web analytics
November 29, 2014 / 7 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » Blogs

My Response to the Monsey Rabbi

eretz-israel-struck

An American orthodox rabbi in Monsey recently wrote a response on Facebook to a post about the importance of living in the Land of Israel. His response was as follows: “You’re in exile, too. Last I checked, there is still a mosque on the temple mount, with Arabs shooting rockets [at you].”

This is my response to him and to every orthodox Jew who shares that mistaken view.

1. There are more mitzvot here in Eretz Yisrael (E”Y) than in chu”l (the diaspora). In all other facets of life, orthodox Jews prefer to put themselves in a position to perform more mitzvot, and in a more mehudar way. Unfortunately, when trying to find a heter to not have to live in E”Y, Jews in chu”l irrationally choose gashmi’ut over ruchni’ut (materialism over spirituality). I’ve had long discussions with my American orthodox friends, and though it usually takes an hour or more, eventually they all admit that that’s exactly what they are doing. I’m sure if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll see that truth as well. You don’t choose to live in America as a matter of religious principle, but rather out of convenience and inertia.

2. No religious Zionist claims that the galut is over, or that it is entirely over for Jews residing in E”Y (though Rashbi said that only one kicked out of E”Y is called an exilee). Rather, the question is one of where a Torah-observant Jew should choose to live. There has always been only one legitimate reason for not living in E”Y: pikuach nefesh (preservation of life). It was indeed dangerous to travel, and dangerous to live in E”Y. But that has changed with the emergence of the State of Israel and modern travel standards, such that the pikuach nefesh argument actually supports living in Israel, which has the 3rd highest life expectancy in the world (and 2nd for men)! By contrast, according to Wikipedia, the U.S. is number 37 on the list.

As you can see, the issue of missiles, terror and war, are blown out of proportion by the media. In fact, American men on average live 4.4 years less than their Israeli counterparts. If we look at stats for just Israeli Jews, life expectancy jumps 1-2 years for men and women, while for American Jews, the stats are the same as the general population. Life here is just plain healthier than in the States, and on a number of levels. I hope one day America will be as safe and healthy a place to live as Israel, but certainly one cannot justify refusing to make aliyah based on safety or health issues.

3. I presume you are familiar with the Gemara’s position on where to live when pikuach nefesh is not a factor. If not, here is the key passage from Ketubot 100b:

“Our Rabbis taught: One should always live in the Land of Israel, even in a town most of whose inhabitants are idolaters, but let no one live outside the Land, even in a town most of whose inhabitants are Israelites; for whoever lives in the Land of Israel may be considered to have a god, but whoever lives outside the Land may be regarded as one who has no god. For it is said in Scripture, To give you the Landof Canaan, to be your God. Has he, then, who does not live in the Land, no god?  But [this is what the text intended] to tell you, that whoever lives outside the Land may be regarded as one who worships idols. Similarly it was said in Scripture in [the story of] David, For they have driven me out this day that I should not cleave to the inheritance of the Lord, saying: Go, serve other gods. Now, whoever said to David, ‘Serve other gods’? But [the text intended] to tell you that whoever lives outside the Land may be regarded as one who worships idols. ” 

4. Pikuach nefesh aside, there is a philosophical question of whether the Jews should be passive or pro-active in the redemption process. Rather than make the case myself, take the time to read the Vilna Gaon’s position as presented in the first chapter of Kol HaTor (found here).

I will add one thought here, though. When the Jews choose as a nation to live in other nations’ countries, the message that is projected both inwardly and outwardly is that we are not in fact a nation, but just another religion. This message damages almost irreparably the proper sense of identity that a Jew should carry with him/her, while totally undermining our claim to be a nation worthy of returning to the land from which it was dispossessed. In short, redemption is made much harder by the act of staying en masse in chu”l when it is clear that there are no more physical barriers to moving to E”Y.

Had Am Yisrael listened to the Gra (and not just his students) in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the entire history of the conflict would not have happened, because the Jews would have constituted the massive majority of E”Y’s inhabitants way before hundreds of thousands of Arabs moved to E”Y from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century, a turn of events that is the very genesis of the demographic problem that so shapes peoples views on what should be done and what is justified on both sides of the dispute. It was a huge strategic error and a huge moral error that most orthodox rabbis ignored and even discouraged aliyah both before and more famously after the advent of Herzlian Zionism. Today, rabbis such as yourself continue to make the same horrific mistake.

I pray that all Jews return to the G-d ofIsrael, the Torah of Israel, and the Land of Israel. Amen.

 

About the Author: Robert Klein lives in Be'ersheva, Israel.


