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Jewish Exile

"In all times, a Jew should live in the Land of Israel, even in a city where most of the residents are idol worshippers, rather then outside the land, even in a city where most of the residents are Jews." Talmud, Ketubot 110b (also Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings 5:12)

"Said the Almighty: A small group in the land of Israel is dearer to Me than a full Sanhedrin outside the Land." Talmud Yerushalmi, Sanhedrin 86

"A man is safer in a pit filled with scorpions and snakes in the Land of Israel, than in the opulent palaces of a foreign land. Safer, in apparent physical danger in the Land of Israel, than in circumstances which appear physically secure outside the Land." Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin, from his comments on the Talmud Sanhedrin 6, on the matter of Joseph being thrown into the pit.

"Jews who dwell outside the Land of Israel are idol worshippers in purity." Talmud, Avoda Zara 8

"In the Diaspora, whoever increases its settlement (by establishing a home, business, etc) adds to the destruction of the worship of G-d. But in the Land of Israel this same work is considered a mitzvah since it settles the land." The Chatam Sofer, on the Talmud Sukka 36a and Yoreh Deah p. 136

"On Mount Zion and Jerusalem there shall be those who escape… and among the remnant those whom the L-rd shall call." Our teacher (the Vilna Gaon) hinted that the words "among the remnant" have a numerical value of 566, the same as Moshiach Ben Yosef, for according to our teacher, the ingathering will occur through him. The greater the ingathering will be, the stronger the forces of impurity (sitra achra) will become (to work against the ingathering). There will be an increase of Divine prosecution of those who do not partake of the ingathering of the exiles, since the Redemption will start through it. Then, there will be survivors in Zion and Jerusalem and from among the remnant. Our teacher worried about this greatly." Rabbi Hillel MiShkolov, The Kabbalist and prime student of the famed Vilna Gaon, in Kol HaTor, a treatise of the Vilna Gaon's Vision of Redemption, Chapter 1, letter 10

Sitting on a Time Bomb

It seems to me, in our present peaceful existence outside the Land of Israel, that we have found another Eretz Yisrael and Jerusalem; this to me, is the greatest, deepest and most obvious and direct cause of all the awesome, frightening monstrous, unimaginable destruction that we have experienced in the Diaspora." Rabbi Yaacov Emden, (The Ya'avetz) in his Siddur Beit Yaacov, p. 13

Over 2000 years of pogroms, inquisitions and Holocaust make it clear, Judaism says it unequivocally: "It is an eternal law, Esau (the non-Jew) hates Jacob (the Jew)." This is the eternal law - it is immutable. America is no different, nor Australia, nor Russia, nor Latin America, nor Europe, nor South Africa.

"If a Jew will forget his origin and true identity and consider himself a full-fledged citizen of the country of his exile… if he thinks that Berlin is Jerusalem…then a raging storm will uproot him by his trunk… the tempest will arise and spread it's roaring waves, and swallow, and destroy and spread forth without pity." Rabbi Meir Simcha HaCohen, The Ohr Somayach, in Meschech Chochma, p. 191-192

There is only one place. Unfortunately, this one place was not available during the Holocaust. Today it is open and waiting for us all.

Is Israel Safe?

First, there is a clear and present danger from the Arabs. Israel indeed seems to face a genuine threat to her existence. The Arabs - all the Arabs - make no secret of what they have in store for the Jews, while Israel's "friends" continue to pressure Israel into suicidal concessions. The "peace process" is one big fraud, and it's only a matter of time before the situation explodes. Israel will soon be facing a terrible, terrible war, fighting alone, without any real allies.

Just as the nations torment Israel and oppress them and grind their bones and flesh until their souls depart, and no one cares about them, so shall G-d assemble them for judgement on the mountains of Israel and feed their flesh to the birds of the heaven and the beasts of the field." Eliyahu Rabba 5.

That should not discourage you from coming back home, back to your Land. Where would you prefer to be when the real problems hit the world: In the Jewish Homeland, with a Jewish Army, among your fellow Jews. Or outside G-d's Land, among people who are innately hostile to your essence? With high rates of assimilation, and rapidly increasing anti-Jewish hatred, your chances of survival in the Exile are next to nil.

"Woe to the wicked, for they engage in evil designs against Israel, and each of them says, "My design is better than yours." Gog, too, will talk like this in the future…"Then shall the L-rd go forth and fight against those nations." Tanchuma, Emor 13.

Yes, the Jews of Israel face many dangers that the Jews of the Diaspora currently do not. Nevertheless, one thing should be absolutely clear: While the life of an individual Jew surviving in Israel can never be assured, the existence of the collective Jewish Nation in the Land of Israel will be eternal. In other words, in Israel you have a good chance of surviving.

