MAILBAG: WE’VE HAD ENOUGH! Let Our People Leave Israel – Stop Keeping Americans Hostage!

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Dear Yeshiva World News,

I didn’t think that I would be writing this, but the meshigas has been going on now for almost two weeks now and no one else has written anything, so I have to!

I am a normal person who moved from Brooklyn to Toms River. I have a few children, some married, and some in seminary and yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel. We don’t do hotels for Pesach, but we do go to Florida every year as a family. This past year has been very hard for all of us. We were not together last year Pesach or summer because of COVID. We were moser nefesh to send our kids to E”Y this past year. My daughter had to give birth without her mother, husband or any other family in Yerushalayim. The seminary year for my daughter has been a far cry from the year we imagined. My son is shteiging in yeshiva, but locked up in plastic bubbles. Every other day there seems to be a lockdown. its been insane for everyone. We didn’t go to be oleh regel for sukkos as we normally do. Our kids didn’t come home for Chanukah and we and they missed many family simchas on both sides. Zoom is great but only goes that far.

When they announced that they were finally opening the skies to let people fly a few weeks ago, we were all thrilled! We have been looking forward to being together as a family for a whole year now! We booked tickets for everyone to come home for a well needed yom tov break. Then one ticket cancelled, and another rebooked. Its been two weeks of constant PCR tests, ever changing regulations, crazy schedules – imagine running to the airport, packing to fly, only to find out your flight is no more. Again and again. Everyone is blaming everyone else. The askonim are saying don’t leave, because otherwise you don’t know if or when you can go back.

It seems to have become a political game, and we are the pawns before elections. And the guilt that everyone is giving us that we don’t want the zechus for our children of being Eretz Hakodesh for Pesach, of why is everyone trying to run away from Israel? Let me tell you, we love E”Y as much as the next person, which by the way as a collective frum yidden in America pour a TON into the economy in Israel when we go. Does the government really think that after this massive failure we will be in a rush to come back and visit? Enough is enough already! And to all the people faking corona tests – stop it’s ruining it for everyone else! Yes, I know that priority should go to to medical cases and worse situations, but just open more flights – we also have a right want to spend time as a family together. To all the government people reading this now:

Dayenu! Let us go!

And make a simple guidelines in ENGLISH saying exactly what forms and tests need to be done WHEN to leave.

The following letter was going around social media today, and I think everyone should put their name on it and send it to the emails below:

Dear Ministry of Transportation,

First of all, we would like to thank you for everything you do for us. We are sure you try your utmost to manage your responsibilities while simultaneously protecting the public from health hazards.

The Government ruled to “open” the skies as of March 7. However, this came along with great limitations on the amount of people coming in and out of the country. That has led to numerous flights becoming cancelled for the upcoming 2 weeks, thereby leaving us stuck here without the ability to get on any other flight.

There are some of us that are traveling for family weddings and some of us who are traveling to help a parent or a family member in medical need. The idea that we won’t be able to fly out at this point is taking an extreme toll on us and our families both financially and emotionally.

PLEASE, we ask you to help us out and do something about it.

We are now at a point where most of the citizens in the county have either been vaccinated or have recovered from corona. Over 90% of the high-risk population have been vaccinated as well and most people returning to the county now (over 65%) are either vaccinated or have recovered from Corona.

A month and a half ago, the goal was to get the majority of the high-risk population vaccinated in order for activities to open up. We are way beyond that point now.

Please consider this email, and bring this up to the Corona Cabinet for approval. WE NEED MORE FLIGHTS ASAP!

It is greatly unjust to affect thousands of people in this manner. We need your help.

Thank you again for everything that you do. We hope to hear better news in the coming days regarding the flight schedule.

לכבוד משרד התחבורה,

קודם כל, תודה רבה לכם על כל מה שאתם עושים בשבילנו.

