where Jewish organizations are providing food, education, etc. So it's hard to say. One thing I will say: 3% is a very optimistic number from North America. Hence the campaign described in the article, I suppose.

Myself, I have always held that it is possible - indeed, necessary - to live a full Jewish life in the Diaspora. The notion that Jews must live in Israel to be fully Jewish is vulgar nationalism, not a tenet of Judaism. Jews have a religious mission to the whole world, not only in Israel, much as the priests and Levites did in all of the Land, and not only in Jerusalem. Nonetheless, Israel is always the center, as Jerusalem is always the center in Israel. More on this some other time.