Now THAT'S a Movie!
My wife and I sat down last night to watch the epic film "EXODUS." We had each read the book, but had never seen the movie, and although her initial reaction had more to do with Paul Newman's looks ("He actually could pass off as a good-looking Jew.") than Aliyah, she said to me at one point ... "How could anyone who watches this movie NOT make Aliyah?!"
I felt the same way. This movie, made in 1960, illustrates just as much about how far Israel has come than it does the Exodus arrival itself.
For example, not a single kippa is seen through the first half of the movie. (We haven't watched the second half yet.) Now, you look on the average Tel Aviv street - nevermind Jerusalem - and you are bound to see at least one.
The land itself is also next to barren. No trees. No tall buildings. No nuthin. Just sand, a few buildings and dirt roads. Incredible. You travel around the country now, and it's as advanced as the most westernized nations around the world.
But here's the key:
When they are on that boat, waiting in the Cyprus harbor for the British to allow them to set sail, and they are willing to give up their lives just to step foot on Israeli soil ... just to feel free ... just to be out from behind a fence, you can't take that scene literally.
You must understand the message. We are still stuck behind fences. We are still locked up. We are still behind bars. But those fences are the business world. Those chains are materialism. Those bars are made of dollar bills.
You've all had a chance to look at the results of the poll we conducted. Far and away, the biggest barrier to making aliyah is $$$$$. Think about that. We consider ourselves to be Torah-observant Jews, and yet we find a way to put money in front of our religiosity.
And spare me the old "but you need a lot of money to make Aliyah" garbage. Because you know what? The longer you wait, the more money you will need.
These people on the real EXODUS (left - yes, the movie's based on a true story) were willing to starve to death for the right to land in Israel.
What are you willing to do?