What is your attitude to us settling in Eretz Yisroel?
And the answer is, it depends. If you are influenced by the Zionists, then you have to know you are a victim of propaganda. If you are doing it because of daas Torah it’s a different story but I want to tell you, very few people settle in Eretz Yisroel because of daas Torah. Actually it is a form of patriotism engendered by the non-religious groups.
Now, I will explain it to you. If you want to better your ruchniyus, you want to learn more Torah, you want your children to be better Jews, and that is why you are going, then I’m all for it. But first the question is, is it so? Is it the very best place for children to grow up in the Torah way? If after investigating it thoroughly you discover that is the case, then certainly, there’s no question.
For some people, however, it is definitely not so. Some people will find their success not in Eretz Yisroel; they will learn and they will make progress in Torah and mitzvos – and their children too – elsewhere.
And therefore, it depends what’s your purpose. A Rosh Yeshiva once told me, “Just to go to Eretz Yisroel without having a specific place in mind where you want to settle is like to going to Chicago.” Because there is a Chicago in Eretz Yisroel too. You want to settle in Tel-Aviv?! And therefore it depends where you are going.
Now, they’ll tell you maamarei chazal – if you walk four amos in Eretz Yisroel then it is better than anything else in chutz laaretz. Don’t misunderstand these things; our sages themselves remained in chutz laaretz because they had good reasons to be there. Ezra refused to go to Eretz Yisrael כל זמן שברוך בן נריה קיים. As long as his rebbe was alive he wouldn’t budge. Now, that’s a consideration. In Eretz Yisroel they were building the second Bais Hamikdash and Ezra didn’t come because his rebbe was still in Bavel and he needed his rebbe; as long as his rebbe was alive he wouldn’t budge. So you see there are other considerations that take precedence.
And you have to know why do you want to go? Is it just because of a Zionist dream? Then it’s a false dream, and who knows what is going to happen. You think it’s going to be forever the Jewish state? You don’t know what is going to happen. The little state there is wobbling. Who said there is security there? Who said you are safe there? And therefore, if you go because you want ruchniyus so you disregard other considerations; but otherwise you’re just a victim of propaganda.
TAPE # 408 (June 1982)