17 January 2011

The MITZVAH of Yishuv Ha'aretz

12 Shevat 5771

"I have descended to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up from that land, to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivvites, and the Jebusites.

And I said, 'I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt, to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivvites, and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.' (Shemot 3:8, 17)

"I will bring you to the land, concerning which I raised My hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and I will give it to you as a heritage; I am the Lord.'" (Shemot 6:8)

Note well that Hashem said He was bringing us up out of Egypt in order to bring us to Eretz Canaan, to the land of the seven nations who were so full of tumah and abominations that they deserved to be wiped off the face of the earth---men, women, children and animals. And yet at the same time, the land remained "a land flowing with milk and honey---a good land."

I reiterate. There is only one reason for Jews to come up and live in Eretz Yisrael---because it is a mitzvah---a commandment from Hashem. Every other consideration---the evil of the Erev Rav regime, difficulties, suffering---is all just so much shtuyot. Hashem does not require us to do the impossible and what He asks of us, He supplies the means to accomplish.

The most dangerous and widespread problem in Am Yisrael is outright rebellion against Hashem's sovereignty---an unwillingness and refusal to obey Him and fulfill our mission in this world. Our own ego is our god and the goal of life is to satisfy its every wish and desire. G-d forbid!

If you are a Jew still sitting in Mitzrayim after 3500 years, you should tear kriah, sit on the floor and put ashes on your head. Sit in mourning over your tragic fate and beg Hashem day and night to redeem you from there; to slay your ego and release you from its cruel bondage. If we are to believe the population studies, the majority of Jews in the world are in outright rebellion against the King. They shake their fists in Hashem's face and shout "Hell, no! We won't go!" And they look for every reason under the sun to bolster their refusal to go up to "the land flowing with milk and honey."

They deny the very raison d'etre of Yetziat Mitzrayim. They live in an upside down reality in whichthe punishment of exile has become a blessing; death is preferred over life and has even become a mitzvah for its own sake. G-d forbid!

This is not addressed to the sincere person in chu"l who truly wants to fulfill Hashem's will and truly cannot. He feels that he is living in a graveyard and prays daily for his deliverance and looks forward passionately to the day when Hashem takes him out of there. But this is a very rare person, very rare indeed. It does not explain or excuse the vast majority.

And it is this rebellion, this inexcusable flaunting of Hashem's will which needs teshuvah so desperately and which is the real reason that Mashiach and the geulah shleimah has not yet come. It is clear that those who won't listen to Hashem surely won't listen to His Mashiach. If they won't heed Hashem, they won't follow Mashiach.

It is selfishness dressed up in false piety, all these people who refuse the gift of Eretz Yisrael because it is too impure for their tastes and all while they sit and imbibe the fetid air of the most impure societies in the goyische world.

The time for teshuvah grows very short. Examine your hearts earnestly and honestly and root out every trace of rebellion. Break your heart and your will and lay them as an offering before the King of all kings who patiently waits for your teshuvah, but not endlessly.


[To whomever wants to discuss these issues at length, you are welcome to contact me via my email. A word to the wise, I do not post comments which disparage Israel, it's land or people or its rabbis.]


  1. Thank you, we just made Aliyah the day after Yom Kippur, 4 months ago.
    We are now living in Jerusalem, Yes,Ulpan is not easy for someone in their 50s and the culture shock is hard, but slowly we are adjusting.
    Thank you for telling the truth.
    Yakov Butterfield

  2. Thank you for writing Yakov. Best of luck with your klita. It's not easy to be an immigrant anywhere, but at least in Eretz Yisrael you know you are fulfilling the will of your Creator and that makes it easier.

  3. This summer I discovered a book called Eim Habainim Semeichah written by Ha Rav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal. In the book the Holy Rav talks about the mitzvah of Yesheuv Eretz Israel. This book made a big impact on me. When I first came to Israel in 2006, I was astounded by its holiness and beauty. I felt like I was home with my Jewish brethren. I instantly fell in love with the land and its people. When I had the merit to visit the land again in 2009 this feeling intensified. When I walked in the streets I had a smile on my face because I knew that whoever walks four cubits in the land of Israel merits the world to come. When I read the book Eim Habanim Semeichah the yearning for the land of Israel increased 10 fold. I also read a booklet on the Parsha lech lecha on Kumah.org, which talk about this very mitzvah, which is the foundation of every mitzvoth in the Torah. Since Hashem open my eyes. I cannot be comfortable living where I am. I am very glad someone is finally writing about this. I would advice every reader of this blog to read the book Eim Habainim Semeichah. Also kumah.org has a free book which is downloadable for everyone. http://www.kumah.org/LechLecha/Lech_Lecha.html

    Thank you
    Semcha Ben Yosef (Alex Isakov)

  4. Thank you very much for your comment, Aleksandr. I had meant to recommend this book and you have now corrected my oversight. Best of luck to you.