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.

15 Responses to “My Response to the Monsey Rabbi”

  1. יואל דוידי says:

    one response to the so-called Rabbi: והארץ תתן פריה, א"ר אין לך קץ מגולה מזה.

  2. יואל דוידי says:

    A response to this so-called Rabbi:

    "אמר רבי אבא: אין לך קץ מגולה מזה שנאמר[: 'וְאַתֶּם הָרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַנְפְּכֶם תִּתֵּנוּ וּפֶרְיְכֶם תִּשְׂאוּ לְעַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי קֵרְבוּ לָבוֹא' ע"כ. ומפרש רש"י: "'מגולה מזה' – כשתתן ארץ-ישראל פריה בעין יפה אז יקרב הקץ ואין לך קץ מגולה יותר".

  3. yeah yeah yeah, well I'm here but I've seen the machlokis in the avnie ezer on the sugeah of yeshuve eretz yisroel.i won't enter my own opinion being this is a diffrence of opinion between our greatest minds.perhaps the rabbi in monsey knows the complicated points of this.perhaps he doesn't.

  4. Lloyd Bergner says:

    Metzada lo tipol shaynit.

  5. Lloyd Bergner says:

    Am Yisrael Chai.

  6. Lloyd Bergner says:

    Jews worldwide UNITE or we all fall together.

  7. Stan Harder says:

    There is another reason all Jews do not return to E”Y. And that is that all Jews are not welcome there. Secular and Orthodox are ok. Everyone else can stay where they are. Please do not whine about Jewish demographics when all Jews are not allowed to make aliyah.

  8. Myriam Obadia says:

    Quit bickering. Each person faces different circumstances. Some can make Aliyah now, some others have to postpone and continue being good Jews outside Israel. Let is be and leave G-d in charge of resolving this. In the meantime, those who have already made Aliyah should help those who want to do so, but face obstacles. We're home to open the door to the rest of Israel, not to jeer at those who haven't yet been able to follow our example.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Israel Shield Logo
Current Top Story
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry .
NYT Ignores US Condemnation of PA Incitement, Prints Info on Ferguson Cop
Latest Blogs Stories
Worshipers were cut down as they prayed

It’s clear that Obama equates Israelis and Arabs as equal sufferers of “violence.”

Ferguson, Missouri: rioting against racism, encouraging murder

The malicious manipulation of frustrated fury is surely as egregious as merely perceived racism.

About 7 in 10 Americans view Israel favorably – making Israel the only positively viewed Middle East country. But the younger Americans get, the more they like some Arab countries.

Undoubtedly, once he’s “former president Obama” he’ll join anti-Israel Jimmy Carter against Israel.

train track grafitti

The silly people on the left have created a new campaign to try and force the rest of the country to capitulate to their suicidal fantasies, this time by riding trains and imposing themselves onto other people’s conferences.

Find out how to set goals and take better care of your finances.

As events over the last couple of weeks amply demonstrate, the status quo isn’t working out either

Australian Ambassador to Israel ran to the hospital in J’m to visit the wounded and to donate blood

Those celebrating violence with “No Justice No Peace” signs are opposed to both justice and peace.

Pop quiz: The shortest book ever written? “Palestinian History and Positive Contributions” text book

We are the continuing generations from our Father Avraham who was given this Land by our L-rd.

When a country supports ($) the PA or Gaza or “recognizes,” “Palestine,” they promoting terrorism.

There is no question whatsoever that Odeh was behind the fatal bombing of a SuperSol market in 1969

As we Jews returned to the Holy Land and prayed at our holy sites, forces fighting holiness came too

Channel 10 TV published on Sunday a poll they commissioned asking Israeli Arabs a rather straightforward but important question:

Today”s discussion: “The effects of current geopolitical situation around the world on investing.”

According to PM Netanyahu, the bill would enshrine full equality under law to all Israeli citizens.

More Articles from Robert Klein
naqba day unrwa

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

Presbyterian Catechising

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read that the divestment vote was, in your words, “about morality and not politics”.

Guest Blogger Robert proves that one must not eat any Matzah on Pesach based on an article in Vosizneias.

Han Solo has nothing on the question as to who shot first.

An American orthodox rabbi in Monsey recently wrote a response on Facebook to a post about the importance of living in the Land of Israel. His response was as follows: “You’re in exile, too. Last I checked, there is still a mosque on the temple mount, with Arabs shooting rockets [at you].” This is my response to him and to every orthodox Jew who shares that mistaken view.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/my-response-to-the-monsey-rabbi/2012/11/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: