web analytics
March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Q & A: They Live In The Land (Part V)

QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Question: I was recently discussing the sorry state of religion in Eretz Yisrael with some friends, noting that unfortunately a majority of the population consists of non-observant Jews. I expressed my view that this fact explains why Moshiach has not yet come. I avidly read your column and am anxious to learn your view of this matter.

No Name Please
(Via E-Mail)

Summary of our response up to this point: We inquired into the statement we say before Kol Nidrei: “We sanction prayer with the transgressors.” To which transgressors are we referring?

Some suggest that “transgressors” refers to the Marranos in Spain who openly committed the sin of idolatry. Others say we are referring to individuals who violated communal edicts that got them banished from the synagogue.

Some compares praying with transgressors to the fragrant frankincense spices in the beit hamikdash which contained among its ingredients chelbona, a foul-smelling spice.

We asked: What if there are no transgressors in synagogue? Does their absence invalidate our Yom Kippur prayer service?

The Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 33b) states that the obligation to pray falls on every individual congregant, while Rabban Gamliel disagrees and says that the chazzan discharges the congregation of its obligation. The Mechaber notes that someone who is not conversant in praying must pay attention to each word of the chazzan’s repetition to discharge his obligation. One who is conversant cannot be discharged and must say the prayer himself.

However, on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipper, the chazzan discharges the obligation of everyone, even those who are well versed. Each person must either recite the prayer by himself or follow the chazzan’s prayer word for word.

The Mishnah states that those engaged in agricultural work in the fields are discharged of their obligation by the chazzan. However, those in town who are not engaged in work in the fields are able to pray on their own and thus are not discharged.

Last week, we discussed the opinion of Rabbi Ovadya Yosef, zt”l, on dwelling outside the land of Israel and, in particular, in Egypt. He cites the Rambam’s view that it is permissible to dwell anywhere in the world with the exception of Egypt. Rabbi Yosef notes that many gedolei Yisrael, including the Rambam, dwelled in Egypt, and argues that this edict only applies to ancient Egypt, which has seen been destroyed. Egypt today is not considered the same place halachically. Thus, one may dwell today in Egypt and surely anywhere else in the world. How do we reconcile this position, however, with the mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael?

* * * * *

The responsum of Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, zt”l, addresses whether a Jew may live outside the land of Israel – more specifically, in Egypt. The question itself assumes that a Jew by default should live in the land of Israel. Therefore, let us delve into the mitzvah of yishuv ha’aretz, settling the land of Israel.

The source for this commandment is Deuteronomy 12:29 (Parshat Re’eh): “Ki yachrit Hashem Elokecha et hagoyim asher ata va shammah lareshet otam mipanecha, veyarashta otam veyashavta be’artzam – When Hashem your G‑d will cut off before you the nations you come to inherit, you shall inherit them and settle in their land.”

Commenting on this verse, the Sifrei recounts the following incident: R. Eleazar b. Shamua and R. Yochanan HaSandlar were traveling to Netzivim to learn Torah from R. Judah b. Beteira. When they reached a place called Tzeidan, they were reminded of Israel. They raised their eyes and their tears began to flow. They then tore their clothing in mourning and recited the verse above. They turned, reached their destination, and said, “Dwelling in Israel is equivalent to all the other commandments of the Torah.”

The Pe’at HaShulchan in his commentary (ad loc.) notes that these Amora’im lived after the destruction of the Holy Temple. Thus, their statement implies that dwelling in the Land of Israel is a biblical imperative even after we were exiled form the land, for if it were merely a rabbinical command they would not have said that this one commandment is equivalent to all the others in the Torah.

Likewise, we find a Tosefta in Avodah Zarah (5:2) that states as follows: “One should dwell in Israel even in a city where the majority of the population are idolaters rather than in the Diaspora in a city inhabited completely by Jews. This teaches us that living in Israel is equivalent to all the commandments of the Torah.”

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


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.

No Responses to “Q & A: They Live In The Land (Part V)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority TV broadcasts incitement from children's school theater.
Palestinian Authority School Children: Boycott Israel by Killing Jews [video]
Latest Judaism Stories
Business-Halacha-logo

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

The-Shmuz

So what type of praise is it that Aaron followed orders?

Daf-Yomi-logo

Her Children, Her Whim
‘Kesubas Bnin Dichrin’
(Kesubos 52b)

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Must one spend great sums of money and invest much effort in making one’s home kosher for Passover? Not all of us have such unlimited funds.

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

Yachatz is not mentioned in the Gemara. What is the foundation for yachatz?

First, the punishment for eating chametz on Pesach is karet, premature death at the Hand of God.

Why is it necessary to invite people to eat from the korban Pesach?

How was I going to get to Manhattan? No cabs were going, we didn’t have a car, and many people who did have cars had no gas.

Did you ever notice that immediately upon being granted our freedom from Egypt, the Jewish people accepted upon themselves the yoke of a new master – Hashem?

Why does Torah make the priests go through a long and seemingly bizarre induction ceremony?

Often people in important positions separate from everyday people & tasks-NOT the Kohen Gadol

You smuggled tefillin into the camp? How can they help? Every day men risked their lives to use them

Rambam: Eating blood’s forbidden because connected to idolatry;Ramban: We’re affected by what we eat

Rambam warns that a festival meal without taking care of the needy isn’t fulfilling simchat yom tov

Nothing beats some preparation to make it a memorable Seder!

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Must one spend great sums of money and invest much effort in making one’s home kosher for Passover? Not all of us have such unlimited funds.

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-they-live-in-the-land-part-v/2013/11/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: