Tuesday, June 15, 2010

When is it time to go back home to our Land?

I read so many quote that it has me asking should I go back home to the Eretz Yisroel?
Here is some of the passages I have read and I gathered them here. It's like collecting old letters that I have finally got around to reading. For the Jewish people as a whole, there is no divorcing ourselves from the Holy Land. Certainly, and unfortunately not in positive ways, Jews the world over are beginning to understand that whatever happens in Israel affects the Jewish people everywhere. One could see this as Chabad's ultimate objective make the whole world Eretz Yisroel. There is certainly something to this. But in this day and age, when the physical Eretz Yisroel is within reach, we can do both. Connect with the Land physically, and make our place holy spiritually.


"In all times, a Jew should live in the Land of Israel, even in a city where most of the residents are idol worshippers, rather then outside the land, even in a city where most of the residents are Jews, because one who lives in Israel is considered as if he has a G-d and one who lives outside the Land is compared to one who has no G‑d" - Ketubot 110b (also Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings 5:12)

"Said the Almighty: A small group in the land of Israel is dearer to Me than a full Sanhedrin outside the Land." - Talmud Yerushalmi, Sanhedrin 86

"Jews who dwell outside the Land of Israel are idol worshippers in purity." - Avoda Zara 8

Rabbi Abba explained that the ultimate sign of the coming of the Moshiach is found in the verse: "But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit for My people" (Yechezkel 36:8). "When the land of Israel becomes fertile again and produces fruit in abundance, then salvation is surely near at hand." Rashi: "Indeed, there cannot be a clearer sign than this." - Sanhedrin 98a

"One should dwell in Israel even in a city where the majority are idolaters rather than in the Diaspora in a city which is inhabited completely by Jews. This teaches us that living in Israel is equivalent to [the performance of] all the commandments of the Torah." - Tosefta in Avoda Zara (5:2)

The people of Israel were exiled because they despised three things: the kingdom of Heaven, the kingdom of the House of David, and the Beit HaMikdash. Rabbi Shimon ben Menassiya said, "Israel will not be shown a good sign until they return and seek out these three things." - Yalkut Shimoni 2:106 ...after living among the gentiles for close to 2,000 years, we have mingled with the nations and learned their ways. Most of today's Jews have absolutely no concept of Judaism. We cannot expect them to return and seek out the kingdom of Heaven and the kingdom of the House of David, because they have no idea what these things are. Rather, what do they seek? Eretz Yisroel. - Eim Habanim Semeichah, HaRav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, hk"m 3,14.

"In the Diaspora, whoever increases its settlement (by establishing a home, business, etc) adds to the destruction of the worship of G-d. But in the Land of Israel this same work is considered a mitzvah since it settles the land." - The Chatam Sofer, on the Sukkah 36a and Yoreh Deah p. 136

"Wake up dear brothers, rise up and come to Zion while the gates are still open, and G-d forbid, do not remain with those who tarry, lest it be too late and you will cry out, but not be answered." - Rabbi Atiya zt'l, from his book, Lech Lecha.

Ramban, in his Mitzvot Aseh (LeDa'at HaRamban) quoted in the first volume of Rambam's Mishneh Torah, lists "Yeshivat Eretz Yisrael - settling in the Land of Israel" as one of the mitzvot aseh, the positive precepts of the Torah, whereas Rambam does not include it in his enumeration of mitzvot aseh. We can conclude that not only is it a positive Torah precept to live in Israel, as Ramban states, but also that living outside of Israel is considered a great spiritual danger. If so we are left with a serious dilemma. Now that there is a State of Israel, how do we explain our continued dwelling in America, and the other lands of the Diaspora? - Rabbi Yaakov Klass, a"h