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Dec 29, 2005

Being a lazy Jew?

Ha'aretz article
My wife had a carpet cleaner come to the house yesterday. He was a Yemenite Jew who used to be religious but now is not. He stopped keeping everything. A few years ago he went to the U.S. and stayed there for 3 years. Every day he put on tefillin. He says he never missed a day. Now he is back in Israel but it is only temporary. He is trying to get a green card to go back to the U.S.
He said that here in Israel he feels Jewish and does not need to keep any of the mtizvos in order to feel part of the Jewish Nation. In the U.S. he naturally feels the need to do some mitzvos (like tefillin) just so he can feel Jewish, as being surrounded by goyim makes him need to be more active in his Jewishness.
While I disagree with the premise that one can be a lazy Jew in Israel and just be Jewish because he is here, look at the spark of Judaism burning in our blood. Here is a Jew who was so disassociated and disenfranchised with being a Jew that he gave it all up and was "chozer b'sheilah" (became not frum). Yet, he still feels the need to be and feel Jewish. He does not want to just be an American or a plain old person. He so wants to be a Jew and wants to feel as part of the Jewish Nation, that he will even do mitzvos that he rejected in order to be part of us.
Mi Ke'Amcha Yisrael!

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