03 Dec, 2020

The latest forecast from Jerusalem says that Israel is expecting 90,000 Jews from the diaspora to emigrate to Israel by the end of 2021. The process of Jewish people worldwide naturalizing in Israel is called ‘Aliyah’. Aliyah Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata said on Wednesday that the latest estimates reveal that 90,000 Jews worldwide (Olim) will move to Israel from around the world in the next 18 months reports the JPost.

Aliyah minister Pnina Tamano-Shata by Miriam Alster/Flash90

Meanwhile, Nefesh b’ Nefesh, a non-profit organization that facilitates the Aliyah process, reported that more American Jews applied to immigrate to Israel or inquired about it in May than in any single month over the last two decades.

The organization experienced nearly double the amount of Aliyah applications in May 2020 than in the same month last year. More than 800 households applied to make Aliyah online, compared to just 424 in May 2019.

Biblical perspective

The current Aliya surge seems to be what the prophet Jeremiah spoke about in chapter 31 passage 13:

And there is hope for your future —declares Hashem: Your children shall return to their country. (Jeremiah 31:13)

The Israel Bible elaborates on this exerpt saying: “In this moving passage, God speaks directly to the matriarch Rachel, who is known in Jewish tradition as having a special role in the redemption of her children, the Jewish people, and their return to Israel. According to Jewish tradition, when her father Laban gave her sister Leah to Yaakov in marriage in her stead, Rachel revealed to Leah a secret sign she had made with Yaakov in order to spare Leah from embarrassment. Because of Rachel’s unparalleled selflessness and love for her sister, it is Rachel’s prayers, tears and cries for compassion to her children that are heard by God more than any other biblical figure. God promises Rachel that those tears are not for naught, but rather “There is a reward for your labor” (verse 16) and “your children shall return to their country.” In a moving example of symbolism, this verse is often sung with emotion at Ben Gurion Airport as new Jewish immigrants arrive in Israel.”

What’s causing the sudden surge?
“With the combination of corona, financial instability, widespread unrest and antisemitism, Jews are shaken to their core for the first time and are looking for alternative places to live” says Josh Wander, founder of the Bring them Home organization which educates Jews on the spiritual importance of making Aliyah.”What better place to live than their ancestral homeland in Israel.”
“There are those out there who say that ‘this too shall pass’ and I constantly remind them that during the plagues in Egypt, the goal of the plagues was to send a message to the Egyptians which unfortunately – they didn’t receive well” he adds. “It’s possible that the riots will die down and they’ll fix the economy (although I don’t see that happening). But even if that does happen, the divine message for people to return is there.”
Echoing Wander’s sentiments, spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron Rabbbi Yishai Fleisher released an “invitation” for Jews worldwide to move back to Israel hinting that the comfort they enjoyed in America could be coming to an end.