כידוע הממשלה אישרה את פתיחת נתב”ג במוצ”ש (6 במרץ) אבל הוטלו מגבלות על כמות הנוסעים ולכן רוב הטיסות שכבר היו אמורות לצאת מישראל השבוע ושבוע הבא בוטלו לגמרי והשאירו אותנו תקועים בלי שום דרך לעלות טיסה, הרבה מאיתנו חייבים להגיע לחו”ל מהרבה סיבות, חתונות של אחים ואחיות וילדים, סיבות בריאותיות, עזרה למשפחה בחו”ל, ועצם העובדה שכל כך הרבה טיסות התבטלו בדקה האחרונה, וגם אין טיסות אחרות שאפשר לעלות עליהם מאוד מאוד פוגעת בנו גם כלכלית וגם נפשית.

בבקשה ממכם, תפתחו את נתב”ג ותתנו ליותר אנשים להכנס ולצאת מהארץ ביום. אי אפשר לפתוח את השמים אבל לתת רק לכמות קטנה של אנשים להכנס כי אז כל הטיסות פנים וחוץ מתבטלות ובעצם משאירים את הכל סגור.
זה עוול גדול לכולנו, כל כך הרבה אנשים שתקועים ולא יודעים מה יעשו.

בבקשה ממכם, תעשו משהו, רוב האנשים בארץ כבר מחוסנים או עברו קורונה, גם הנכנסים לארץ ברובם או שעברו קורונה או שהתחסנו וממילא אין סיבה להמשיך לבטל עשרות של טיסות ולתקוע אותנו כאן בלי שום אפשרות לעשות משהו.

תודה רבה לכם שוב על כל מה שאתם עושים בשבילנו, מקווים לשמוע בימים הקרובים בשורות טובות יותר בעניין פתיחת הטיסות.

תודה.

Misrad Hatachbura’s complaints email address:
[email protected]

Miri Regev (Misrad Hatachbura’s minister):
[email protected]

Prime minister office email address:
[email protected]
[email protected]

Moshe Berger – Toms River, NJ

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.

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(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


25 COMMENTS

  1. I highly recommend you listen to joey newcombs song THANK YOU HASHEM. you can’t change the situation but you CAN change your attitude. There’s a lot to b thankful for this year. You’re alive.

  2. I really feel the pain of you NOT being able to make your visits to eretz yiroel :
    Let me start off that instead of Complaining about your inconveniences you should Thousand times Thank Hashem that your children are B”H healthy and are in a stage of being able to fly financially and mentally.
    I am sure you know as all Klal Yisroel knows that unfortunate there is NO mishpacha who has NOT lost a Relative,Friend,Neighbor, Shul chavrusa to this terrible Magyfe. So if your problem B”H is only not having your family members at your seder table you should keep on Thanking Hashem.
    Do you really think ElAl or other airlines do NOT want to fly your kids home? Do you believe really that the Israeli government dosent want their skies open to all Tourists?
    Till today there is NOT a single country who has figured out the right approach to Combat this terrible Virus and Guidelines,Restrictions,keep on changing by the Hours.The world is lost and trying every way to slow down this Virus.
    Israeli hospitals are filled with young mothers,Pregnant women, Children,The eldery and by so far it hasnt stopped infecting more citizens.
    So i suggest Please enjoy your Seder at home with your Family and maybe invite a guest or two and when you make the Bruche Shecheuni Thank Hashem that you can make a Seder.
    How many Families are Heartbroken this year Pesach when there is NO father to make the Seder or there is NO mother doing the cooking and how many children wont ask Ma Nishtana this year because they have NO father to ask. How many families are looking out for financial support so they can buy the basic Passover shopping to feed their families because their Parnassah was lost to Covid?
    So please sit down and make a Cheshbon Hanefesh if you really need to complaint or just cry loud when you reach Chasal sedir Pesach and ask hashem Leshono Haboo Byerushelyim:::

  3. Sorry. While you seem to be serious and well intentioned you come off as privileged and spoiled. Life can be hard but those in charge should not make their decisions based on what an occasional tourist wants. Their responsibility is the safety of their citizens and only that. They owe you nothing. Any interest in opening Israel to non citizens is a financial decision that has to be considered risk relative to benefit to their citizens.
    For the record, I hope I can call myself frum. My daughter was in Seminary and no, she did not have to go home to see mommy and Daddy during that year. My wife had our children in the USA without parents being present, it worked out BH.
    By the way, frum families do not add as much to the Israeli economy as you think. The new mode of using apartments instead of Hotels is part of that. Most Seminaries get some funding from the Israeli Government (yes, we still pay a lot!!!) and there are many that get monthly checks for each child born in Israel. Friends have found it is cheaper to support their married children in Israel than in the USA.

