web analytics
September 1, 2015 / 17 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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

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 compare 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.

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?

Last week we examined the source of this mitzvah, Deuteronomy 12:29 and Numbers 33:53. We discussed the Amoraic adage, “Dwelling in Israel is equivalent to all the other commandments of the Torah” (Sifrei on Deut. 12:29).

The Tosefta in Avoda Zara (5:2) warns that one should dwell in Israel even in a city where the majority are idolaters rather than in a city in the Diaspora inhabited completely by Jews. The Torah Temimah explains one only has the potential to fuilfill all the commandments in Israel since some of them are dependent upon being in the Holy Land.

The Gemara (Ketubbot 110b) says that someone who lives in Israel is considered as if he has a G-d, whereas one who lives outside Israel is compared to one who has no G‑d, as it states (Leviticus 25:38): “I am Hashem your G-d, who has taken you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, to be your G-d.” The Gemara’s assumption is that upon entering and settling Israel one automatically acknowledges G-d, and conversely, one who does not live in Israel does not automatically acknowledge G-d (and thus may be compared to an idolater).

We concluded that not only is it a positive Torah precept to live in Israel, but also that living outside of Israel is spiritually dangerous. If that is true, however, how can we explain our continued presence – and those of many gedolim – in the Diaspora?

* * * * *

My uncle HaRav Sholom Klass, zt”l, addressed a similar dilemma in his Responsa of Modern Judaism (vol. 3, p. 347). We adapt from his discussion, after which we will append concluding remarks.

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 VI)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9)
3 NYC Ds Disappoint Area Residents and Announce Support for Nuclear Iran Deal
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

The common translation of the opening words of this week’s parsha, Ki Seitzei, is: “When you go out to war against your enemy.” Actually the text reads “al oyvecha” upon your enemy. The Torah is saying that when Israel goes out to war, they will be over and above their enemy. The reason why Bnei […]

Rabbi Avi Weiss

The love between Gd & Israel is deeper than marriage; beyond the infinite love of parent for child

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Each month is associated with a particular tribe. The month of Elul is matched up with Gad. What makes Gad unique?

Sanctions and indictment of the Jew, holding him to a higher standard, is as common and misplaced as ever.

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

“There is a mitzvah to pay the worker on that day,” answered Mr. Lerner.

Be happy. Be grateful. God knows what he is doing. It is all happening for a reason.

We get so busy living our lives, handling our day-to-day little crises that we forget to go that one step deeper and appreciate our lives.

The promise for long life only comes from 2 commandments; What’s the connection between them?

Mighty Amalek deliberately attacked enemy’s weakest members, despicable even by ancient standards

If we parents fail to honor responsibilities then society’s children will pay the price for our sins

Consider how our Heavenly Father feels when He sees His children adopting all other parents but Him

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

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-they-live-in-the-land-part-vi/2013/11/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: