On March 30, 2017 Yishai Fleisher was featured on a video debating the radical left J-Street representative Alan Elsner. Mr. Elsner was very clear that he likes the idea of a Jewish State; however he rejects our Jewish claim to Eretz Yisrael. He made one perverse statement that probably is held by many Jews. He said that parts of Israel are just dirt and that he does not find any reason for Jews to risk their lives over dirt! So what does Dovid Hamelech tell us about the dirt of Eretz Yisrael? A true Jew loves the dirt and dust of the land of Israel! One day G-d will return the Jews to Israel in the “last generation”. He will return to the Land of Israel those who love her dirt and are willing to fight for her dust. The sincere Jew has never lost the yearning to return to all of Eretz Yisrael. We are nearing the last generation of the birth pangs of Moshiach אתקלתא דגאולה.
תהילים קב: יד-יט
אתה תקום תרחם ציון, כי עת לחננה כי בא מועד. כי רצו עבדך את אבניה, ואת עפרה יחננו. ויראו גויים את שם ה’…כי בנה ה’ ציון…תכתב זאת לדור אחרון, ועם נברא יהלל י-ה.
You will arise and show mercy to Zion, for there will come a time to favor her, for the appointed time will have come. For Your servants have cherished her stones and they have favored her dust…Then the nations will fear the name of Hashem…For Hashem will have built Zion…Let this be recorded for the last generation, so that the newborn people will praise G-d. (Tehillim 102:14-19)
G-d Is A Zionist
The Vilna Gaon teaches in his sefer Kol Hator that the first Moshiach is Moshiach ben Yosef. The gematria of Yosef יוסף is 156, which is also the gematria of ציון Zion. Therefore, there is a parallel with Yosef and the final redemption of the Land of Israel and the Jewish Nation. We learn from the story of the ten brothers of Yosef that those who rejected Yosef also rejected and continue to reject Zion (Israel). The brothers were called spies מרגלים and they were reincarnated into the group of ten spies מרגלים who rejected the Land of Israel, which brought upon us the suffering of Tisha B’Av. The meraglim were the greatest leaders, Rabbis and Tzadikim of their generation – they were against aliyah. They said it was too hard and it could not be done. They disagreed with G-d’s desire for us to live in Israel. This same mistake is repeated in every generation. Every generation the neshamos of the meraglim are re-incarnated in our leaders to see if they will rectify this sin by encouraging aliyah to Israel. They need to learn from Calev and say, “We can make aliya, we can surely do it!”
במדבר יג:ל פרשת שלח
ויהס כלב את העם אל משה, ויאמר עלה נעלה וירשנו אתה כי יכול נוכל לה:
Calev silenced the people toward Moshe and said, “We shall surely ascend and conquer it, for we can surely do it!” (Bamidbar 13:30)
Instead, we still have some leaders who disgrace the Land of Israel. They say now is not the time for aliya. We will not be able to raise our children properly in the Holy Land of Israel, G-d is (G-d forbid) limited and thus may not be able to provide parnassa in Eretz Yisrael, the Land is dangerous, the culture is too harsh, secular Zionists live there, it’s a nice place to visit but I could never live there, the culture will change me and my children… In reality, they are worried that they may lose their current positions of power, respect, wealth and luxurious houses. Some have forgotten that living in Chutz LaAretz is a punishment (Rav Teichtal, Eim Habonim). Jews need to rise up and get out of the USA and come back to serving Hashem in His Eretz Hakodesh.
במדבר יג:לא-לב פרשת שלח
והאנשים אשר עלו עמו אמרו לא נוכל לעלות אל העם, כי חזק הוא ממנו: ויצאו דבת הארץ אשר תרו אתה אל בני ישראל לאמר, הארץ אשר עברו בה לתור אתה ארץ אכלת יושביה הוא…
But the men who had ascended with him said, “We cannot ascend to that people for it is too strong for us! They brought an evil report on the Land that they had spied out, saying, “The Land through which we have passed, to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants! (Bamidbar 13:31-32)
In Tehillim 102 we are taught that G-d will have mercy on us אתה תקום תרחם ציון. Why will G-d have mercy on us? The same perek in Tehilim gives the answer – “For Your servants have cherished her stones and they have favored her dust, כי רצו עבדך את אבניה.
