Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Should Jews Leave America?

Stuck at home waiting for a repairman, I sat and listened to a shiur, where Rabbi Mizrachi is talking about the recent gay marriage ruling in America and the ramifications of it.

From 0:25:00 until approx 0:44:00, he asked the question whether Jews should remove themselves from America because of this situation.  The answer is not what you may have thought it would be. Keep listening - @ 0:44:00 he then discusses Greece.


15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, and not only America, also Canada, Australia, Europe and so on.
I left Canada 6 years, divorced with 3 children (20,17,4). No money, no appartement in Canada and in Israel.I wasn't charedi yet, but I've got married to charedi from Yerushalayim, And I'm happy with him. Very. Both my children got a degree here in Israel, no tuition. The older works as a kindergarten teacher, the other works in technion. Baruch Hashem we're are here. Leah L.

Devash said...

I've heard all of this before, but have hesitated to comment on it til now. It's very disheartening, troubling, confusing...all the same feelings generated by the report of ten of the meraglim. This subject seems to be a real blindspot for the rabbi. I can only guess why. All I'll say now, I'll say in the form of questions...

When Avraham Avinu left Padan Aram to journey to Eretz Yisrael, was it a situation of "certain" or of "maybe"? And if something is a mitzvah and Hashem already did the choosing for us, can any part of it ever be considered "maybe"? By the same token, given the state of the nations today and their impending judgment, can life there ever again be considered "certain"?

Devorah said...

In 2009 the New York State legislature declined to allow the marriage bill to pass. A rabbi spoke after the ruling and said that had it passed, he would have told the audience to leave New York. Curious to hear what he would say after the Supreme Court ruling, I listened to a recent lecture in which he spoke about the issue but didn't tell people to leave.

Neshama said...

Since we do NOT have prophets today that actually speak to us about what Hashem wants us to do, and we only have our Prophets from the Tanach (which I put more trust in), therefore I only listen to a few Rabbis that I trust, and even so, if I perceive something neged a specific command of HaShem (like telling us to enter the Land of Israel, after leaving Egypt), I go with HaShem. It is my feeling that that same command is still in effect. I lived in darkness growing up, until I read about the Shoah and the hatred of the world for the Jews. That realization naturally directed me toward Israel, and so I began my research. Today I know I am in HaShem's Land that He watches over 24/7 and beyond. Regardless of the govt or many things I see happening. I know this is where all Jews belong!

Anonymous said...

It is hard to leave the material world and it's concerns behind. We have a tendency to rationalize in the face of what we elevate in our lives... even if that in itself is an illusion. To have Emuna is sometimes to take risks to do what you understand as correct. Emuna is sometimes, to let go, and let HaShem drive the bus...

Dovid Mark said...

Usually Rav Mizrahi is spot on. In this case he is completely wrong. Israel with all of its flaws is far better for Jews than outside of it. We understand there is a gov't opposed to the Torah, but there is also a lot of growth here and a sense of being part of the Nation. Halacha states Arevim zeh la zeh can only be achieved here.

Devorah said...

Arevim zeh la zeh is precisely the reason why certain Jewish groups remain in the diaspora. As long as there are unaffiliated Jews in the world, they will continue to do outreach to bring them back to yiddishkeit. Just as the captain is the last to leave the ship, these rabbis and their families see themselves as captains, saving the passengers, and there is no thought of leaving the US or anywhere else until Moshiach comes.

And to Anonymous at 12:26 - for many of us Hashem is already driving the bus, wherever we are living. It's not the material world that is the problem, it is many other factors. It is not necessarily a lack of Emunah that prevents Aliyah.

Anonymous said...

Jews should live in Israel...irregardless. Fear of lack of Parnassa is what prevent Aliyah..most often. Fear does not equal Emunah...does it?

Anonymous said...

BS"D I'm something of a "chasid" of Rav Mizrahi, listened to countless of his classes, and am completely baffled by his message. "It is better to live in a town of idol worshippers in Eretz Yisrael than a Torah center outside of the land". So how can he say that Jews should stay put? What if Avraham Avinu had said the same thing to Hashem?: here I have shalom bayit and parnasa, why should I move to the unknown? That would have been the end of Judaism. I totally understand that some people have a much greater challenge in making aliya on account of their personal circumstances and I'm not here to judge any individual, but how can a rabbi who advocates for the truth at any price come out and say that only the "loser" Jews should even attempt to make aliya? (That is basically what he is saying, "only make aliya if you can't make it in America".)

Also he slipped in that Moshiach will build Beit HaMikdash, but in Sefer Hachinuch, one of the mitzvot on entering Eretz Yisrael is that Am Yisrael has to build it. It doesn't say that we should sit back and wait.

