My brother Deacon Yid is not like this. He believes in, and practices, what A.J. Jacobs once described as "radical honesty". In most circumstances (unless he can get something out of you), Deacon will say exactly what he thinks, to whomever he pleases. Most people, including me, tend to interpret this as being rude, mean, or sometimes just plain uncompassionate. But to Deacon, he's telling it like it is. He once told me that he felt sorry for me because I let people walk all over me. As far as he was concerned, asking him to hold his tongue or walk away from an argument (or perceived slight or insult) was like asking him to lie, to compromise his ethics.
I bring this up today because it really helps explain Tzvi Fishman.
Tzvi is stuck. On the one hand he has a cause-- encouraging aliyah to Israel. On the other hand, he's an ideologue. Like Deacon, he's also a binary thinker. Either you're telling the truth or telling a lie, either you're an authentic Jew or you're not. If the truth hurts, so be it.
But let me explain something. For every Jew you may convince with columns like this, you easily turn off five.
Sure, the wise and saintly Yosef, and members of the Sanhedrin, knew 70 languages. No problem with that. But Hebrew should come first.
So if you don’t know Hebrew yet, start learning. It’s your language. It’s who you are. It may say on your passport that you are a Canadian, or Frenchman, of Englishman, or American, but that’s only a piece a paper. You are really a Jew. So start speaking Hebrew and be who you really are. Why live a life imitating others when you can be yourself?