We are the final generation לדור אחרון before Moshiach. The obligation falls upon us to correct the mistake of the meraglim and to make aliyah despite all the excuses. It’s our obligation to correct the mistake of the ten meraglim brothers who rejected Yosef, by bringing in Moshiach ben Yosef. Every Jew in Chutz La’Aretz has the power to bring Moshiach ben Yosef by choosing to live in Eretz Yisrael. By choosing to remain in Chutz La’Aretz and also choosing to learn Torah out of the Holy Land prevents the Moshiach from coming (Eim Habonim Semeicha). Once the clear majority of Jews are living in Israel (which happened in 2013) it is then an obligation for all Jews to live in Israel, build the Beis Hamikdash and all recognize that the mitzvos of Eretz Yisrael become mi’Dioraisa (Torah) obligations and are no longer d’Rabonon (Rabinical).
The Vilna Gaon points out that in the future the Eruv Rav will help Yishmael and Esav fight the Jews. We see this in the USA and Israel today. There are left-wing people who are pro-Arab and want to establish an Arab state in Eretz Yisrael. The purpose of such a state would be to annihilate the Jews (it will never happen). We are still living an aspect of galus Mitzrayim. The Eruv Rav needs to be distanced from the Jewish people. Just like 4/5th of the Jews remained in Egypt, the same selection process is occurring in present times. Some choose to make aliyah and others remain in Chutz La’Aretz. The chutzpa of our generation is unbelievable; this is a sign of the approaching geula.
The Month Of Av Is Auspicious for Aliyah
I live in Eretz Yisrael. I reconnect to this land physically and spiritually on a daily basis. My Bar Mitzvah parsha and the date of my birth connect me to Israel. My mother was pregnant with me when she visited Israel for the Holiday of Pesach in 1973. I was born on the 11th day of the month of Av and my Bar Mitzvah Parsha is parshas Ekev. The 15th of Av was when the Jews stopped dying in the dessert and were given orders to enter Israel. The 15th of Av 2013 is the day we made aliyah with our seven children. I internalized the lesson from my Bar Mitzvah Parsha, Ekev, where it reminds us that G-d is always “thinking” about Israel. My name Arie in Hebrew spells out the words – The Land of Israel – אר”י = ארץ ישראל.
דברים יא:יב פרשת עקב
ארץ אשר ה’ אלקיך דרש אתה, תמיד עיני ה’ אלקיך בה מראשית השנה ועד אחרית שנה:
A land that Hashem, your G-d, seeks out; the eyes of Hashem, your G-d are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to year’s end. (Devarim 11:12)
Just as I was born in the month of Av we made aliyah on the 15th of Av. The Jews who left Mitzrayim were supposed to enter Israel in the month of Av. This is because that was the month the major destructions of the Batei Hamikdash would occur. The purpose of leaving Egypt was only to live in Israel.
דברים ו, כג פרשת ואתחנן
ואותנו הוציא משם, למען הביא אתנו לתת לנו את הארץ אשר נשבע לאבותינו:
And He took us out of there in order to bring us, to give us the Land that He swore to our forefathers. (Devarim 6:23)
We left Egypt in the month of Nissan in order enter Eretz Yisrael in the month of Av. On the 7th of Sivan we accepted the Torah and we were supposed to receive the luchos fourty days later on the 17th of Tamuz. Moshe came down Mount Sinai with the luchos and were worshiping the idol of the Egel Hazahav. We were eventually forgiven and we received the actual luchos (The 10 Statements) on Yom Kippur. As a punishment we were held back for another year. Then God said to leave this mountain (Har Sinai) and continue onto Israel.
When we approached the Holy Land the Jews send the meraglim spies to verify if it was a good idea to enter G-d’s chosen land. They returned on the 9th of Av and cried over the idea of aliyah to Israel. Had the meraglim not convinced the Jews to despise Israel, then the Jewish nation would have made aliyah the very next day!
תענית כט עמוד,א
וכתיב: “ותשא כל העדה ויתנו את קולם ויבכו העם בלילה ההוא”. אמר רבה אמר ר’ יוחנן: אותה היום ערב תשעה באב היה.
And it is written that upon the spies report: And all the congregation raised their voices and cried out, and the people wept on that night. Rabbah said in the name of R’ Yochanan: That day of the spies’ return was the day before Tishah B’Av. (Talmud Bavli, Taanis 29a).
That generation in the midbar was punished by dying in the dessert for thirty-eight more years. At the end of that punishment era, on Rosh chodesh Av, the Canaanites started fighting the Jews following the death of Aharon HaCohen. In the era of Moshiach these people are to be resurrected from the Dead. They will then make aliyah to Israel with the reincarnated Moshe Rabbeinu (Sha’ar Hagilgulum chpt. 20).
