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Boundaries of promoting aliya


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Kislev 1, 5783
Shalom, In recent years, I've noticed increased hostility to Jews in chu"l--America in particular--among some Israelis in a certain migzar. This hostility has gone as far as advocating deportations and other violence. For example: --"President Trump, expel the Jews from America..." --"חשוב מאוד להגביר את האנטישמיות בארצות הברית. הלוואי שיגרשו את כל היהודים" --"Go get em fellas! Chase their white Jewish butts out of the country. Burn their Cadillacs and Audis." --"On the eve of your [Bidens] visit to Israel...I appeal to sign an Executive Order sending all of the Jews in the United States home to the Holy Land..." Is there any halachic justification to the above as a means of furthering kibbutz galuyot? If not, are there specific aveirot committed when one engages in such statements? Kol Tuv, Menachem
The stress in Judaism should be on the positive, and not the negative, which, as you wrote, causes animosity. "The true Tzaddikim don't complain about evil, but add goodness!" (Rav Kook). Even when rebuking, it should be done through love and respect, where the goal is to get the Jews to observe Shabbat or to make Aliya from America & correct the wrongdoing. There's no mitzva to "let off steam" in a way which is even counterproductive, like yelling in French to the sinner who doesn't know that language. Nevertheless, you should also understand that Am Yisrael is considered one organism (Yerushalmi Nedarim 9, 4) and that we all suffer from the lack of observance of some Jews, like one who drills a hole under his seat in a boat, he will sink everyone! (Vayikra Rabba 4, 6). Accordingly, we do find sources which rebuke even cynically, which stem from the fact for example, that those Jews who don't make aliya to Israel are holding back our ge'ula, as well! For example, the great amora Reish Lakish refuses to shake the outstretched hand of Rabba bar Bar Chana who had recently made aliya from Bavel, saying "(My) G-d, I hate you!"= the Jews from Babylon who never made aliya with Ezra and Nechemia in the time of the 2nd Temple, thus causing its destruction (Yoma 9b). Similarly Ezra HaSofer actually decreed sanctions to stop giving Ma'aser Rishon to the Levi'im because most of them didn't make aliya then (Yevamot 85b). Psychologically, sometimes those who did take the trouble to make aliya, resent those who didn't, feeling "if I did my part, why don't they do their's?! If I could give up the American comfort, why can't you!" etc. As above, sometimes this is even counterproductive, but if you want to give them the benefit of the doubt (which is also an important character trait!), it's beneficial to know "where they are coming from". Educationally, sometimes stinging rabbinical statements like "Whoever lives outside of Israel has no G-d, or is like an idolator" (Ketuvot 110b) are meant to grab our attention to drive the point home, but these are really geared to those who should be making aliya, and not towards Trump, Biden or anti-Semites!! For students, there's nothing wrong with using a little comical sarcasm towards those who "prefer the Land with all the Money, over the Land of Milk and Honey", to help them identify what they are doing, but like any educational tool, it should be used carefully, and surely not geared towards our enemies against our brothers! With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat (Chwat)
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