Divine Protection in Israel

"A land which the L-rd thy G-d cares for; the eyes of the L-rd are upon it, from the beginning of the year unto the end of the year."
Dvarim (Deuteronomy) 11:12

When 39 Scud missiles hit the country during the Gulf War, apartments and buildings were leveled to the ground. Only one Jew died - of a heart attack. It could easily have been hundreds or thousands. During the same time, only one Scud fell into Saudi Arabia and killed many American soldiers.

"During the ingathering of the exiles (to Israel), a short time before the future Final Redemption, 'the heavens and earth will shake' (Chagai 2:6); 'This is a hint of the upheaval and confusion throughout the world. And in this place (the Land of Israel) I will give peace, says the L-rd of Hosts." The Abarbanel, Mashmiya Yishuah, Mivaser 13.

If we only knew how many miracles occur in Israel each day, including the number of terror attacks that are thwarted, we would realize that something great is happening here. David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister put it accurately:"Israel is the only nation in the world where miracles are part of national planning."

"You shall dwell in safety in your land" In your own land, you may dwell in safety, outside your land, there is no safety for you." The Yalkut on Leviticus 25:18.

Facing the Growing Danger

The situation throughout the world is becoming more volatile with every passing day. The situation in Israel appears even worse. The situation will only get worse, not better. As we get closer to the Redemption the dangers and sufferings will become even more profound and frequent. This phenomena is known in Judaism as "Chevlei Moshiach":

"If you see a generation upon which numerous disasters pour like a river, expect him (the Moshiach)." Talmud, Sanhedrin 98a.

In fact, the situation is expected to get so difficult that some of the Rabbis of the Talmud expressed their desire to be spared from living in our day:

"Ulla said: 'Let him (the Moshiach) come but let me not see him.' Rabba and Rabbi Yochanan said the same." Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b.

Unfortunately, most Jews who have lost their sense of orientation will be frightened by the dangers and threats facing Israel, resolving never to come home to Israel. Instead, they will choose the current "calm" of the Diaspora - the Jewish Exile.

"If the Redemption were to occur in good, peaceful times, when quiet prevailed among peoples many of our Jewish brethren would not want to leave the Exile; for what would they be lacking there? …therefore, these calamities come upon us in order to awaken us to return to our Holyland." HaKadosh Rabbi Yissachar Teichtal, Em HaBanim Smeich p.67-68 (written in Hungary 1944).

Faith is the Key

Extremely traumatic and difficult will be the decision, to leave one's home in the Exile and move to Israel. To leave family, friends, university, a stable income, a house, belongings and memories. Where will I live? What shall I do? How will I support my family? This is the great test of faith. It all started with our Forefather Abraham, who also had to leave his family, his native home and travel to an unknown, "Promised Land."

This was the faith that gave David the courage to stand against Goliath. This was the faith of Nachshon jumping into the splitting Red Sea. This was the faith of the 20% - the minority of Jews who made it out alive from Egypt during the Exodus - the "crazies" who were willing to walk with Moses into a barren desert with little food, water or provisions. This was the faith that lead to the establishment of the fledging State of Israel - against all rational odds. And this is the faith that will determine whether you and your family shall merit to be a part of the Jewish Destiny - or, G-d forbid, be among its victims.

"Anyone who has the ability to come to Eretz Yisrael and does not, will have to account for his failure in the future world." Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, HaIsh Al HaChoma vol. 2, p. 149.

There comes a time when it all must end. Neither guns, money nor prayers will stop the inevitable global tidal wave of Jew-hatred that will engulf the Diaspora. G-d is waiting for you to show some real faith by taking the difficult steps that bring you and your family home.

To other well-meaning, religious Jews living happily in Exile: Bear in mind the classic Jewish sources that speak of a Redemption "In Its Time". The sufferings, tragedies and the potential annihilation facing Jews who refuse to leave the Diaspora during the Final Ingathering.

Rabbi Abba explained that the ultimate sign of the coming of the Moshiach is found in the verse: "But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit for My people" (Ezekiel 36:8). "When the land of Israel becomes fertile again and produces fruit in abundance, then salvation is surely near at hand." Rashi: "Indeed, there cannot be a clearer sign than this." Talmud Sanhedrin 98a

Time to Come Home

Now is the time to make plans to come home to Israel. Today you can pick up the telephone and make arrangements to move to Israel. Today you can sell your home for a fair price. Today you can leave with all your money, your belongings and your family. Tomorrow may be too late.

"Wake up dear brothers, rise up and come to Zion while the gates are still open, and G-d forbid, do not remain with those who tarry, lest it be too late and you will cry out, but not be answered." Rabbi Atiya zt'l, from his book, Lech Lecha.

If you hesitate, if you play "let's wait and see," beware: it's a dangerous game. Time has a tendency to overcome those who delay. If you fear ridicule, if you depend on the approval of the majority, look back and learn from recent history. The small percentage of Jews who, in the early 1930's, sensed a dark future for Europe and left, were also ridiculed - but they lived. When the majority finally realized that something was wrong and stopped ridiculing, it was already too late.

"For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those that shall escape."
Yoel 3:5 and Ovadia 1:17.

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