17 posts categorized "Aliya"

Affordable - and Beautiful - Israel


Dear Rabbi Brody,

I really want to make Aliya with my family, but people have been telling me that if I don't have a half million US bucks, I won't be able to get a decent apartment. I don't want a mortgage, and with property values in my area, I'll barely clear $200,000 when I sell my home. What can I possibly buy in Israel with that amount of money? Thanks for your time and attention, Gerald from Midwest USA

Dear Gerald,

if you're looking for a flat with in an American neighborhood of Ramat Bet Shemesh or Jerusalem's Ramat Eshkol or Har Nof, $5-600,000 is roughly what you'll pay - no less. But, if you're willing to both live and think outside the Anglo-Israeli box, then you'll have some wonderful opportunities, where $200,000 or less will suffice.

Gorgeous places up north with growing observant communities are Maalot, Nazareth Illit, Tzefat and Kiriat Shemona.

As far as the south of Israel goes, Arad has the cleanest air in the world and it's also gorgeous. For $200,000 or less in Ashkelon, you can get an apartment in walking distance to the Mediterranean. If you go to a place like Ofakim or Yerucham, you can get a palace for $170,000 or less.

Contact my dear friends at Nefesh B'Nefesh, because there are usually several incentive programs for moving to the Galilee up north or to the Negev down south. Both are wonderful places to raise your family. Remember also that education here is virtually free, but you'll have to a bit of legwork to find the right schools for your children. It's well worth it. The younger they are, the easier they'll adapt. May Hashem help you succeed! Blessings always, LB

Which Country is Safer, USA or Israel?

Safer Israel USA
In recent years, many people have expressed their hesitance in making Aliya because of the security situation in Israel, citing the terrorist bombings, stabbings and missile attacks that we've had to live with in recent years.

On the other hand, the USA has been coping with mass murders on an unprecedented scale, like the recent one in Las Vegas and the one yesterday in Texas. And, we're not even taking into consideration the deaths from natural disasters - fires, floods and hurricanes - that has plagued the USA in recent months.

Emuna News decided to compare the extent of violent crime deaths and other related statistics between the USA and Israel to see, analytically, if Israel is really more dangerous than the USA. Hold on, cherished friends - you're in for a big surprise:

Statistic*                                    Israel                            USA

Guns per 100 residents                 7.3                                  101.0

Murders per 100,000 people       1.04                                3.60

Suicides  per 100,000 people       0.67                               6.30  

Natural Disaster Risk**                 2.30%                           3.76%


**chance of becoming a victim of earthquake, storm, forest fire, flood, drought, sea-level rise, etc.

Violent crime: What does the USA need all the guns for? There are over 14 times more weapons per capita on America's streets than on Israel's. Murder per capita is three times higher in the USA than in Israel.

Suicide: Either Israelis are happier or our emotional climate is healthier because suicides in the USA are nearly ten times higher per capita in the USA than here in Israel.  

Natural disaster: In the USA, the chances of becoming a victim of natural disaster is 63% higher than it is in Israel.

Conclusion: even with Hamas, Hezbolla, ISIS and the Islamic Jihad on our borders and the plague of periodic terror in our midst, Israel is a much safer place to live than the USA. With that in mind, write my good friend Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Executive Director of Nefesh B'Nefesh, and tell him that you want to begin your aliya process. Rabbi Fass promised me that he would personally help any person I sent him, so tell him that Lazer Brody sent you.

Gather us Together

Gather us
Three times a day we pray in the "Shmona Esrei" prayer, "Gather us together from the four corners of the earth to our land." We conclude this blessing by saying Hashem's Name. Therefore, one who doesn't believe in or desire the ingathering of the exiles to our land is committing the heinous transgression of saying Hashem's Name in vain, a violation of the Third Commandment.

In case anyone is in doubt, "our land" refers to the holy Land of Israel. It does not refer to Brooklyn, London or Paris.

Recently, certain Jewish spiritual leaders have been discouraging the Jews of the Diaspora from making Aliya. One such leader recently warned, "The evil ones of the state [of Israel] are causing Jews to lose their religion,” and, "It’s very hard, almost impossible to remain a faithful Jew who believes in G-d and his Torah there.” 


Both Rav Shalom Arush and I were light-years away from Torah and emuna when we came to Israel. But, as the Gemara tells us in Tractate Ketubot, the Land of Israel is the Land of Emuna. By virtue of our coming to the Land of Israel, Hashem brought us to true emuna and to the Judaism of genuine faith, not just the outer trappings and the uniform. That could have never happened to us in Morocco or in Maryland, the places we where we spent our young years.

What's more, the most critical problem in the Diaspora today, especially in the above-mentioned rabbinical leader's own back yard, is that of the youth falling by the wayside in droves. Why? They are the dangerously exposed to local influences of the worst kind without the basic spiritual immunity needed to resist them. That spiritual immunity is the emuna that one can virtually feel in the Land of Israel.

