Monday, April 23, 2012


The Land of Israel

reposted with permission, by Devash from Tomer Devorah,
some minor edits and reordering by Reb Akiva

e-iThe Yalkut Shimoni, Midrash Shmuel and Rashi on Hoshea 3:5 says the following: “The Children of Israel were exiled because they despised three things: the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of David and the Beit Hamikdash.

Rabbi Shimon ben Menassiya stated: The people of Israel will not be shown a good sign until they return and seek out these three things. As it says (Hoshea 3:5) “Afterwards the children of Israel will return and seek out the Lord” – this refers to the Kingdom of Heaven; “and David their king” – according to its simple meaning; “and they will tremble for the Lord and his goodness” - this refers to the Beit Hamikdash, as it says (in Devarim 3:25) “This good mountain”.

The Yalkut also states “The people of Israel were exiled only because they despised Eretz Yisrael,” as it is written, “And they despised the desirable land” (Tehillim 106:24). Rav Techtiel mentions (in Eim HaBanim Semecha) that the 3 things which we must seek out can only be attained in Eretz Yisrael. It is for this reason that our holy sages instituted that we should daven (pray) 3 times a day in the Shemona Esrei and “seek out” these three things.


(Tomer Devorah wrote…) A few days ago, I read something that has been bothering me - a lot. I've thought and thought about it before deciding to blog about it, so don't think I'm speaking in anger - not at all. I'm addressing this issue out of love for my fellow Jews no matter where they are. And believe me when I say that I can empathize with you and your situation wherever you are.

I feel for the Jews in chu"l (outside the Land of Israel). I've been there. I understand the fear, the doubt, the confusion, the conflict of thoughts and emotions when it comes to deciding whether to make aliyah (to move to Israel) or not. I can also identify with the Jews who made that choice and now feel some regret, some angst about whether they chose correctly or not.

But, while I feel I can honestly say I understand, I can't in good conscience sit by and condone by my silence what amounts to slander against Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) and against the Borei HaOlam (the Creator of the World). It's okay to admit our weaknesses and to seek encouragement to overcome them, but it's not okay to rationalize and justify them by condemning others.

I read an exchange recently, and unfortunately, I have to say it's not the first time, where someone justified his unwillingness to consider making aliyah to Eretz Yisrael because of a whole list of "sins" (occurring in Israel) - which he enumerates - terrible things to be sure. And it's true that all the horrors of Western society have found their way into our Holy Land. But, it's the height of hypocrisy to say, "I won't lower myself to live among sinners in Eretz Yisrael, but I have no problem living among the exact same sins in the impure lands of dispersion."

What's more, by refusing to come and add to the numbers of Torah-observant Jews, thereby increasing their power to amend the laws, (influence the culture) and to eliminate these sins from the Holy Land, they are partly responsible for what is going wrong. And it gets worse! All the Torah and mitzvot in chu"l is actually giving power and sustenance to the evil forces which rule over those impure lands who then use it to turn and around and subjugate the faithful Jews of Eretz Yisrael!

This might be hard to hear, but it's the truth and if it applies to you, you need to not take offense, but take it to heart and do something about it if it's in your power to do so.
Furthermore, to say that the situation in Eretz Yisrael is simply not to your liking is a slap in Hashem's face. The situation may not be to our liking or to His, but it's what it is because HE has allowed it to be so, for His own reasons, most likely to maintain free will. I mean, if things were perfect in Eretz Yisrael, who wouldn't want to make aliyah?  Including the goyim!? Where would be the challenge or the reward in making aliyah then? Things are actually getting so good here that it's getting harder and harder to keep from being completely overrun by goyim from all over the world!  (There has become a practical problem of economic migrants invading Israel across the Israeli-Egyptian border.  They are not “on their way to Europe”, they are targeting arriving IN ISRAEL.) 

The kedushah that the Land imparts is absolute and not dependent on anything.
(Rambam: Hilchot Melachim, Chapter 5, halacha 12) - “A person should dwell in Eretz Yisrael, even in a city whose population is mostly non-Jewish, and not live in “chutz la’aretz”, even in a city which is mostly Jewish.”

