The mitzvah of a Jew coming to live in the Land of Israel is not an obligation, but rather is a commandment of choice because it is the will of God, according to the numerous sources quoted by Rabbi Shalom Gold, the Rav of Kehilat Zichron Yoseph in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.
The rabbi calls that mitzvah an “awesome opportunity,” one that should not be ignored.
“If you want to know the significance of the State of Israel, just follow what’s happening to the Kurds today,” Rabbi Gold says in a video conversation he recently recorded for the “Bring Them Home – Aliyah Now!” project, dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of Diaspora Jewry moving to the Land of Israel.
Rabbi Gold is one of a group of English-speaking rabbis and rebbetzins who themselves have come to live in Israel, and recorded brief video addresses with their thoughts and philosophies on the subject for the project.
“Just follow what’s happening to the Kurds today,” the rabbi says. “They’re being massacred, and they’ve been massacred for 50, 60, 100 years. The Armenians were slaughtered. Large number of Kurds, large number of Armenians. But they had – they don’t have, they don’t even have today, they don’t have a state. The state is that which was given to the Jewish people . . . and we have to be able to appreciate it.”
The rabbi adds that although according to the United Nations there are 70 million refugees in the world at present, “not a single Jew is a refugee today. Jews have a home. That’s where we belong.”
Shaking his head, he adds, “I don’t want Jews to come from America because of Bernie Sanders or the ‘gang squad’ or because there’s growing anti-Semitism.
“That’s not why you should come. You should come because you want to come. That’s clearly the will of God.
“But I’m afraid that the ability to come by choice, as a result of a pull to Eretz Israel and not a push out of where you’re living, that window of opportunity is closing,” the rabbi said somberly.
“I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but it may happen very soon, that Jews will have to get out of where they are.
“Then you’ll lose this great opportunity. Grab it now.”