web analytics
May 6, 2015 / 17 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


WARNING! Living in Israel is a Commandment of the Torah


Meir Kahane

No one refutes the Torah greatness of the Ramban. He established that the mitzvah of living in the Land of Israel is commandment of the Torah. An Orthodox Jew who doesn’t live in the Land of Israel is like an Orthodox Jew who doesn’t put on tefillin, or an Orthodox Jew who doesn’t keep Shabbat, or like a Frum Jew who doesn’t keep kosher or study Torah. True, if a person wants to fulfill a positive commandment of the Torah, but is prevented against his will, his inability to perform the mitzvah is not considered a transgression. For example, if a man travels to some faraway island where his tefillin are stolen, and there is no other set of tefillin around, then his not putting on tefillin is not held against him. Likewise, if a person wants to live in Israel but is unable to because of circumstances beyond his control, then he or she is freed from the obligation as long as that preventing circumstance lasts. But if he or she could make aliyah and doesn’t, then that person is transgressing a positive commandment of the Torah.

Which bring us to another must book which belongs in every home library: The Jewish Idea, the opus, two-volume work of Rabbi Meir Kahane, in which he clarifies the foundations of Torah.

In addition to his path-breaking struggle on behalf of Soviet Jewry, his unparalleled and fearless activism and total self-sacrifice on behalf of the Jewish Nation and Eretz Yisrael, and his bringing myriads of Jews to Torah Judaism and a new spirit of Jewish pride, Rabbi Kahane was a Torah scholar par excellence, whose banner was TRUTH, the whole TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH.

For any reader who may be confused about the obligation to live in the Land of Israel, this sweeping halachic and Talmudic overview of Rabbi Kahane will surely put all uncertainty to rest. Because of its vital importance to each and every Jew, we will be presenting it in two installments.

From The Jewish Idea, Volume 2

LIVING IN ERETZ YISRAEL is a mitzvah de’oraita – a mitzvah commanded by the Torah itself. Not only that, but it carries equal weight to all the other mitzvot combined. In fact, it supersedes them in importance, because all of them are dependent upon it, since we are commanded to perform all the commandments there, in the Land of Israel.

The Torah says, “When the Lord your God cuts off the nations whom you are approaching to inherit, you shall expel them and live in their land” (Deut. 12:29). This verse explicitly states the two mitzvot tied to Eretz Yisrael. The first is expelling the non-Jews. The Hebrew corresponding to, “whom you are approaching to inherit,” is rendered by Onkelos as, “Whom you are approaching to banish.” The second is “You shall live in their land.” It is a mitzvah to live in their land, in Eretz Yisrael.

Regarding this verse our Sages said (Sifri, Re’ei, 80):

“You shall expel them”: R. Yehudah ben Beterah and R. Matia ben Cheresh and R. Chanina ben Achi and R. Yehoshua and R. Yonatan were leaving the Land, and they arrived at Paltum and they remembered Eretz Yisrael. Their eyes brimmed over and their tears poured forth, and they tore their garments and they recited this verse: “You shall inherit it [the Land] and dwell therein, and you shall carefully keep all the laws” (Deut. 11:31-32). They returned to their place and they said, “Living in Eretz Yisrael equals the combined weight of all the mitzvot in the Torah.”

Here our Sages state explicitly that living in Eretz Yisrael is not just a mitzvah but such a great mitzvah that it equals all the others in their combined value. Likewise, it emerges clearly from here that the mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael does not depend on the existence of the Temple. After all, the anecdote above occurred after the Destruction. All the same, the scholars of the Mishnah established that living in Eretz Yisrael is a mitzvah from the Torah, and so is the prohibition against leaving Eretz Yisrael.

Our Sages said further (Tosefta, Avodah Zarah, 5:2):

“A person should live in Eretz Yisrael, even in a city whose majority is idolaters, and not outside the Land, even in a city that is entirely Jewish. This teaches that living in Eretz Yisrael is of equal weight to all the mitzvot of the Torah combined. If someone is buried in Eretz Yisrael, it is as though he is buried under the altar. One should not leave Eretz Yisrael unless the cost of wheat rises to two se’ah for a sela. Rabbi Shimon said, “This refers to where one lacks the wherewithal to buy it, but if he has the wherewithal, then even if it is one se’ah for a sela, he should not leave.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “WARNING! Living in Israel is a Commandment of the Torah”

  1. Rabbi Leon Pettyjohn.

  2. I surender it to G-d!

Comments are closed.

Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
Current Top Story
Bayit Yehudi Party Celebration
Coalition Last Minute Talks: Likud Capitulates, Bayit Yehudi Wins Justice + 2 Security Cabinet Votes
Latest Blogs Stories
This Coalition Does NOT Speak for Me

You’d think Bibi’d be better at coalition building but he isn’t. The incoming government’s a new low

In fact, Hill buckled to BDS pressure and will NOT be performing.

Hill’s Israel concert was selling tickets for months. Had she even planned a concert in Ramallah?

Israeli Flag  Flies at Nepal IDF Field Hospital

If you leave it to the world news, you’d never know the numerous miracles Israel’s doing in Nepal…

Charedi students getting a higher education

There are encouraging reports of increased enrollment in Charedi army and educational programs

Learn why time management is important & how it can help build your business, from Jan Lukacs & Doug

The problem isn’t police violence against Ethiopians. The problem is police violence.

Gazan terrorists use cement that Israel sent to build schools&hospitals for a complex tunnel network

What do we want from government? True leadership that realizes placating others is not the solution.

Rav Riskin’s desire to strengthen ties with Christians is pure but his methods have crossed lines

A minute and a half? What if the kids are upstairs with earphones on and they don’t hear the siren?

My gut says it’s the New Israel Fund behind the violent demonstrations by Ethiopian Jews in Israel

Discover the meaning of financial freedom and if you’ll achieve the standard of living that you want

Today’s world and a shocking amount of Jews and Israelis support apartheid against Jews in of Israel

Let’s revel in Peter Beinart’s unintended “Ma Tovu” praise of the Jewish state: “It’s modern; it’s democratic; it’s pro-American.”

Point is, the eyes are the soul’s windows and forbidden images, face it or not, pollute a Jew’s soul

Israel has sent almost as many people to help Nepal, as the entire world combined.

More Articles from A Jew In Need
Yishai Baking Matzah

An Oldie but a Goodie.

A suspect in the murder of Menachem Stark ZL was caught on security video.

“He was definitely casing the guy,” police source said.

Deri is actively trying to rehabilitate his image among the Settlers and National-Religious crowd.

IDF demolition experts are examining a possible improvised explosive device (IED) found on the Alon road, near the town of Kochav HaShachar, in the Binyamin region.

Netanyahau showed FIFA’s president proof of missile launches underneath Hamas soccer fields. FIFA was unimpressed: Let PA soccer players travel freely or FIFA may expel Israel. No goal for Israel.

For any reader who may be confused about the obligation to live in the Land of Israel, this sweeping halachic and Talmudic overview of Rabbi Kahane will surely put all uncertainty to rest. Because of its vital importance to each and every Jew, we will be presenting it in two installments.

I’m hooked. Truly hooked. Not on drugs, thank goodness, or cigarettes or alcohol. But hooked I most definitely am, and that makes me dependent after a wonderful life of carefree indifference. Fate’s ultimate payback.

So what am I hooked on? What addiction is this?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/warning-living-in-israel-is-a-commandment-of-the-torah/2012/06/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: