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Essay by Sisiamo August 2014

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2/06/2014 9:37 平六六2/平六六2

We live in Australia now and not in Israel. Are we living in exile? What makes you say that?

The answer to this question

Exile… the literal meaning of the word is to be away from one's home, while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return. It can be a form of punishment and solitude.

Living outside of Israel is viewed as an unnatural state for a Jew. The world outside of Israel is often referred to as "galut," which is usually translated as "diaspora" (dispersion), but a more literal translation would be "exile" or "captivity." When we live outside of Israel, we are living in exile from our land.

A popular Jewish opinion is that there is no worse fate than living in exile. Without the hope and the inspiration that a nation can be restored to its land, a people in exile will eventually die out.

However, us Jews never gave up hope. This is clear in the anthem:

As long as deep within the heart

The Jewish soul is warm

And toward the edges of the east

An eye to Zion looks

Our hope is not yet lost,

The hope of two thousand years

To be a free people in our own land

In the land of Zion and Jerusalem.

To be a free people in our own land

In the land of Zion and Jerusalem.

A few weeks ago we celebrated Pesach and sang "L'shanah Habah Birushalayim!" Next year in Jerusalem, Rabbi Jeff Cymet has explained this idea in an article he wrote.

"As Jews, not a single day is allowed to pass without reminding ourselves that we are in exile; we pray daily for our ingathering. As comfortable as we...