Sure, the current government, the army and the state administration here are far from what we'd like to see. We pray for an emuna-oriented country. We are using all the tools at our disposal to make it that way by spreading emuna within the government, the army, and among the populace. If all of Monsey, Monroe, Boro Park, Flatbush, Crown Heights, Williamsburg, Golders Green, Stamford Hill, Boca Raton, Aventura, North Miami, Greenspring, Pikesville, Kemp Mill, Rogers Park, Skokie and (you fill in the blank) would get on the next plane and make aliya, we could have a Torah and emuna-oriented government tomorrow morning. No doubt that Moshiach would be soon in coming too...

Even if your personal circumstance doesn't enable to consider Aliya for the meanwhile, continue nevertheless to pray for it. The Land of Israel awaits you with open arms.

Geula and Finance: Best Advice for Investors

Broker and Gold
The world stock markets continue to tumble and people are looking for "safe" havens for investment. Who can they trust for advice?

At the time of this writing, Wall Street seems to be rallying. Loads of financial correspondents are calming the American public, "Don't panic - stay in the market; everything will be OK!"

Do the big investment bankers believe that everything will be OK on Wall Street? If so, why are they all hoarding gold as fast as they can?

According to securities attorney Avery Goodman, Goldman Sachs and HSBC took major positions in  physical-hold-in-your-hand gold last week, while continuing to recommend against buying gold to their clients! The gold bars were not purchased for bank clients. They were  purchased for the banks themselves. How do we know this? They are  designated by the exchange as being for delivery to the bank’s “house”  accounts at COMEX, not to client accounts.

As of August 6, before the stock-market bubble began its nose-dive, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) took delivery of a sum total of 7.1 tons of physical gold. Goodman writes, "No, I have not made any typographical errors. And no, I am not talking about electronic paper claims. I am talking about shiny yellow metal stuff that you can touch and feel."

Many people had a fit when a gave a straightforward spiritual analysis of where the market is going, both major investment banks Goldman Sachs and HSBC seem to be listening to what I wrote 9 weeks ago.

The conclusion one might make is not to do what your broker says, do what he does.

A better conclusion is not to listen to your broker at all; listen to your spiritual guide. If you don't have one, then search for one. Pick a spiritual guide who totally walks the walk and not simply talks the talk.

So what do you do with your money? Don't invest in the USDollar or in the Euro, for they are simply printed currency with no backing. Gold - solid gold - is better.

Yet, better than solid gold is real estate in Israel. The best is to buy yourself a flat (apartment in our local jargon) in Israel, make aliya and come live here. Hashem is creating all the difficulties around the world to bring His beloved children home to Israel when they wouldn't get up and do it on their own, so that they won't hold up the Geula process.

The historical pattern of financial difficulties is always followed by blaming the Jews. Don't wait for that to happen. Come home now, cherished brothers and sisters.

A tip of the kipa to Dr. Harry Hamburger for his contribution to today's post 

Eretz Yisrael - to come or not to come?

Dove Kotel 580
Dear Rabbi Lazer,

Is it safe to move to Israel? I want to make Aliya, but I'm afraid of the security situation. Thanks for your kind attention, MT, Teaneck, NJ

Dear MT,

The Melitzer Rebbe shlit'a holds that Eretz Yisrael is the safest place in the world for a shomer shabbat (a Sabbath-observant Jew), but the most dangerous place in the world for a mechallel shabbat (one who desecrates the Sabbath).

In all fairness, I have to be candid and tell you that even for a shomer shabbat, the Rebbe says you must be prepared to come down the ladder 10 pegs in standard of living, in order to go up the ladder 100 pegs in ruchniut (spirituality). As a general rule, ruchniut and gashmiut (materialism) don't mix (see Maor VaShemesh, parshas Behar). If a person's goal is Torah, mitzvot, and raising his family in an atmosphere of purity and holiness, then the Rebbe says yes, by all means, come right away with his blessing.

Note also that even if a person is a shomer shabbat, but Torah and Kedusha are not that person's highest priority, the Rebbe says to remember what the Gemara says - Torah, Eretz Yisrael, and Olam Haba (the world to come) all come with yissurim (tribulations). In this case, the Rebbe says that there are a myriad of individual considerations, especially since each case has its own merits. As such, he can't give a general answer. He reminds us though, that Eretz Yisrael is the palace of The King, and one must be prepared to live by the palace rules.

Summary: For those who are looking for Torah and kedusha, the Rebbe says to come right away, for Eretz Yisrael is the best place place in the world. For those who don't intend to observe Torah and mitzvot, the Rebbe shlit'a warns that E"Y is the most dangerous place in the world. For those in the middle, ask your local Rabbi, for each case has its own merits. Blessings always, LB

Aliya - Why So Hard?

Aliya Why So Hard
Why is Aliya so hard? Why do so many problems arise, especially with adolescents, once a family makes Aliya? How does a person succeed in Aliya?

Today's shiur, entitled "Aliya - Why so Hard?" will provide us with one clear answer for all these probing questions. It will take this evening (Wednesday), G-d willing, at 7:00 PM local time at our Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva, 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street, Jerusalem, in the main sanctuary. You can see today's lesson here - the broadcast, as well as our lessons posted from now on - are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in on time

As always, the live shiur is open to the public - both men and women are welcome - so if you're anywhere near Jerusalem, come on by! If you are not able to view today's broadcast live, then G-d willing, you'll be able to see the video tape of it on this coming Sunday's Lazer Beams.