Just as the Jews left Egypt in the months of Nissan, Ezra HaSofer made aliyah from Bavel in the month of Nissan. He actually entered Eretz Yisrael on Rosh Chodesh Av.
ויבא ירושלים בחדש הימישי, היא שנת השביעית למלך: כי באחד לחדש הראשון הוא יסד המעלה מבבל, ובאחד לחודש החמישי בא אל ירושלים כיד אלקיו הטובה עליו:
He arrived in Yerushalayim in the fifth month [Av] of the seventh year of King Artaxerxes [son of Queen Esther]. For the first day of the first month [Nissan] was the beginning of the ascent from Bavel, and on the first day of the fifth month [Av] he arrived in Yerushalayim, by the benevolence of the hand of his G-d upon him. (Ezra 7:8-9)
The nations of the world had the goal to destroy the Beis Hamikdash because of the decree of the punishment of the snake in Gan Eden to bite the heel עקב of man. The snake was the initial precursor of the Yezer Hara סט”א. That original snake bit the heel of Adam Harishon.
ואיבה אשית בינך ובין האישה ובין זרעך ובין זרעה, הוא ישופך ראש ואתה תשופנו עקב:
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will pound your head, and you will bite his heel. (Bereishis 3:15)
Later on the angel of Esav, who represented the original snake, did damage again by striking the left thigh of Yaakov Avinu. Yaakov was a gilgul (reincarnation) of Adam Harishon. הגרי”א חבר, בית עולמים רמה, ב ))
תלמוד בבלי בבא בתרא נח עמוד א
שופריה דיעקב אבינו מעין שופריה דאדם הראשון
The beauty of Yaakov Avinu was a semblance of the beauty of Adam. (Talmud Bavli Bava Basra 58a)
בראשית לב:כו- לב
וירא כי לא יכול לו ויגע בכף ירכו, ותקע כף ירך יעקב בהאבקו עמו: …ויאמר לא יעקב יאמר עוד שמך כי אם ישראל…והוא צולע על ירכו:
When he perceived that he could not overcome him, he struck the socket of his hip; so Yaakov’s hip-socket was dislocated as he wrestled with him…He said, “No longer will it be said that your name is Yaakov, but Yisrael…and he was limping on his hip. (Bereishis 32:26-32)
The Moshiach, who comes from Yaakov, is the continuation of Adam Harishon. This is spelled out in the name Adam.
אד“ם = א‘דם ד‘וד מ‘ושיח
Just as the snake bit the heel עקב of Adam Harishon he also injured the thigh of Yaakov יעקב in order to bring destruction. This gave power to allow the destructions of both of the Temples. The era prior to Moshiach is called the “ekev” or “heels of Moshiach” עקבתא דמשיחא . The ekev of Moshiach is the beginning of the arrival of Moshiach ben Yosef. This is hinted to by the image of the snake wrapping around the heels of Moshiach; this represents a time of suffering יסורין. Therefore, from the ekev )heels( of Moshiach good things will happen. We are currently living in this era of yisurin just described above, the time of chutzpa, where the media and the nations of the world spew pure lies about Israel and the Jewish people’s claim to the Land of Israel. The Jews themselves also are creating new perverse versions of Judaism such as Conservative/Reform Judaism, Feminism and Open orthodoxy, which are an insult and chutzpa to the Torah and our sages.
סוטה מט עמוד ב
בעקבות משיחא חוצפא יסגא ויוקר יאמיר…ומלכות תהפך למינות ואין תוכחת…וחכמות סופרים תסרח…והאמת תהא נעדרת…פני הדור כפני הכלב.
In the period which will precede the coming (heels) of Moshiach, insolence will increase, and costs will soar [inflation]…and the world’s dominant power will aid the spread of non belief, and there shall be no rebuke[Liberals/Left wing]…And the wisdom of the Rabbis will decay…and truth will be absent [CNN/NY Times fake news]…the face of the generation I like the face of a dog [shameless] (leaders will not lead and will rather be followers who check to see if their views are popular).
Eretz Yisrael Is The Palace of The King
Rav Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin (Ha`amek Davar, Netziv Bamidbar 13:2), refers to the Jews in desert as living in “בפלטין של מלך”. The meraglim spies were sent to symbolize their desire to begin living in Israel within the laws of nature. This is a departure from their supernatural existence in the midbar eating mannah surrounding by the Clouds of Glory. However, the intended purpose of the mission by Moshe was for the Jews to realize that they could not conquer the land without the help of G-d.