For those who prefer to remain in chu"l and only come home to Eretz Yisrael when Mashiach personally brings them out, I should also point out that were it not for your brothers and sisters who sacrificed what you are unwilling or afraid to sacrifice to build Eretz Yisrael up into what it has become today, there would be no Eretz Yisrael for you to come to with Mashiach. It's a chutspah to expect only to reap the rewards of the work others have done without any intention to assist in that work.

It never ceases to amaze me that goyim come from Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, and every country in Africa and even while living in Israel illegally(!) they manage to survive and thrive and have children - and at the same time there are Torah and mitzvah-observant children of Hashem who actually belong here, - whom He yearns to see here - who doubt His ability or willingness to provide for them all that they could possibly need here.

If you knew how much you hurt Hashem when you disparage the treasure of His Holy Land and the gift He made of it to you, you would be so ashamed and full of regret. Any true Jewish neshamah would.

A commentor on that blog wrote in response,

“We learned form history when false Moshiach shabatai tzvi convinced many people to leave their homes and at the end the felt totally broken, because they (believed) it (was) the right time and thing to do. No more pushing, no more damaging souls please... Eretz Israel is the best place for Jews but we have to be ready for that. Please understand.”



  1. Thanks for providing this a wider hearing, R. Akiva. I have to ask. How can a Jewish soul be more damaged residing in the Land most suited to it - Eretz Yisrael - than in the impure lands of our dispersion?

    As can be seen from my most recent post - Waves of Aliyah - we are clearly NOT living in a time at all comparable to the times of Shabtai Tzvi. It's also not a fair comparison in any case, as the people who sold everything were waiting for Mashiach (a false one) to bring them back. They were not working in partnership with Hashem with the intent to come home for the sake of coming home.

    I advocate for Jews to come home because it pleases Hashem to have us here and because I view it (as did the Ramban) as a mitzvah. I encourage all Jews to make aliyah, but I condemn NONE for not doing so. That's not our place. At the same time, if I believe that Jews are endangering themselves by remaining where they are clearly not wanted, I believe it would be irresponsible of me to not point it out. But again - no condemnation.

  2. What a passionate post. It really shake a persons emotion whether they agree or not.

    I would like to see some sources for some of the more outlandish statements.

    While this statement tries to make the Jews of Chutz L'Eretz feel horrible, it actually limits Hashem.

    Hashem took Israel from us. To say that if the Zionists didnt take back the land that Hashem couldnt give it to us?

    Just that statement alone makes a whole mockery of the debate.

    Hashem sent us out here to purify the world. While you Israel Alliyist strut around on the blogs acting holier than though, we are the ones that will be bringing Moshiach.

    Dont forget.

    Our mitzvos giving the sitra achra power out here pale in comparison to how the holy land will vomit up the sins, not of the seculars, but of the foolish Torah yidden who think they are saving the world by writing this kind of drek.


  3. What about me? I made Aliyah, but ran out of money as I could not find a job? How do I fit in?

  4. To anonymous, I would refer you to the entire history of Hashem's dealings with us. It's a partnership - by HIS choice. He expects us to do our part. He does not do it all for us. Sources were named and quoted. Where are yours? Do you only have your own skewed opinion? Your response reeks of gaiva. It indicates that you are unwilling to consider the possibility that you may have it all wrong which is the first step to teshuva.

    It is the acts of HASHEM which forced Jews out of Europe and out of Russia and out of the Arab lands and it will be acts of HASHEM that drive out the Western Jews as well. Halevai that you would open your eyes and learn the hard lessons without having to repeat them!

    To unknown - Yes, you are unknown so I cannot possibly know your specific situation, but I can share with you my experience and then you decide if it describes you or not.

    In my personal experience with people who could not afford to remain in Israel, it was because they tried to transfer their previous standard of living to Eretz Yisrael. They felt it was detrimental to their families to ask them to lower their expectations. They used up all their resources to maintain, what for here is a lavish lifestyle and when an Israeli salary could not support it and they were unwilling to accept that, they went back to chu"l.

    Hashem does not want us to bring Egypt into Eretz Yisrael - to make materialism more important than spirituality, so He does not promise us luxury and ease but He does promise to provide all that we actually NEED.

    One more thing. Sometimes, despite all our efforts, we might ifnd ourselves in a situation where we might have to ask for help. Do not see that as a failure of Hashem to provide. Sometimes He choses to provide in this way because we need a correction to our middot. If a person really doesn't have then he must ask his neighbor or the government or whoever disburses funds for HASHEM, since it all belongs to Him anyway. If a person is also unwilling to negate his ego to ask for help, but prefers to believe Hashem has failed him, chas v'shalom, and gives up, it's the person's own failure, not Hashem's.

