Looking at Zion

A Jewish Perspective on Israel-Diaspora relationship: 235 members of Jewish communities around the globe answered a questionnaire, which asked them to articulate their thoughts and feelings towards Israel

Rami Tal

Rami Tal, Student, Sydney

“I feel connected to Israel in the way that whatever they do effects Jews in the Diaspora. Whatever happens to Israel, I feel. whatever Israel does, I feel.”

The Interviewee -Rami Tal (Born 1994), Commerce and Psychology Student, Sydney, Australia.

In your opinion, what importance, if any, does the existence of a Jewish state have to you personally and to Jewish people in general?

“The existence of Israel as a Jewish state is very important to Jewish people all across the diaspora, including myself, as it enables us to connect our Judaism with something tangible and allows Jews around the world to feel safe knowing that we have a second home.”

Do you feel committed in some way to defend the future existence of Israel?

“Certainly. As a Jew, Hasbarah is part of my everyday life, either at University in the work place, on the sports field or in a public area, if anyone has questions about Israel or is attacking Israel aggressively, it is up to us as Jews ‘defend’ Israel in these instances.”

Do you affiliate yourself with a specific denomination in Judaism? What is your view regarding the dominance of the Orthodox denomination in Israel religious establishment?

“I would call myself a traditional, progressive orthodox Jew. I really pick and choose what i do, even though i am a believer in ‘HaShem’ and Judaism. I think it is great there are so many practicing Orthodox Jews in Israel, keeping our roots, traditions and values alive.”

Do you feel morally responsible for Israel’s actions (such as its management of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict)?

“I feel connected to Israel in the way that whatever they do effects Jews in the Diaspora. Whatever happens to Israel, I feel. whatever Israel does, I feel. However my moral compass is not shaken by the actions Israel takes.”

In your opinion, what is the main thing Israelis fail to understand about the reality of being Jewish outside of Israel?

“I believe the two main things Israelis may fail to understand about Jews in the Diaspora is;
1) Even though we do not Live in Israel, we can still whole heartedly love and support Israel
2) It is much harder being Jewish outside of Israel, that is why we celebrate the simchas and chagim with a lot of nachas.”

How would you describe Israel’s policy (formally and in practice) regarding its relationship with the Diaspora?

“It is constantly changing. Israel needs to work harder then other countries to maintain a good image, sometimes putting what the world think is right before what is right for them.

In your opinion, does Israel have an obligation to defend and help Jewish communities in need?

“Of course. Just as we have an obligation to help Israel, Israel has an obligation to help us. I feel Israel does fulfill this.”

Have you ever been to Israel? if you have, can you summarize your impressions from Israel?

“I have spent a lot of time in Israel. It is the most beautiful country in the world, with amazing landscapes and a diverse range of personalities.

Can you tell us a bit about the Jewish community in your hometown?

“Strong affiliation with Israel. The community is very comfortable with each other and shares a strong bond over our Judaism.

If you could ask the Israeli readers of this project a question, what would it be?

“When are you coming to visit?”

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