Every Jew, and especially every religious Jew, should have an aliya plan. Even if it seems hard, impossible even, Hashem Hakolyachol (is all powerful). Start the plan and ask Hashem for help. Jews working in kiruv have a reason to be there, but this is a very small minority, as Rav Mizrahi himself says. The rest should be planning to make aliya. They can make community aliya and bring their institutions (schools, synagaogues etc) with them to make the transition easier.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Tiferes Yerushalayim (1895-1986)


Regarding your question if there is a mitzvah nowadays to live in Eretz Yisroel, as the Ramban says, or if there is no mitzvah nowadays, as Rabbeinu Chaim says, quoted in Tosafos on Kesubos 110b: Most poskim hold it is a mitzvah. But it is obvious that this is not an obligatory mitzvah in our time, for if so, it would result in a prohibition to live in Chutz Laaretz because doing so would be violating a positive commandment, like wearing a four-cornered garment without tzitzis, which is forbidden because it transgresses the positive commandment of tzitzis. But we only find a prohibition regarding one who lives in Eretz Yisroel, who is forbidden to leave with the intention of dwelling permanently in Chutz Laaretz - see Rambam Hilchos Melachim 5:9. And this prohibition is certainly not a negative commandment. Had it applied to the Jews of Chutz Laaretz, the Rambam would have written, 'It is forbidden to live in Chutz Laaretz unless there is a strong famine in Eretz Yisroel.' So we see that it is a Rabbinic prohibition, only for those who dwell in Eretz Yisroel. But as far as the Biblical positive commandment, it is not obligatory, only that if one lives there he fulfills the mitzvah. And in my Chiddushim I have written at great length about the words of Rabbeinu Chaim in Tosafos in Kesubos. Now, since it is not an obligatory mitzvah, you must definitely take into consideration the concern of Rabbeinu Chaim in Tosafos as to whether you will be able to keep the special mitzvos of Eretz Yisroel." (Igros Moshe, Even Hoezer 1:102)

Yisroel Tzion

Anonymous said...

(Background: It can be shown that the statement, "Whoever lives outside of Eretz Yisroel is as if he worships idols" (Kesubos 110b) does not apply nowadays, because the reason is that when one lives under a government of people who serve idols, he is indirectly serving the idols. This is only when one leaves a Jewish kingdom of believers in Hashem, but in exile when even Eretz Yisroel is not under Jewish control, one is an indirect idol worshipper wherever he goes.)

Further proof that the statement "Whoever lives outside of Eretz Yisroel is as if he worships idols" does not apply nowadays can be found in the fact that the Rif, the Rosh, the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch do not incorporate this statement into their codes, although they bring all the detailed laws of husband and wife forcing one another to move to Eretz Yisroel. These authorities only codify halacha that applies nowadays, and that is why they omitted this statement.
Yisroel Tzion

Devorah said...

Thank you for that info, Yisroel Tzion.

Anonymous said...

Yisroel, I hear what you say about the practical halacha, and I know that there are different opinions. Although I have never heard that the saying regarding worshipping idols doesn't apply in our time, the opposite actually. And of course I understand the individual considerations for each person's situation. But I'm still having a hard time with the way Rav Mizrahi basically dismissed aliya to Israel as an "adventure" or compared the move to moving to any other country or relegated it to a last resort option. Eretz Yisrael is not just another physical location, but a different spiritual dimension.

On a practical level, has there ever been a major centre of galut that didn't go sour on us?

Anonymous said...

Your above statement would be correct if you don't consider Eretz Yisrael to be galus as well. The Moshiach has not brought us back, the Shekinah has not returned to Eretz Yisroel and we are still in galus. If individuals or groups of Jews choose/chose to go up and live in Eretz Yisrael peacefully (allowed) or forcibly (not allowed), this in no way removes us from our current state of galus. Until the Moshiach comes, a Jew in Jerusalem is just as much in galus as a Jew in New York. It goes without saying that living in Eretz Yisrael affords a Jew certain benefits as opposed to living in other locations. Doing so fulfills an optional Mitzvah and an aspect of the Shekinah still remains, and this can be felt palpably.You have access to the Kever HaTzaddikim, more Torah, etc. There are "negatives' as well. We have to be more scrupulous regarding the additional Mitzvot related to the land that we were otherwise not accustomed to keeping. It is more dangerous to live in Eretz Yisrael than in any other country, regardless of what israeli government ministers like tell you after any act of antisemitism in other countries. Statistically, more Jews have been murdered in Eretz Yisrael since 1948 than all other countries combined. Having said that, the whole world is a dangerous place for a Jew. But one of the benefits of our galus has been to spread us around. This dispersion, while not ideal, afforded us some security by the mere fact of geographic displacement. You are correct, every center of galus eventually turns against us and America will be no different. But until a Navi or the Moshiach gives us a direct command to come to Eretz Yisrael, we remain in galus wherever that may be and any suggestion that residing in Eretz Yisrael during galus is safer than any other country is pure speculation. May HaShem protect us all.
Yisroel Tzion

Anonymous said...

At 1 hour 40 minutes Rav Mizrahi speaks about the decision to live in Eretz Yisrael (in Hebrew), also quoting Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita.

http://www.torahanytime.com/video/a-musser-talk-in-israel/