If a young person wants to live in Eretz Yisrael, and his parents refuse to grant permission, the child need not listen. The ruling in the Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah states that if a father tells a child to transgress a positive precept, even a rabbinical ordinance, the child should not listen to him (Yoreh Deah, 240:15).
The precept to live in Israel is a Torah commandment which applies in every generation, to every Jew, even in the time of exile (See Pitchei Tshuva, Even HaEzer, 75:6). Therefore the Beit Din (Jewish court) can compel someone to leave the exile and move to Israel, even from a luxurious home in the Diaspora to a miserable home in Eretz Yisrael; even from a city in the Diaspora where the majority of residents are Jews, to a city in Israel where the majority are idol worshipers (Even HaEzer, 75:3). The Beit Din has this power of compelling someone to move to Israel, not because of the many commandments which one can only perform in the Land, but rather because of the holiness of the Land itself, an eternal holiness that has not changed, nor will ever change for all eternity.
Furthermore, the obligation of moving to Israel is all the more stringent when it stems from a desire to learn Torah in Israel, for “There is no Torah like the Torah of Eretz Yisrael” (Bereshit Rabbah, 16:7). And the study of Torah is greater than the mitzvah of honoring one’s father and mother. Concerning the obligation of woman to live in Israel, they are also duty-bound in this mitzvah because of the inherent holiness of Eretz Yisrael, which is the foundation of the obligation to live here.
Israel’s wholeness appears only in Eretz Yisrael. The Divine value of this great nation appears only when it is situated in its own Land, in all of its national health and stature. The revelation of Hashem’s honor in the world comes about through the Nation of Israel in its Land. When this portion of mankind is situated in this particular Land, the Torah is revealed in all of its truth.
The time has come to return home, whether we want to or not, whether we recognize this truth or try to run away from it. Hashem has decreed, “And I will bring them back to their land” (Ezekiel, 36:22). Hashem has decided that the time has arrived. However, when we return, we must realize that our restoration in Israel is not happenstance. This is not a coincidental shaping of history. Rather, we must see Hashem’s guiding hand, and his Divine ordering of events for what they are, the fulfillment of the verse, “When the Lord brings back the captivity of Zion” (Tehillim, 126:1).
It is the Lord’s glorious spirit that is surrounding the whole House of Israel and bringing us back to our Land and our Torah. Each one of you, in your coming to Israel, is a part of this. Hashem is returning His Presence to Zion. How fortunate are we to be a part of this national rebirth! How fortunate are we to be a part of the restoration of our life to its original essence – the national manifestation of Israel, the Holy Nation in the Holy Land. The more we are conscious of the Divine Hand in the events of our time, the more we will merit to meet the Almighty who restores His Divine Presence to Zion.
We hope to see you here soon to build Eretz Yisrael, and to be built by her. There are people who are blessed with an immediate aliyah to Israel, and others who encounter spiritual and physical difficulties along the way. Sometimes coming to Israel for a visit is a preparation for a permanent aliyah, something that is essential to you and to all of Am Yisrael. Hashem has given up back our country. It’s time to come home!
About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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