THE GAINS OF LIVING AND DYING IN ERETZ YISRAEL [Eretz Yisrael:attributes]
110b (Beraisa): One should live in Eretz Yisrael, even in a city that is mostly Nochrim, but not in Chutz la'Aretz, even in a city that is mostly Yisrael. One who lives in Eretz Yisrael is considered to have a G-d, but not one who lives in Chutz la'Aretz - "To give to you Eretz Kena'an, to be to you l'Eilokim."
Actually, one who lives in Chutz la'Aretz is like one who serves idolatry;
"I was expelled from (Eretz Yisrael)... I was told to go serve idolatry" - no one told David to serve idolatry! Rather, this teaches that anyone who lives in Chutz la'Aretz is like one who serves idolatry.
111a (R. Elazar): Anyone who lives in Eretz Yisrael dwells without sin - "U'Val Yomar Shachen Chalisi ha'Am ha'Yoshev Bah Nesu Avon" (their sin is borne).
(Rava): Really, the verse refers to those who suffer intestinal sicknesses.
(Rav Anan): If one is buried in Eretz Yisrael, it is as if he is buried under the Mizbe'ach. It says "A Mizbe'ach of earth", and "Its earth atones for its people."
Ula frequently came to Eretz Yisrael. He died in Chutz la'Aretz.
R. Elazar lamented "On Tamei ground you will die"! When he heard that the coffin was coming for burial in Eretz Yisrael, he said 'this is not like dying here.'
(R. Elazar): The dead in Chutz la'Aretz will not live - "I will put Tzvi (glory) in the land of the living." The dead will live only in the land of Tzivyoni (My desire).
Question (R. Aba bar Mamal): "Your dead will live" are Mesei (those who die in) Eretz Yisrael. "Nivlasi will rise" are Mesei Chutz la'Aretz!
Answer (R. Elazar): No, "Nivlasi" refers to stillborn babies (of Eretz Yisrael). Another verse supports me - "He gives a soul to the nation on it (Eretz Yisrael) and spirit to those who walk in it".
R. Aba expounds "He gives a soul to the nation on it" like R. Avahu - even a Kena'ani slave in Eretz Yisrael is guaranteed a share in the world to come.
(R. Yirmeyah bar Aba): "And spirit to those who walk in it" - anyone who walks four Amos in Eretz Yisrael is guaranteed a share in the world to come.
Question: Does R. Elazar really hold that Mesei Chutz la'Aretz will not live?!
Answer (R. Ila): The bones roll to Eretz Yisrael, and come to life in Eretz Yisrael.
Question (R. Aba Sala Rava): Surely, Tzadikim should not endure such pain!
Answer (Abaye): Underground tunnels are made for Tzadikim.
Question (Karna): Yakov Avinu knew that he was a total Tzadik. If Mesei Chutz la'Aretz live, why did he trouble his children to bury him in Eretz Yisrael?
Answer: He was concerned lest he not merit tunnels.
R. Chanina asked similarly about Yosef ha'Tzadik, and gave the same answer.
112a: When R. Elazar came to Eretz Yisrael, he said 'I was saved from a curse, "to the land of Yisrael they will not come."
When R. Zeira was coming to Eretz Yisrael, he did not find a ferry. He crossed on a narrow beam with a rope above for support. A Kara'ite derided his haste.
R. Zeira: Moshe and Aharon did not merit to enter this land. Who says that I will merit to enter it?! (Surely, I must seize the chance!)
Rambam (Hilchos Melachim 5:11): The sins of one who lives in Eretz Yisrael are forgiven - "...ha'Am ha'Yoshev Bah Nesu Avon". Even one who walks four Amos there merits the world to come. Anyone who is buried there gets atonement. It is as if the place is a Mizbe'ach of Kaparah - "v'Chiper Admaso Amo". "You will die on Tamei ground (Chutz la'Aretz)" was a punishment. Being buried in Eretz Yisrael is not the same as dying there. Nevertheless, Gedolei ha'Chachamim used to take their dead there. We learn from Yakov and Yosef.
Kesef Mishneh: Rashi (11a DH u'Val) explains "U'Val Yomar ...", that one should not say that he is pained to live there, for his sins are pardoned.
Lechem Mishneh: Even though Rava argues with R. Elazar (and says that the verse discusses stomach ailments), and Rava is Basra, the Rambam rules like R. Elazar to increase the praise of Eretz Yisrael. All the Amora'im brought there were praising Eretz Yisrael.
Hagahos Maimoniyos: In the Yerushalmi, Rebbi bar Karya denounced those who did not live in Eretz Yisrael, but come for burial. R. Elazar said that they put dirt on the coffin, for it says "v'Chiper Admaso Amo." This supports the custom to put dirt of Eretz Yisrael on the coffin, even though the Yerushalmi discusses doing so in Eretz Yisrael.