  4. The entire planet is now wishing that it had had Benjamin Netanyahu for the past year runing its COVID-19 response. israel is closer to returning to normal than anywhere else in the world right now. Be patient; once everyone else is vaccinated you will think that a miracle has occurred. (That assumes of course that the idiot anti-vaxxers can be contained.)

  5. The government needs, you to come more than you do. Tourism is essential for our economy, they would like to open the skies ASAP, but doing it too early is bad in the long term for everyone. Lives are at stake.
    Yes the vaccine program is progressing nicely, but cannot yet be relied on, the risk is too great.
    This is especially true because new mutations are popping up all the time, and no one knows how the next one will react to the vaccine. It’s well worth waiting a few more months (a short period, when putting things in prospective) and being sure and safe. That is also why Israeli law still requires masks.
    The government has shown more precaution that other western countries, and the results are evident. As sad as it it that almost 6000 died, (647 per million) this is far less than the UK (1835 p/m), the US, (1631) Belgium (1921 p/m) etc. etc.
    Your son may have been in a a plastic bubble for a short while but there has been none of that for the last six months, at least. And no, there is not a lockdown every second day, when the numbers rise too high, there is inevitably a lockdown, which last only as long as the numbers are high.
    You have not been dealing with homeschooling, like we in Israel have had to put up to – but we are sensible and long-term focused, it is in the best interest of everyone, especilaly the elderly, the vulnerable, the pregnant, and recently, even the youngsters. Don’t be self-centered, and don’t focus only on today.
    I am very happy for you that you can afford to fly everybody out to a shared holiday in Florida, and that you can fly everybody every year to EY for Succos. Besides all those that can’t make it to the end of the month, every those that are managing, can only dream of such trips, and even then, only on the rare occasion. I’m happy for you, and not jealous, but -sorry to say- you are a spoilt brat complaining when you can’t have your luxuries. When you can, enjoy! When you can’t, OK, you are just like the rest of us.
    I would highly reccomend that this year you are נושא בעול with the others who have been hit far worse than you at this time. Donate the value of the tickets (and rental and all the other costs….) to the cause of your choice:
    !) Business owners who have been out of business because of the lockdown.
    2) Families that are struggling because the illness caused loss of work.
    3) kollelim and Yeshivos who cannot send fundraisers abroad to raise the minimum funds to survive.
    4) Yesomim & Almonos who lost their fathers and husbands, the breadwinners, to Covid.

    These people are all suffering, maybe feel the pinch with them?

    Sincerely wishing that next year, Corona will be a thing of the past, and you and all your family will be able to spend Yom Tov together, in good health and high spirits, and suffer no disappointments,

  6. Am i the only one who has an issue with this letter? It starts off by saying “I am a normal person who moved from Brooklyn to Toms River.”

    But then goes on to say:
    “but we do go to Florida every year as a family.”
    “We didn’t go to be oleh regel for sukkos as we normally do. Our kids didn’t come home for Chanukah”

    What a normal family!! If these are the standards for normal then we have other issues, worse then no flights to Israel.
    If i remember correctly last year there was a massive push to convince the chassanim and kallos to have smaller chassunas, because who needs gashmiyus. So only gashmiyus for chassanim and kallos on the most momentums day of their lives needs to be cut. But family trips to Florida and “Oleh Regal” for Sukkas doesnt. The hypocrisy is disgusting!!
    Correct me if im wrong, but most people dont fly home for Chanukah.
    Your poor son and daughter in Israel, who went to grow there, are stuck learning in school instead of having camp in Israel. Terrible!! You should probably ask for a refund.
    Also, they left to Israel in middle of a pandemic. So you should’ve expected things to not be smooth sailing.