    R Akiva, I hope you will forgive me for the lengthy comments.

  5. Telling Jews outside of Israel their mitzvas are sitra achrah, that they havent done teshuvah, and are in short sinners without a single source minus the Rambam who himself lived outside of Israel.

    I would love to have this discussion in person, since online it will get obviously nasty.

    You are part of a movement and are not a chiddush. There are no gedolim echoing your way of inspiring Jews to abandon America.

    Hatzlacha with your quest.

  6. I'm disturbed at the assumption by (Jews in galut)that they will continue to live in comfort and safety here. I and my husband want desperately to leave here and G-d willing we will be out of this place by October. As is stated in Daniel: The writing is on the wall. The fires of tension, resentment, and racial division are being stoked by none other the then the president of the United States. Obama already blamed Israel for the high gas prices.

    Black on white beatings are occurring every day instigated by and ignored by our government with little or no attention from the media. Facts are inconsequential. Only racial, sexual grievance carry any weight. Justice does not exist in America nor does truth. One by one a law is applied very quietly. Now drones are being launched all over America. Who is the scape goat when people begin to suffer? It is time to leave America because it is going down and it will never return, Please, I say to my brothers and sisters, destruction and devastation is coming and the sooner we get out of here the better. You may be a righteous and holy person but there are no guarantees we will make it out alive if we wait ..

  7. The saddest part is that B.T.'s like you especially and in general the Torah world of Israel thinks they are not in galus.

    You are in the biggest Galus.

    Dont confuse that with us not yearning every day three times a day

    Blessed are you Hashem who redeems us. Its not past tense its future. Hashem redeems us every day bit by bit till Moshiach arrives.

    Blessed are you Hashem who gathers the exile!

    Blessed are you Hashem who builds Jerusalem.

    You think Jerusalem is built and that Galus is only present outside of Israel.

    Lets remember Gush Katif. Thousands of Jews expelled and their homes destroyed by Jews.

  8. Dear 'remember gush katif'

    Please read this and soak up the sources for making aliyah.

    Yes there are holy sparks to redeem still in the galut but ultimately Hashem wants us in Israel. You can deny that in order to continue to live in materialistic predictability and routine comfort making a good living waiting for the effortless, trouble-free, worry-free, tsoris free transportation to the holy land to show up at your door-step 'some day.' Jews in Nazi Germany thought that too. I am not being dramatic. They saw the Nuremberg laws being applied. They saw their neighbors taken away, they heard about the mass slaughter and death camps and they STILL thought: "I will wait. This will blow over - it will not reach me!" If you cannot see what is happening to America with the hatred, racial and economic division, the crazy weather and earthquakes I fear FOR you!

  9. I'd just like to point out that the original version of this was never intended to be a post asking Jews (yet again) to make aliyah.

    This was the crux of my post:

    If you're going to rebel against the Creator's will and purposely refuse to come home, please don't compound that error by speaking against the Land and against the way Hashem runs it. You'll save yourself many sorrows.

    It was a plea to abstain from speaking slander againt the Land of Israel and the Ribono shel Olam.

    I'd like just ONCE for one of the naysayers to sincerely answer any one of the charges I bring. To date, no one has even tried.

  10. No one can take you serious when you begin your case with "Jews you are Rebelling against Hashem!!!"

    Your source for "rebelling against Hashem for not returning to Israel can be countered with actual sources in Talmud that say it is completely FORBIDDEN to forcibly reclaim the holy land with weapons.

    Since its already been done at least tzaddikim like the Lubavitcher Rebbe realize we need to now keep 50% of world Jewry safe. Did this mean that its now kosher to give away land? sell chametz on pesach? sell chazer? Finding heterim not to keep Shmetah? The list goes on.

    The Alter Rebbe says that a mitzvah lo lishmah goes to Klippas Nogah, an Avera even L'Shmah goes to the three unclean klippos and can only be elevated to Kedusah through Teshuvah.

    Please learn Ch. 7 & Ch. 8

    Do no confuse this with the support of the Zionist Govt' that seeks to destroy Yiddishkeit at all costs.