…every Jew, must make a firm and steadfast decision in his heart to ascend to and dwell in Eretz Yisrael…and to yearn to be privileged to pray there in the King’s Palace. For even in its ruins the Shechinah never left it. (Siddur Beis Ya’akov, Sullam Beit El 3:6, Rav Yaakov Emden).
It Is a Mitzvah to Live in Israel. There is no mitzvah to Visit Israel
The Pitchei Teshuvah (ס”ק לב בשם הרשב”ש סי’ ב), Rosh (תשובות הרא”ש כלל יב אות ז), Ramban, Rashbetz all write that it is a mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael. As the pasuk states in Parshas Re’eh:
דברים יא: לא פרשת ראה
כי אתם עברים את הירדן לבא לרשת את הארץ אשר ה’ אלקיכם נתן לכם, וירשתם אתה וישבתם בה.
For you are crossing the Jordan to come and take possession of the land that Hashem, your G-d, gives you; you shall possess it and you shall settle in it. (Devarim 11:31)
The Shulchan Aruch rules in Yoreh Deah )228:36( that if one vows to go to live in the Land of Israel, it may be annulled, the same as any other vow. However, Ramban and the Rashbetz clarify that if one vows to travel to Eretz Yisrael he can have his vow annulled but not if he vows to live here.
The Chasam Sofer ((שו”ת יו”ד סי’ קלח. ירושלמי פאה פ”ה: writes that it is a mitzvah to farm the land of Eretz Yisrael and to build a home here.
Dr. Avraham points out (Nishmat Avraham, Yoreh Deah pg.163) that it is a great merit to be a practicing physician in Israel.
How great therefore is the obligation of a physician, who lives in Eretz Yisrael and treats the sick of Israel, to acknowledge and thank Hashem for this great merit. For there is no greater profession that healing and helping the sick…how much greater is it in our Holy Land, the Land of Israel.
Prophecy can take place only in Eretz Yisrael and not in any other Land (Mechilta (Bo), Tanchuma (Bo) Zohar Yona 1:85a, Kuzari 2:14, Ibn Ezra Yoel 3:1). Before prophecy can exist in Eretz Yisrael, the land must be settled and inhabited by the majority of the Jews in the world (Ramban Devarim 18:15). As of the year 2013, there are 6 million Jews living in Israel and 5.5 million Jews (many of paternal decent) living in the Diaspora.
Many prominent Rabbonim in the USA have been preaching for years that all Jews belong in Eretz Yisrael. Since it’s a mitzvah and Israel is the best place to serve G-d le’chatchila. However, these Rabonim themselves remain in the USA! Rav Teichtal (Eim HaBanim Semeicha) refers to these Rabbonim as the meraglim and eruv rav who seek personal kavod and material wealth. Some sincerely state that they want to make aliyah, however, like adam harishon, they blame their wives unwillingness to follow the Torah and the razon Hashem for Jews to live in Israel.
…Who amongst us is greater than the spies?…The Zohar and the Shelah explain that the spies were afraid that they would lose their positions of leadership upon entering Eretz Yisrael…they rejected the desirable Land and led others astray, causing this bitter exile…The same holds true in our times, even among rabbis, rebbes, and Chassidim. This one has a good rabbinical position; this one is an established Admor; and this one has a profitable business or factory, or a prestigious job which provides great satisfaction. They are afraid that their status will decline if they go to Eretz Yisrael…selfish motives…most of the time a person fools himself and thinks that he acts for the sake of Heaven…The Divrei Chayim writes:…We clearly see that the rabbis, Chassidim, and laymen of this generation descend for the eirev rav…and they want to rule over the masses. All of their deeds are done for their own benefit, to receive honor or monetary gain. (Eim Habonim Semeicha pgs. 49-50)
Also know that all the “Masters of Torah” in this generation are on the level of the “Generation of the Desert,”…The reason why their wives rule over them is because in their days the Eruv Rav (Mixed Multitude) made the golden calf and they did not protest. However, the women did not want to give their gold earrings for the calf, so therefore they rule over them now. (Sha’ar Hagilgulum, Chpt. 20, Rav Chaim Vital, translated by Rav Pinchas Winston).
