The Diasporavirus

Just as we all sympathize with, and pray for the speedy recovery, of all people stricken with Coronavirus, we must empathize with, and pray for the speedy recovery of our brothers and sisters suffering from the devastating plague of Diaporavirus, which is dwindling the ranks of Am Yisrael outside the Land of Israel.

With the Presidents of the Major Jewish Organizations of America visiting Israel this week, it is an appropriate time to address this fast-spreading dilemma. While Coronavirus is accompanied by a fever, making an early diagnosis possible, Diasporavirus is far more difficult to detect.

In fact, most Jews carrying the virus don't feel ill at all. This is because the virus has damaged their sensory system, adversely affecting their mental capacities and numbing their spiritual being. Because of this, they don't feel the Jewish soul's anguish being imprisoned in a foreign, Gentile land. They don't hear the horrifying scream of the Shekinah in being captive in a polluted non-Jewish environment.

Because of the mental disorder caused by the Diasporavirus epidemic, they exhibit signs of disorientation, believing they have found the Promised Land in America, Australia, and Mexico. In severe cases, they forget Jerusalem entirely and believe are genuine Americans, Frenchmen, Germans, and Englishmen, rather than their true selves — Israelites temporarily dwelling in Exile after having been cast out from their eternal Homeland.

Another problem in identifying Diasporavirus stems from the fact that its symptoms resemble healthy states in Gentiles amongst whom they mingle and live. A Jew with Diasporavirus loves to act just like the non-Jews around him, until it is hard to tell the difference between them.

Many Diasporians with DV don't think there is anything wrong in celebrating Xmas or Easter. When the virus becomes ensconced in their blood cells, they develop a passionate longing to marry foreign spouses, and to forget about their Jewish heritage completely.

While religion has proven to be a vaccination against the disease, the effect of the Judaism pill is only partial, as Rabbi Kook writes, in a somewhat different context, in the first chapter of "Orot." In an Orthodox Jew infected with Diasporavirus, the yearning for Salvation from the Exile gradually wanes and disappears, until he or she longs to remain in the Diaspora forever.

The Land of Israel is seen as a nice place for a 10 day visit, but not as a life goal, and all of the national facets of the Torah, such as the command to build a Torah Nation in the Holy Land, the vision of all of the Prophets of Israel, become external to his existence — something for the Israelis to deal with, but not for him.

In his Diasporavirus-inspired state, he is an American Jew, content with keeping Shabbos and munching on Glatt Kosher popcorn while he watches TV sitting on his comfortable couch as the Israelis and their children risk their lives to defend the Promised Land so that he can continue to say, year after year, "Next Year in Jerusalem," even though he doesn't mean it.

What's the cure for Diasporavirus? Unfortunately, there is only one. Aliyah. This is the message the Jewish leaders of the exile must bring back to the Jews in order to save them.

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About the Author

Tzvi Fishman
Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. His recent movie "Stories of Rebbe Nachman" is available online.