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.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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