  7. What this writer is so correctly so stating is:- Israel’s separating parents & children is infinitely worse than what was transpiring at the USA/Mexican border with parents & children being separated. I couldn’t more wholeheartedly concur with this writer.
    We should all have become athletes & prime-ministers, and then we would have been welcome into Israel with open arms, without any quarantine nor mask requirements. Time for the athletes to give money to Israel rather than we regular Jews who have been treated as villains & parasites and cruelly rebuffed & tossed around by the wicked Israeli Government.

  8. I really uncertain if you wrote the article as satire or not. Are you trying to poke fun at the wealthy who fly the entire family to Florida for Pesach or fly internationally for chanuka?
    Are you oblivious to the fact that many in our community have lost their livelihoods, that many in Israel cannot put bread on the table (literally) and many have lost beloved ones this year due to the actual pandemic that they are trying to curb by closing the airport.
    Maybe and hopefully by your kids being forced to stay in Israel alone, they will learn some independence and not be as self centred as their parents.
    I’ll finish off by saying that, your oleh regel for sukkos needed, you do it to virtue signal and pat yourself on the back.
    PS, trust me, you can’t resist and you’ll be back in Israel in a flash…..

  9. I’m really uncertain if you wrote the article as satire or not. Are you trying to poke fun at the wealthy who fly the entire family to Florida for Pesach or fly internationally for chanuka?
    Are you oblivious to the fact that many in our community have lost their livelihoods, that many in Israel cannot put bread on the table (literally) and many have lost beloved ones this year due to the actual pandemic that they are trying to curb by closing the airport.
    Maybe and hopefully by your kids being forced to stay in Israel alone, will learn some independence and not be as self centred as their parents.
    I’ll finish off by saying that, your oleh regel for sukkos isn’t needed, as you do it to virtue signal and pat yourself on the back.
    PS, trust me, you can’t resist and you’ll be back in Israel in a flash…..Hopefully the government decisions are partially taken for care of others, unlike yours.

  10. in my opinion these letters don’t help being that most offices in Israel don’t help
    and since most americans in israel can’t vote this doesn’t take anything out of there pockets and the fact that its good for the economy or not doesn’t change very much
    Lapid destroyed the economy when he was in the government and he is still pushing to become secretary of treasury and people are voting for him

  11. So what I’m hearing is your married daughter can’t travel to her parents. I’m sure treating her like an 10 year old really helps her marriage. She has a husband and family of her own! The mitzvos of Pesach don’t include being at the same table with your married daughter eating Lakewood takeout food. By the way, I’m sorry you couldn’t spend Succos in Israel. The Waldorf will accept reservations for 2021. Maybe at the seder this year “Let all those who are poor and hungry, come in and eat” will have a more meaningful connection, as it’s not just poetic words we say late at night. Dayeinu!

  12. This has got to be satire.

    Thank G-d the Israeli government does not base its decisions upon the opinions of wealthy American tourists.

  13. Hi from Israel. One doesn’t have to be a blazing Zionist to see the irony of complaints from “Americans” whose kids can’t come “home” to Toms River and have to keep on shteiging. And after all the economic favors you’ve done for us! I noticed that veiled threat to pull the plug on us. Well, in the past year we’ve also locked out the four million tourists who normally would have visited. They would have spent quite a bit, too. And those zigzag rules…. It’s a zigzag virus, with a British variant that hasn’t hit the U.S. yet, ר”ל. We change the rules when the virus changes its rules. If only we could be consistent like America, where there’s one rule for all and anyone with medium-strength high-tech skills can line up a vaccine, maybe.

  14. Wow – I really could have stopped reading this childish rant after “lived in Brooklyn, moved to Toms River”. That should have informed me of all I need to know.

    You’re terribly inconvenienced by a global pandemic that has wiped out millions of people, many thousands of which were your own Jewish friends, relatives, and neighbors? Seriously???

    If you can’t understand how selfish, insensitive, and foolish that makes you look, I’m sorry somebody dropped you on your head when you were a baby.

    Take a good look in the mirror, and try saying Modeh Ani- slowwwwwwly, one word at a time, with kavanah, and maybe HaShem will enlighten you. Wishing you and your family a Chag Kosher V’Sameach.

  15. I see that most of the responses to this letter do not share the sense of empathy that the writer is looking for, and they have made very good points including Hakaras HaTov simply for having healthy family members after the pandemic has waged war on many families here and in Israel.

    However, I do believe that there is room for expressing some degree of sympathy with the writer based upon the concept of “Ha’avet Ta’avitenu Dei Machsoro Asher Yechsar Lo” (Devarim 15;8) which requires us to try to restore the lifestyle of a wealthy person who lost his fortune and is now poor. We can feel bad for the writer who yearns to be together with his family for Pesach as he has been used to in the past and try to give him chizuk even if we don’t live or identify with his lifestyle.

    Perhaps a good word such as “I feel your pain and understand your disappointment with not being together with your entire family this Pesach, but you may feel better if you look back on this past year and thank the RBSh”O for the hatzala Hashem has granted your family, and hopefully you will be able to get together with them for Sukkos” would go further and accomplish more than the harsh responses that are listed above.

  16. What about Israeli citizens who LIVE in Israel who are stranded overseas? I was one of them. Flights canceled then PCR tests expire (they are very expensive in UK), mothers waiting since December to get home to their young children, people running out of money & medicines…there are Olim whose lifts have arrived in Israel (& presumably racking up exorbitant “storage” fees) who have been waiting weeks, if not months, to get here.

    Vacationers can whinge all they want, but this ridiculously confusing situation is much worse for those of us who already hold Teudot Zehut yet are still stranded & can’t get back. It’s a nightmare.

  17. And another thing: the author is complaining his adult children can’t go home for Pesach? Boo hoo. My high school granddaughter isn’t going home to Europe for Pesach (BH she has us) because she probably won’t be allowed back & she has a lot of bagriots to take. Furthermore, she has a new sister born January 1 whom she hasn’t met. Yet she isn’t complaining, neither are her parents. It is what it is.

    We are living in a crazy world, in crazy times. Perhaps instead of complaining that you can’t all be together & have your usual nice Florida vacation, you could spare a thought for families who are separated because one or more didn’t survive this pandemic.

  18. As an American in Yerushalyim I would like to cry out the pain and anguish of more than a thousand Students in Israel that need to come home for Pesach, (for Chasidishe Bucherim it is not practical to stay in Yeshivah, as everyone has their Chumrahs), and the Israeli government limit the amount of flights entering and exiting Israel which made very difficult to leave Israel, and especially when United Airlines cancelled their flights because of a dipute between them and the Israeli government on how many flights they are allowed to operate from and to Israel.

  19. I read your article a few times, and your children must be very lucky to have a parent who so badly wants to spend time with them. I saw the pain of a father who wants to hold his children close yet there are to many things in the way.

    You do bring up some interesting points but then you contradict yourself multiple times.
    You write how, people like you when you come to Israel Stimulate the economy with Tons of money. If you really cared about the economy, I can give you bank accounts to wire to in Israel to stimulate the economy here. Perhaps take your business from India and the Philippines and bring it to Israel where you can support and stimulate the economy of many young families here in Eretz Yisroel. BH here in Eretz Yisroel we are basically at a level of herd immunity and people are finally going back to work and trying to yes, stimulate the economy.

    How would you feel if one of your children G-d forbid brought back to Israel a new strain of the virus from Florida that maybe the vaccine does not protect against and now all those people are back out of a job and all the bittul Torah that would happen from another lockdown, would be because you can not fathom spending Yom Tov in a different locale than your grown-up children, as the world is still in a battle against this thing.

