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Gog uMagog (Armageddon) danger and aliya to Israel

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Rabbi Ari Shvat

Elul 26, 5781
Question
Why move to Israel if I"ll just be putting myself in danger when Gog uMagog attack? Doesn’t the Gemara speak of places outside of Israel that will be spared from the pangs of the Mashiach if one in there?
Answer
Shalom! Firstly, we base our life-decisions upon halacha, and not upon prophecies which we have no idea exactly when they will take place. There are also prophecies about world-wide tragedies but no one considers going to live on the moon… The halacha is, according to "all rishonim and achronim" that every Jew should live in Israel (Pitchei Tshuva, EV.H. 75, 6), and we all should act accordingly, for the mitzvot are "for your benefit" (Dvarim 10, 13). Following the eternal mitzvot and placing your lot with the eternal Jewish People are always the safest bet. Secondly, the wars of Gog uMagog are against the People of Israel in the Land of Israel (e.g. Zecharia 12-14; Yechezkel 34-39), and all agree that they are a Milchemet Mitzva (=obligatory war) in which we all must participate (Rambam, M'lacham u'Milchamoteihem, 5, 1; 7, 4). Even if a Jew lives outside of Israel, he must pick himself up and come (!) to Israel to participate in the defense of Eretz Yisrael and Am Yisrael in all wars. A Jew doesn't care just about saving himself, but also about other ideals, and even endangers himself to save Israel. We don't run away from mitzvot, but run after them. Thirdly, those same prophets tell us there, that the safest place in the time of Gog uMagog is by Har HaZeitim (Zecharia, ibid). Rav Ari Shvat
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