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Another Exodus

As told in this week’s parasha, Moses couldn’t enter the Promised Land. My three brothers, the subjects of my latest documentary film, chose to leave it.

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Tomer Heymann and his brothers. (Courtesy of Heymann Brothers Films)

This week’s parasha begins on a sad note, as the dying Moses begs God to let him into the Promised Land. “O Lord God, you have begun to show your servant your greatness and your strong hand,” he says. “Pray let me cross over and see the good land that is on the other side of the Jordan.” But God refuses.

For me, Moses’ heartbreak hits particularly close to home. Earlier this year, I released my newest film, a documentary titled The Queen Has No Crown. It tells the story of my family, started by Berlin Jews who fled to Israel and swore never to leave it, and of what happened to it when three out of my four brothers decided to seek out their fortune in the United States. Theirs were personal decisions, but they were informed by knowing that Moses, like so many generations of Jews throughout history, never got to set foot in the homeland, the homeland my brothers were now leaving.

But what is the meaning of this homeland when so many foreign cultures offer a more rewarding, more convenient life? And what is the relationship between nation and family? These are questions with which Moses spent his life struggling. They are the ones that occupy me, too. I hope my film—a clip from which is below—is a beginning of an answer.

Tomer Heymann is an award-winning Israeli filmmaker.

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Christopher Orev says:

Thank you for sharing the clip. I look forward to watching.

Hosshi says:

I think you shouldn’t push so hard on the questions. You’re leading by questioning rather than actually listening to the responses. You’ve already got an agenda in hand.
At least, in your documentary, be truthful about your bias.

jacob arnon says:

“But what is the meaning of this homeland when so many foreign cultures offer a more rewarding, more convenient life? And what is the relationship between nation and family? These are questions with which Moses spent his life struggling. They are the ones that occupy me, too. I hope my film—a clip from which is below—is a beginning of an answer.”

I am not sure you want an answer, but here it is anyway.

“when so many foreign cultures offer a more rewarding, more convenient life?”

Is this true, and if you think it is, is it a permanent condition?

How do you know that next year or the year after or in twenty years which isn’t a long time in the life of the Jewish people conditions will change and Jews will not be welcomed as they are today?

There are enormous changes in the world. Conditions in Europe have changed so much in my life time that the place is hard to recognize.

Europe was very hostile to Jews once, then it became more friendly, then it became murderous, then it became friendly again out of feeling of guilt, now with the influx of Muslims Jews feel unsafe in many places.

Will it get better or will it get worse? This no one can foresee.

America too is changing there are indications that in a generation the country will be very different.

If there is conflict between immigrants and natives on whose side will Jews be?

There has never been a society in conflict where Jews weren’t seen as traitors by both sides.

In Israel at least Jews can fight back.

People who live Israel for material gain will not be moved by arguments about peoplehood and identity. So be it, but know this the material well being will not last long in most of the world.

Harold Zvi says:

Congratulations – you’ve done a terrific service to the skeptics and consequently to those who desperately wish us to disappear.

I think this is ultimately a positive thing that the weak, who rationalize their yearning to surrender, which is a personal character flaw, by believing themselves to be “liberals”, leave the country. The only problem is I wish they wouldn’t come to the US where they spread their poison in THIS country. After 2012 they’ll probably want to run some place else. This current liberal chapter in America is sunsetting in astonishing and irrefutable failure and they’ll soon find the US as abhorrent for its determination and resilience as they do their native land. Maybe the place for them is France.

PS. The guy also has a pedophile vibe. I suppose that’s also understandable, “cool” and ultimately and noble in his universe.

Carol says:

“Maybe the place for them is France.”

All of Europe will soon become right wing. European right wing, which is to say antisemitic right wing.

Hungary is already there.

Looks like an interesting film, hopefully I can see it in full.

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Another Exodus

As told in this week’s parasha, Moses couldn’t enter the Promised Land. My three brothers, the subjects of my latest documentary film, chose to leave it.

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