This issue has already been discussed at length in the Shulchan Aruch. It’s an old question with a clear halachik answer (Even Haezer 75:2-3). One may not take his wife from a place where the majority of inhabitants are Jewish to one where the majority is not. However, if he wishes to move from the Diaspora to Eretz Yisrael, she can be made to accompany him even though the place they leave is good and the one they intend to go to is inferior, and even from an area where the majority is Jewish to one where the majority is not. He may not take her from Eretz Yisrael to the Diaspora, even from an inferior place to one that is better, and even from a place where the majority is non-Jewish to one where the majority is Jewish.
The Ran (סוף כתובות ד”ה לאיתויי בשם הראב”ד), Ramban (במדבר לג:נג), Beis HaLevi (סוס”ק ו בשם שו”ת מעיל צדקה סי’ כו), all rule that a woman is also obligated to fulfill the mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael. The Gra writes that the mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael today does not apply to a woman (ס”ק יז ).
The Chazon Ish once asked:
We are trying to devise methods to get bnei Torah to settle in Eretz Yisrael and they are involved in ways to able to leave? (Peer Hador vol. 2 pg. 42)
Why are the Torah Observant Jews Not making Aliya?
Pischei Teshuva (Even Haezer 75 no.6) rules that one is exempt from living in Eretz Yisrael if it entails economic privation causing דחקות (hardship). This means that one is patur from making aliyah if he may be forced to rely on tzedakah funds in order to live in Eretz Yisrael as opposed to living in chutz La’Aretz. However, it can be argued that the more modest lifestyle in Eretz Yisrael is better for one’s spiritual life compared to the typical affluent life style of the USA.
The Chachomim warn us not to get too comfortable in the gallus. One who puts trust in financial security and not in Hashem is not a practicing faithful Jew. Living in Eretz Yisrael is the ultimate test of emunah and bitachon.
תלמוד בבלי סוטה מח עמוד ב
רבי אליעזר הגדול אומר כל ני שיש לו פת בסלו ואומר מה אוכל למחר אלא מקטני אמנה.
Rav Eliezer the Great says: Whoever has bread in his basket sufficient for the day, yet says, “What will I eat tomorrow?, is but of little faith. and worries about tomorrow is of little faith. (Talmud Bavli Sotah 48b)
It is a mitzvah to live in Israel. Rav Moshe Feinstein held that it is a voluntary mitzvah (mitzvah kiyumus) comparable to tzizis. We all go out of our way to wear a four corner garment in order to fulfill this commandment. Would anyone consider not wearing tzizis because it’s voluntary? So too, a Torah observant Jew runs to fulfill the mitzvah of yishuv Ertez Yisrael as soon as the opportunity is possible.
There is the minority opinion of the Satmar Rebbe (who escaped from the Hungary during the holocaust with the direct assistance from the secular Zionists Rudolf Kastner and Joel Brand). He held the opinion that the mitzvah of yishuv Eretz Yisrael is not binding today. However, the majority opinion is that yishuv Eretz Yisrael does apply today (Pischei Teshuva, Avnei Nezer, Chafetz Chaim, Gerrer Rebbe the Chazon Ish etc.)
Living in Eretz Yisrael affords one with a unique opportunity for spiritual development and growth. The torah community in the Diaspora seems not to realize that living in Eretz Yisrael must be considered and discussed on an individual basis. Remember, living in Eretz Yisrael is considered equal to all the rest of the mitzvos and it is fulfilled at every moment while living here (Sifrei).
We are a nation apart not like other nations הבדלתי אתכם. This is reiterated three times daily in the Aleynu prayer שלא עשנו כגויי הארצות. We also state that we do not have a claim to their land שלא שם חלקינו כהם. G-d gave out our own portion חלק in Israel, for He found no other land more suitable for the Jewish people other than Eretz Yisrael (Vayikra Rabba 13). Our goal in Eretz Yisrael is to become sanctified UNLIKE the other nations.
ויקרא כ:כד, פרשת קדושים
ואמר לכם אתם תחרשו את אדמתם ואני אתננה לכם לרשת אתה ארץ זבת חלב ודבש, אני ה’ אלקיכם אשר הבדלתי אתכם מן העמים:
So I say to you: You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to inherit it, a land flowing with milk and honey – I am Hashem your G-d Who has separated you from the peoples. (Vayikra 20: 24)
The first Rashi in the Chumash on Bereishis explains that G-d created the world in order to give us Eretz Yisrael. The nations of the world and the Arabs will call us thieves. We need to convince ourselves that “He gave it to us”. G-d is talking to His people and we need to be convinced based upon our in-depth study of the Torah, that we have full rights to the Land of Israel and have an obligation to live here.
