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Land of Israel -- Aliyah


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

Tishrei 5, 5769
I spoke to a Chassid yesterday and he told me that the Torah does not state that a Jew should make aliyah anywhere at all. I always thought that a Jew in the diaspora should have aliyah as the ultimate goal. Otherwise, why do Jews say "next year in Jerusalem" at the Seder every year? It would not make sense if the diaspora were perfectly okay. -- If aliyah is not what should be the aim of Jews, why then did so many perish in the diaspora over the centuries? Unfortunately, I have not studied Torah well enough to disprove the statement, but I think that it is wrong. Could you please help me with this question? Thank you very much for your answer.
The Torah does state a Mitzvah to make Aliya, it is found in more than one place in the words "you shall inherit the land and dwell within it" [see Bamidbar 33:53, Dvarim 11:34, Ramban Sefer Hamitzvot Asse 4] Even without the actual Mitzvah it is impossible to genuinely study the Torah, pray the Tefilah or bless Birkat Hamazon without clearly appreciating where a Jew should be living according to G-d's will.
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