    We talk about Germnay and use the Holocaust as a crux.

    Where were you when Jews did the same to Jews in Gush Katif?

    Where are you today when the Jewish people are being evicted from Judeah?

    Where are you demanding that Israel demolish the stain on the temple mount?

    "Religious" Zionism is a facade, a joke. A Jew is a Jew nothing more nothing less. Zionism politicizes Torah. We do not do that.

    We could debate this all day.

    I dont live in America because its comfortable and worry free.

    I live in America because the Rebbe said to light up the world. If the Lubavitcher Rebbe commanded all Jews to make Aliyah there would have been the largest single mass immigration to Israel in history. Maybe Moshiach would have come in the 70's or 80's.

    To say that you and your mashpia, rav, and Rebbe know better than the Lubavitch Rebbe the Nosi Hador, The Satmar Rebbe, Bobov, Skver, Nikolsburg and dozens of other Tzaddikim...

    well its simply a joke that I could never take serious.

    Even R' Lazer Brody who writes about Jews coming back home doesnt write it in such a brazen and obxious manner.

  11. One of the scariest but best books to read on the topic is Eim HaBanim Semechea, by Rabbi Teichtel, hk"m. He wrote the book while hiding from the Nazi's, y"s, quoting thousands of sources from memory.

    The sefer survived, he did not.

    The gedolim of Europe did not say leave. In many cases they strongly recommended against it (because America was a treifa medina before World War II, meaning it did not have a supporting infrastructure for Torah Judaism and a culture that forced work on Shabbos).

    While you are right that the gedolim you mention did not say to go to Israel, you can equally note that today the vast majority of chassidic Rebbe's are based in Israel!

    Those who are out on Torah missions clearly have the protections of the Torah and the one who sent them.

    But if for no other reason than an examination of HISTORY, every single home of the Jews has turned on them after they reach a 'golden age' there.

  12. And Israel is "Nisht Andrish"

    Land for Peace
    Jewish Homes for Peace

    Only Moshiach can govern a Jewish homeland.

  13. Just to answer your question, "Where were you when Jews did the same to Jews in Gush Katif?"

    I was in Gush Katif. I came from galut by myself(I am female) I stayed with friends and with much emunah managed to hitchhike to sderot for a big rally, then to park Ofakim to sleep in the dirt and then I begged a ride into Gush Katif. I stayed for almost 2 weeks and tried to, with the help of Jews and others from around the world, strengthen the Jews of Gush Katif. I slept on the floor of a classroom with other women - the oldest of which was in her 70's. I was taken out by Jews in black uniforms on August 16th 2005 and put on a bus to Jerusalem.. I hope I answered at least one of your questions. I would very much like to do the same for my brothers and sisters in Judea. I hope to make aliyah very soon. Will you be going to Israel to stand with our brothers and sisters in Judea?

  14. This is a GREAT point: "I won't lower myself to live among sinners in Eretz Yisrael, but I have no problem living among the exact same sins in the impure lands of dispersion." Kol hakavod.

    Problems like gay relationships, intermarriage, PC blindness, promiscuity & teen pregnancy exist in Israel but not wreaking nearly the havoc that they are in chul.

    One important issue in this discussion is the fact that a significant number of olim end up with a child off the derech -- at least temporarily. I know of quite a few olim who ended up shipping their older kids back to chul for yeshivah/sem because they had serious problems is Eretz Yisrael. It is better to be shomer Torah and mitzvot in chul than it is to be an resentful chiloni in Eretz Yisrael. In general, I think a great deal of sensitivity needs to be shown particularly when speaking to parents about aliyah. As beautiful & rewarding as living in Eretz Yisrael is, aliyah can be a trauma for kids of any age. (And I'm speaking as someone who lives in happy contentment in Eretz Yisrael.)

    BTW, Torah in Jews in Israel are very well aware that we are in Galus. Who claims we aren't? We are reminded through the media, personal encounters, Gush Katif, settlement destructions, and every time someone - whether soldier or civilian - is killed as a direct result of Leftist Erev Rav policies. But if I have to endure Galus, I prefer to do it here than anywhere else.

    Thank you, Reb Akiva and Tomer Devorah.

    P.S. Reb Akiva, the comment window froze while I was trying to edit/post this, so if it shows up multiple times, please feel free to delete the previous ones. I'm sorry for the hassle.


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