רש”י ד”ה בראשית, בראשית א:א
אמר רבי יצחק, …ומה טעם פתח בבראשית, משום כח מעשיו הגיד לעמו לתת להם נחלת גוים. שאם יאמרו אומות העולם לישראל ליסטים אתם שכבשתם ארצות שבעה גוים, הם אומרים להם כל הארץ שך הקב”ה היא,הוא בראה…ונתנו לנו.
Rabbi Yitzchak said:…what is the reason that it [The Torah] began with the book of Bereishis? Because it wanted to convey the message of the verse, The strength of His deeds He has declared to His people, in order to give them the heritage of the nations.” So that if the nations of the world will say, “You are thieves, for you occupied the lands…” Israel will say to them, “The whole earth belongs to G-d. He created it…and gave it to us.” (Rashi, Bereishis 1:1)
כח מעשיו הגיד לעמו, לתת להם נחלת גוים:
The strength of His deeds He has declared to His people, to give them the heritage of the nations (Tehillim 111:6)
ONLY in Eretz Yisrael can a Torah society not influenced by foreign values and standards be created. To some extent all Jews in Chutz La’Aretz are assimilated into their respective cultures and societies.
Rav Kook would say that G-d’s ways are hidden but there is nothing in the world that can exempt a Jew from his divine obligation to ascend to Eretz Yisrael. The Torah will only endure by virtue of yishuv Eretz Yisrael. We see today that all of the major yeshivas and Gedolei Hador currently live in Eretz Yisrael.
Chasam Sofer ) Chiddushei Chasam Sofer, Sukkah 36a( states that any occupation in Eretz Yisrael is included in the mitzvah of yishuv Eretz Yisrael. In chutz La’aretz a job is just a mundane occupation. Whereas, here in Eretz Yisrael the physical and material aspects of the Land are also objects of holiness to serve Hashem.
…The very act of tilling the ground fulfills the mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisrael…In addition, Boaz winnows barley tonight on the threshing floor (Rus 3:2), because of the mitzvah…it is possible that other trades that benefit society are also included in the mitzvah…(Chasam Sofer)
In benching and in the bracha achrona, where we give thanks to G-d after eating food, we must include the mention of Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalayim. For only through Eretz Yisrael are the material components of the world put to use in the most ideal fashion. By the mere act of eating the food of Israel we become holy קדוש and pure טהור , since we are doing the will רצון of G-d, by living and eating the fruits of Israel.
ברכה מעין שלש
…על המחיה ועל הכלכלה…ועל ארץ חמדה טובה ורחבה, שרציתה…לאכל מפריה…ועל ירושלים עירך…בקדשה ובטהרה…בא”ה על הארץ…
…and for the nourishment the sustenance…and for the Land [of Israel] desirable, good, and spacious, that You desired…to eat of its fruit…on Yerushalayim your city…in holiness and purity…Blessed are You Hashem for the Land [of Israel]…(The Three-Faceted Blessing)
In chutz la’aretz, in our daily prayers, we acknowledge the ideal is to live in Israel while we continue to live among the nations in a non ideal fashion. This is the behavior of a bidieved Jew not a lichatchila Jew. There is no possibility of fulfilling our national destiny except in Eretz Yisrael.
The ability to leave our birthplace is our legacy from Avraham avinu, since he heeded the command “lech lecha” לך לך(Ruach Chaim , pirkei avos 5,4). In striving to serve G-d in the best way, we do not neglect a mitzvah because it is difficult and it involves yisurim. לפום צערא אגרא, what comes through a lot of effort is the most valuable and precious to G-d.
According to the Gedolim, We Are Now Living in אקבתא דמשיחא, The Last Stage of The Golus.
The Torah observant Jews who choose to remain in chutz la’aretz, even for legitimate reasons, must recognize they are missing something. A large Jewish community in chutz la’aretz cannot and will not replace Eretz Yisrael. This is the inevitable incompleteness of Jewish life outside Eretz Yisrael.
The sin of the spies was extolling the beauty of The Land for Am Yisrael, but they lacked the bitachon to believe that they could actually live in Eretz Yisrael.