    I know you moved from Brooklyn to Toms River, you do know that those towns make up .00000000000001% of the world. Just because you and your friends live in a bubble that Corona does not exist and is made up, does not make it not real, ask anyone who unfortunately lost their loved ones, their jobs, their identity etc. So if your really cared about the economy, you would understand why they are trying to limit who is coming into the country.

    However, you do not care about the economy in Israel. To you, Israel is a vacation spot like L.A., Cancun, Miami, Parris, Venice, or Abbu Dabi, where the trip is all about you and filling your needs to flaunt your affluence and indulge with expensive food, accommodations, attractions, and entertainment. You so eloquently wrote, “Does the government really think that after this massive failure we will be in a rush to come back and visit?” So it is not about the economy, you only put as much money in as long as it makes you feel good into and has nothing to do with anything else.

    Your hypocrisy and self-entitlement is not what bothered me most about your article. I mean how could you not see the Irony. You write as a father who is in pain and just wants to spend Yom Tov with his children, and due to a few obstacles at the moment can not see that happening. Can you imagine the pain of our father in heaven who wants to spend Yom Tov together with us his children together as a family? It has been way more than a year since the last time that happened.

    You understand this though, as you write “We didn’t go to be oleh regel for sukkos as we normally do.” Have you ever read the words of Mussaf on Yom Tov? “Shalosh Peamim Bashana Yeiroeh Kol Zechurcha Es Pnei Hashem” incase they did not teach you what the means, it means that three times a year you should be Oleh Regel, “Bchag HAMATZOS, Bchag Hashevuos, uBchag Hasukkos” do you know what Chag Hamatzos is? That’s correct, it refers to Pesach. To you however it’s not about Aliya L’regel, it once again is about what makes you feel good to show off to your friends that you can splurge.

    As a side point, you mention “And to all the people faking corona tests – stop it’s ruining it for everyone else!” do you know that many Israeli companies will not take US Credit Cards, because the USA is the only country in the world that you can call the credit card company and decline the charges just because you don’t want to pay and the merchant gets penalized. So the companies said they will not take foreign credit cards, I think you figured out why. The US Embassy is taking much longer to process emergency Passports because too many people were forging documentation to travel for “emergency” (you know like spending Y”T with family) situations. All in the name of “This is what I want, so this is what I get at all costs” I’m not sure you grasp the Chilul Hashem displayed here by “which by the way as a collective frum yidden in America pour a TON into the economy in Israel when we go.”

    Agav, I don’t anyone who thinks it is ok to just go for Chanuka, it’s not a thing.

    Do you thing you are the only one who has had a hard year? “This past year has been very hard for all of us. We were not together last year Pesach or summer because of COVID.” You ant the only one, but as has been blatantly obvious from the rest of this letter, no one else on the planet matters besides yourself.

    I get it, you are frustrated, but grow up and set an example for your children, that sometimes things don’t work exactly how we expect sometimes and that is also ok. Being in Eretz Yisroel For Yom Tov is an amazing opportunity. Maybe it’s time to start looking for a sheep to use in two weeks.

    I sign as someone who lives in the holy city of Yerushalayim. Daily crying with the rest of the city “Aba, we are here, please open the door! “Vsham Naaleh, Vneiroeh v’nishtachave Lifnaecha” “Kein Hashem Elokeinu, V’Elokei Avoseinu Yagienu Lmoadim, uLiregalim Acheirim Habaim Likraseinu Lishalom, Simeichim Bbinyan Irecha, v’sasim B’Avodasecha, Vnochal sham min Hazevachim uMin Hapsachim asher Yagia Damam Al Kir Mizbechecha Liratzon, V’Nodeh Lecha Shir Chadash Al Geulaseinu v’Al pedus Nafsheinu” Aba we are home, we feel the hug of you not letting go, so please just open the door to the “house” again and let us in, because that is what we all really want.”

    Chag Kasher V’Sameach wherever you are.
    A Yid on the other side.