Passaic Is Better Than Israel
I just got back from a beautiful Chasuna and had an interesting conversation with two fellow Jews I hold very highly from. They are both seriously committed BT's who learn a lot and both spent more than a year of full time learning in various BT yeshivas.
Anyhow, I am always trying to get people excited about making aliya even if I myself have no concrete plans (I have to justify myself here somehow). How would you respond to their main reason as to why Passaic is better than Israel:
As I think you are aware Passaic is unique on the American scene in that it his composed of seriously committed BT Torah Jews who happen to also have jobs and earn an honest living. They claim that such a phenomenon (or hashkoffa if you will) does not exist at the community level in Israel. In Israel, one is either Charadi and can't work but has Torah, or one is Dati Leumi and works but is not so "yeshivish" in the American sense or at least sincerely committed to the Torah.
As I personally have not spent any significant time there, I can only rely on what I hear from others. I must admit I hear this excuse a lot. A BT who is seriously committed and works is better off in a place like Passaic or maybe Baltimore or Atlanta. The cultural differences in Israel are just too much to contend with... Israel is too black and white.