Every Jew must resolve in his heart to settle in Eretz Yisrael as soon as he has the means to finance his move and to be able to eke out a meager livelihood …don’t think to become entrenched in chutz la’aretz for this was the sin of our forefathers who despised the desirable land. This sin has caused all the calamities of our galus. We have been like one totally forgotten because we have completely forgotten the mitzvah to dwell in Eretz Yisrael. (Rav Yaakov Emden)
The Kli Yakar (Vayeychi) explains that the date for Moshiach’s arrival is not revealed, in order to prevent us from being settled in foreign lands and thus loose the sense of the anticipation for Moshiach. He criticizes Jews for building luxurious permanent homes and ignoring the possibility that the Moshiach will come and bring us back to Eretz Yisrael. We must refrain from feeling fulfilled and settled outside the land Eretz Yisrael. Each Jew must know the importance of Eretz Yisrael in their total avodas Hashem.
The Fast of Gedalia teaches not to leave Eretz Yisrael. After the destruction of first Temple, the majority of Jews were exiled to Bavel. Nebuchadnezzar allowed some Jews to remain in Eretz Yisrael and he appointed a righteous Jew named Gedalia to be his administrator. The Jews slowly began to return to Eretz Yisrael. Yishmael ben Nentania, a Jew, was jealous of Gedalia. Therefore, he killed Gedalia on the 3rd of Tishrei. The Jews feared reprisal from the King of Bavel. They asked the advice of the Navi Yirmiyahu, of what to do regarding Bavel? On Yom Kippur he was answered and Yirmiyahu told the Jews to stay in Eretz Yisrael and that they would be protected by G-d. He warned them specifically, that if they ran away to Egypt, they would be killed. The Jews rejected the Navi’s prophetic word, they kidnapped Yirmiyahu, and they all ran off to Egypt. At this moment Eretz Yisrael was now barren of ALL Jews, the destruction was complete. Years later Bavel conquered Egypt and the Jewish population was wiped out, however, Yirmiyahu survived. Thus, the murder of Gedalia brought the end of Jewish yishuv in Eretz Yisrael. Therefore, we commemorate this mistake of the Jews refusing to follow the will of G-d to remain in Eretz Yisrael, by observing an annual fast day.
We All Pass Through a Series of Ten Yisurin/Tests
Just as Avraham was challenged by ten tests prior to being promised Eretz Yisrael, so too every Jew goes through the same ten nisyonos or yisurim. Avraham asked G-d, )Bereishis 15:8), “how shall I know that the Jews will inherit Israel?” במה אדע כי אירשנה . G-d answered Avraham, “You are correct! They will need to earn it just as you did.” Here are the following tests each of us must go through in order to be worthy of Eretz Yisrael (עשרה נסיונות, אלעזר יהודה לייב פינטער):
- First test – Ur Kasdim – test of Emuna.
- Lech lecha mearzecha – test if a Jew chooses to leave Galus.
- There was a famine – test of parnassah.
- Sarah taken by Paroh – test of shidduchim.
- War of the kings – war of the test of life.
- Bris of the parts – test of children.
- Milah – tests of the body.
- Sarah taken by Avimelech – test of Shalom Bayis.
- Sending away Hagar and Yishmael – test of the pain of raising children.
- Akeidas Yitzchak – test to live and die al Kiddush Hashem.
Maybe it takes a returning Jewish immigrant doctors, like myself, who are struggling to get accepted and established in Israel, to answer G-d’s call to join Him in the rebuilding of Israel. It is a huge test and undertaking for a USA trained physician, to leave the comforts of the USA and to make aliyah.
בונה ירושלים ה’ , נידחי ישראל יכנס. הרופא…
The builder of Yerushalayim is Hashem, the outcasts of Israel He will gather in. The doctor… (Tehillim 147: 2-3)
The Pischei Teshuva (סוס”ק ו בשם שו”ת מעיל צדקה סי’ כו) writes that it is a merit to have yesurin.
Happy is the who merits the privilege of living in Eretz Yisrael and earns a livelihood there without the need to depend on others, even if he lives a life of hardship [yisurin], and can serve Hashem; but not everyone merits this.
One who is in tune with The Will) רצון) of Hashem and actually believes what is written in our prayers, the Torah and Talmud and Halacha, knows that the truth is that all Jews belong in Eretz Yisrael.
The Chafetz Chaim (HaTekufah HaGedolah, p.20) in his day, felt that it was time to return to Israel. He wrote:
We are currently living in era of “the footsteps of Moshiach”.
According to the Chafetz Chaim, those who have decided to make aliya are worthy to have recognized this fact and are therefore chosen to greet the Moshiach in Eretz Yisrael. He who does not reflect upon the coming of the Moshiach will not feel anything special at all.
