More Discussions for this daf
1. Return from Bavel 2. Walking in Eretz Yisrael 3. Insights - the Rambam and Yishuv Eretz Yisrael
4. Three Oaths 5. Smiling

Jeff Ram asked:

Greetings Kollel,

You continue to do unbelievabe work and it has been my priveledge to support you for many years to the best of my ability - and B"EH for many years to come. Your latest venture into video shi'urim on line is simply amazing.

In your "Insighs" comments on Kesuvos daf 111, you've concluded in the paragraph labeled "Halachah" that:

"It appears that the Rambam learns that there is no Mitzvah at all to go to live in Eretz Yisrael."

However, it seems from the Gr"a and the Brisker Rav that the Rambam could hold that Yishuv follows naturally from the Mitzva D'Oreisa of Kibush. Just as the Rambam doesn't count building the Aron as a separate Mitzva within the Mishkan.

To conclude simply saying "...if it is not a Mitzvah d'Oraisa to go to live in Eretz Yisrael according to the Rambam, it is clear from...many other sources that Eretz Yisrael should be very dear to our hearts." If that's all there is, it seems to me to be quite unenthusiastic!

Jeff Ram, Jerusalem, Israel

The Kollel replies:

Many books have been written about the great Mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael, but at the moment I will just try and note down one or two insights.

(a) As is very well-known, the Ramban counts as one of the Mitzvos that the Rambam forgot to enumerate among the positive commandments of the Torah, the Mitzvah of Yishuv Eretz Yisrael. This is #4 of these Mitzvos, printed at the end of Sefer Ha'Mitzvos, Mitzvos Aseh. The Ramban learns from Bamidbar 33:53 "And you shall dwell in it", that it is a Mitzvah d'Oraisa to live in Eretz Yisrael. He cites the Sifri (Parshas Re'eh 12:29) that Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseira and his colleagues were going to Chutz l'Aretz and when they reached Platiya they remembered Eretz Yisrael and lifted up their eyes and started weeping. They rent their garments and recited the Pasuk "And you shall inherit it and dwell in it...and keep all the Mitzvos to do them". They said: "The Mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael is equivalent to all the Mitzvos in the Torah."

(b) There is a Pasuk in Zechariah 2:8 "Yerushalayim will be dwelt as Prazos (i.e. people will live even outside the walls) because of the vast number of people and animals in it." I once heard that the Vilna Gaon taught that this is not only a promise of the Navi but also a Mitzvah, and this is one of the reasons why the early settlers in Yerushalayim in the modern period - many of whom were disciples of the Vilna Gaon - left the old walled city and started settling outside the walls.

(c) The Rambam himself in the Sefer Ha'Mitzvos (Positive #153) writes that the Torah promised us that Klal Yisrael will never be totally destroyed because if, Chas v'Shalom, the children of Yisrael should be lost from Eretz Yisrael and there would not be a Beis Din there or in Chutz la'Aretz, the calculations we have which enable us to prepare the Jewish calendar would be worthless, "for the Torah goes forth from Tzion, and the word of Hash-m from Yerushalayim" (Yeshayahu 2:3). [see also the Mefaresh to the Rambam Hilchos Kidush ha'Chodesh 5:13.]

Teshuvas Chasam Sofer YD 234 DH ha'Yotzei writes that the fact that nowadays there is no expert Beis Din in the Diaspora, is actually "Takanas ha'Aretz" because this means that we are now certain that Jews will always live in Eretz Yisrael so that the promise of the Torah that the calendar will never be forgotten, is ensured. We learn from this how important it is for Jews to be in Eretz Yisrael.

We, in Kollel Iyun Hadaf, also have our part in this, spreading the word of Hash-m from Yerushalayim, all over the world!


D. Bloom