Rambam (12): One should live in Eretz Yisrael, even in a city that is mostly Nochrim, and not in Chutz la'Aretz, even in a city that is mostly Yisraelim. Anyone who goes to Chutz la'Aretz is like one who serves idolatry - "I was expelled... go serve idolatry." "To the land of Yisrael they will not come" was a punishment.
Rashi (Devarim 4:28 and 28:64): One who lives in Chutz la'Aretz is like one who serves idolatry because he serves idolaters or pays taxes that support idolatry.
Ritva (Gitin 2a DH v'Yesh): We find that R. Aba kissed the rocks of Ako. This does not prove that Eretz Yisrael kept its Kedushah. Surely, even according to the opinion that the Kedushah ceased, the dearness of the land endures!
Tashbatz (3:288 DH Chashuvah): The Ramban counts living in Eretz Yisrael among the 613 Mitzvos. The Sifri equates this to all the Mitzvos - "Vi'Shavtem Bah; U'Shmartem La'asos Es Kol ha'Chukim..." (Devarim 11:31-32). Chachamim endangered themselves to cross rivers in order to enter Eretz Yisrael. Teshuvah atones offer sin, but going to Eretz Yisrael adds merit and saves from sin all one's days.
Teshuvas ha'Rosh (12:7): If someone vowed 'La'alos (to ascend) to Eretz Yisrael', he may ask three people to permit this, like other vows.
Tosfos (110b DH Hu): R. Chaim Kohen says that nowadays there is no Mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael. There are many Mitzvos dependent on the land, and punishments, and we cannot be careful about them.
Maharit (2:YD 28): My Rebbi says that the Rosh holds like R. Chaim Kohen, that nowadays there is no Mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael. Therefore, it is not like Nidrei Mitzvah, which may be permitted only in pressed circumstances. I disagree. The Rosh (Kesuvos 13:17) cites Rabbeinu Meir who says that there is a Mitzvah nowadays. Who understands Tosfos better than they?! Why should Mitzvos that depend on the land affect the right of a woman or slave to force her husband or master to ascend? Anything they acquire belongs to him. The Mitzvos of the land are his responsibility! If one buys land in Eretz Yisrael, who will stop him from keeping the Mitzvos?!
Note: Perhaps they cannot force him lest he be unable to fulfill his Mitzvos! When many Yisraelim came to Eretz Yisrael in 1948, observance of Shemitah bordered on Piku'ach Nefesh, necessitating a special Heter to sell parts of Eretz Yisrael to Nochrim in Shemitah.
Maharit (ibid.): An errant Talmid wrote our Tosfos. The Mordechai cites the Teshuvah of R. Chaim Kohen: 'nowadays, the routes to Eretz Yisrael are in turmoil. One cannot force his wife to go, just like he cannot force her to go to a place of wild animals or bandits.' The Rosh is lenient because there is no evident Mitzvah to go to Eretz Yisrael and return, only to settle there.
Toras Chesed (Rosh ha'Sefer): The Maharit himself (1:134) cites a Medrash on "Yonasi b'Chagvei ha'Sela", that there is a Mitzvah just to go to Eretz Yisrael. This is the Mitzvah to endear Eretz Yisrael, like kissing the rocks. Perhaps the Rosh refers to avow to settle there. Hagahos Maimoniyos (Shevu'os 6:7) permits such a vow when his wife is pregnant, due to the danger. The Rosh should have specified if he discusses such a case.
Beis Shmuel (EH 72:20): The Rosh, Tur and Agudah say that there is a Mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael even nowadays.
Shulchan Aruch (YD 228:36): If someone vowed La'alos to Eretz Yisrael, he may (request a Chacham to) permit this, like other vows.
Gra (102): It can be permitted, just like vows of Hekdesh and Tzedakah.
Rebuttal (Rashbash 2, cited by Pischei Teshuvah 32): We do not permit Nidrei Mitzvah, for one cannot regret it! Rather, this is not a Mitzvah. Aliyah is preparation for a Mitzvah. We do not permit a vow to live in Eretz Yisrael.
Shulchan Aruch (363:3): We do not move a Mes or bones, even from a disgraceful grave to an honorable one, except to re-inter amidst one's parents. Similarly, it is permitted to re-inter in Eretz Yisrael.
Pischei Teshuvah (2): Even if Levi explicitly said that it is improper to bring Mesim to Eretz Yisrael for burial, it is a Mitzvah for his sons to do so to him. However, if Levi commanded not to be buried in Eretz Yisrael, we obey.
Rema: Some have the custom to put dirt of Eretz Yisrael on the grave. There is support for this custom (Medrash Tanchuma Parashas va'Yechi 3).
Shulchan Aruch (2): We do not take a Mes from a city with graves to be buried in another city, except for from Chutz la'Aretz to Eretz Yisrael.