The Talmud in Taanis teaches us that anyone who mourns over Yerushalayim will merit seeing its joy. Those who do not feel the joy of Yerushalyim, is due to their insensitivity of not feeling the pain and humiliation of being ruled by foreign powers.
תלמוד בבלי תענית דף ל עמוד ב
כל המתאבל על ירושלים זוכה ורואה בשמחתה ושאינו מתאבל על ירושלים אינו רואה בשמחתה.
All those who mourn for Yerushalayim will merit to witness Her joy, and those who do not mourn for Yerushalayim will not merit to witness Her joy. (Talmud Bavli, Taanis 30b).
Rav Kook asked, “Why does the Talmud not say that one will merit to see Yerushalayim’s “re-building”?” He answers, that when Yerushalayim is being re-built we will all see it as we do today. However, only those who mourned over it will experience feelings of joy. (Itturei Torah, vol.7, p. 206). This is the reason we console all Jewish mourners to be like the mourners of Zion. Now it’s a sad time, but one day there will be a resurrection of the Dead, and this will be very joyous period. However, this process can only start with aliyah and the rebuilding Eretz Yisrael.
מי חכם ויבן אלה נבון וידעם, כי ישרים דרכי ה וצדיקים ילכו בם ופשעים יכשלו בם.
Whoever is wise will understand these, a discerning person will know them, for the ways of Hashem are just – the righteous will walk in them, but sinners will stumble on them. (Hosheah 14:10)
The Holy Tzadik Rav Kook also suffered greatly by settling Israel. This is part of necessary the process in acquiring a portion in The Land of Israel. I can relate to the feelings of Rav Kook. It is very difficult to work as a surgeon in Israel; however, I have great satisfaction knowing that we are serving G-d daily in Ertez Yisrael.
I am weary and preoccupied all day long with the burden of serving HaShem’s nation. My only delight is when I remind myself that my feet are standing on holy soil, in the Land which the Blessed One called “[His] portion and inheritance,” and various other terms of endearment. I place my trust in Him…(Iggrot HaRe’iyah, vol. 2, p.156)
Certainly G-d desires for all Jews to live in Eretz Yisrael. Dwelling in the Land of Israel is one of His commandments. The only question is do you desire it as well?
Run For Your Lives !
Run for your lives and come to Eretz Yisrael. Live a worthy life in the land of the living. The Torah has followed the Jews into exile. From Bavel to France, to Spain, to Germany, to Poland, to Russia etc. It has now returned to its original place, to Eretz Yisrael. Who is so blind not to see the hand of G-d guiding us? (Rav Kook letter, 1907)
The land of Israel is a desirable land, created for the Jewish people. She is only willing to accept in her midst, people who are spiritually suitable and worthy. When someone unsuitable arrives, she (the Land of Israel) appears to him in a way that causes him to slander her.
G-d Lives In Israel
תהילים קלב: יג
כי בחר ה’ בציון, אוה למושב לו:
The Lord has chosen Zion, he desired it for His dwelling place (Tehillim 132:13).
תהילים קכח: ה
יברכך ה’ מציון…
May Hashem bless you from Zion… (Tehillim 128:5)
What is the blessing?
תהילים קכח: ה
…וראה בטוב ירושלים כל ימי חייך:
…May you see the goodness of Yerushalyim, all the days of your life. (Tehillim 128:5)
הדרן עלך ארץ ישראל
Eretz Yisrael is only acquired through yisurin. Torah is only acquired through yisurin. Olam habah is only acquired through yisurin. When finish learning a section of the Talmud we state that we are not finished; we say that we are coming back again. It was very hard to learn that section of Talmud; however, we are still going to come back. When we come back to learn Torah in Eretz Yisrael then we will acquire olam habah, even in this world. The hadran is coming back to make the kinyan through yisurin here in Eretz Yisrael. The kinyan on Torah and Eretz Yisrael can only be accomplished here.
שבחי ירושלים את ה’, הללי אלקיך ציון:
Praise Hashem Yerushalayim, praise Your G-d Zion.
The Days are coming…
הנה ימים באים נאם ה’ …ושבתי את שבות עמי ישראל ובנו ערים נשמות וישבו…ונטעתים על אדמתם, ולא ינתשו עוד מעל אדמתם אשר נתתי להם אמר ה’ אלקיך:
Behold the days are coming the words of Hashem…I shall bring back the captivity of My people Israel, and they will rebuild desolate cities…I shall implant them upon their Land; they will NOT be uprooted again from upon their Land that I have given them, says Hashem, your G-d (Amos 9:13-15).
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