Go On Aliya, Go On Aliya, We Wont Shut Up Till You Go On Aliya!

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Go on Aliya, go on Aliya, we wont shut up till you go on Aliya!

We in Bnei Akiva have a motto that we constantly chant, We beleive in the Torah, we beleive in Avoda, we beleive in Aliya, cause we are Bnei Akiva I know its only three weeks in to the year but we really have to start brainwashing these chanichim in to making aliya. OK slightly sarcastic but it is one of our three main aims so lets start educating towards it. So why do it on this week?

-, - , -,

Go away, from your land, from your birthplace, from your fathers house to the land I will show you.

Bereishit Chapter 12

This is the first source for Aliya in the Torah and Avraham was the first Jew who made Aliya (so as Avraham was quite a frum Jew I suppose he was the first BA nik). But .

Aliyah: What does it mean?

Definition: Aliyah, (pl. aliyot) "ascension" or "going up" is the arrival of Jews as individuals or groups, from exile or Diaspora to live in Eretz Yisrael - the Land of Israel. Those who "go up" for this purpose are known as olim - a term used in the Bible when the Children of Israel went up from Egypt (Gen. 50:14 and Num. 32:11) and - at a later period - for the exiles who returned from captivity in Babylon (Ezra 2:1,59 and Neh. 5-6). The call of Cyrus, King of Persia, in 538 B.C.E., - "Whosoever there is among you of all His people, his God be with him, - let him go up." (Ezra 1:3, II Chron. 36:23) - has been used as a watchword for aliyah.

It was aliyah that re-created the Jewish Commonwealth in the Land after the Babylonian Exile, provided the community with some of its prominent spiritual leaders during the Second Temple and subsequent periods, preserved and repeatedly renewed the Jewish presence in Eretz Yisrael during the periods of Byzantine, Arab, Mameluke, and Ottoman rule, and reestablished the State of Israel in modern times.

But apart from G-d telling Avraham to make Aliya why else should we go to a country that has so many problems at the moment when we could very easily be good Jews in England.

-, -: -, .

You shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land and dwell there;

for I have given you the land to possess it.

(Bemidbar 33:53)

The Ramban explains the pasuk as follows:

In my opinion this is a positive mitzvah commanding them to dwell in the land possess it, seeing that it had been given to them by Hashem and it was not fitting to spurn the inheritance of Hashem. Also, were they to consider going and conquering Shinar or Assyria they would be transgressing this mitzvah. Support for the fact that this pasuk formulated the Mitzvah of dwelling in the land lies in the great emphasis placed on doing so; the prohibition against leaving it, the law relating to the forfeiture of her Ketubah by a wife who refuses to go up and the position of the husband in the converse situation. All this points clearly to a positive Mitzvah in the Torah which is clearly contained in the pasuk here.

So there is a Rishon (medeival commentator) who says there is a Mitzva to make Aliya and not only that, but also says you could be sinning by building up areas outside Israel. And if that wasnt enough, elsewhere the Ramban says that performing a Mitzva outside of Israel is only practice for when living in Israel. If this is the case why do we have Rabbeim saying comments like these?

The mitzvah of making aliyah doesnt apply if the journey to get to Israel is dangerous.

Rav Chaim Cohen

  • Possibly, although there are many mitzvot that once you are in Israel, you should do; it is not a mitzvah to actually make aliyah.

Rav Moshe Feinstein

The reason is there are other Rishonim who disagree with the Ramban (Nachmanedes), everyone always says that the Rambam (Maimonedes) held it to not be a mitzvah but a basis in which everything is based from, but tachlis is he didnt count it in his 613 count. Yes there are sources proving it one way and some the other but we hold there is a mitzvah and no one says its an Aveira, so what are we all doing here? Even the anti Zionist Rabbis in Hasmonean Jewish Grammar (Anti Zionist in the sense that they dont support the state) end up living in Israel. In fact the Rav who told me off for missing his maths lesson for going to the Yom Haatzmaut party and said that one day I would realise how much of a fool I was for going (which is a day that I am still waiting for cos it hasnt happened yet) has since made Aliya.

Azzzzzz, why religious Zionist if you are religious you are Zionist

- Rav Bina

Ok so we know we have to make Aliya from a halachik perspective (according to Jewish law) but I dont know about you but for me it is so much more than that. I would like to digress slightly to a recent story that happened to me. When getting a lift to Ben Gurion from Yeshiva we were driving through a certain part of Israel when the driver said Do you know what happened here in Tanach? to which I replied Isnt this where David fought Goliath? and I was actually right and then it reminded me, how amazing is it that when you live in Israel just driving to the airport means that you are driving through Jewish History. So even putting aside any Halachik points, isnt it well cool that by living in Israel today, you are living in the same place as Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov and also to be able to do something that the greatest Jew ever, Moshe Rabbeinu, wasnt allowed to do.

-> Time for this weeks Top 15

Top 15 reasons to go on Aliyah

1. To learn Hebrew and appreciate it as a living, evolving, and dynamic language.

2. Mediterranean sun and beach.

3. Fantastic places to go visit, all within hours' driving: Jerusalem's old city, Dead Sea, Eilat.

4. You can go to Jerusalem anytime you want and pray at the Kotel.

5. You can sincerely pray about returning to Jerusalem and Israel and not feel fake 

6. To learn-about and live Judaism among Jews, as the majority, rather than as a minority.

7. living and walking around the country that your forefathers did. You can visit places written about in the Bible.

8. "marrying-out" is when you marry a sephardi!

9. No problem getting kosher food in supermarkets etc.

10. Kosher Burger-King 

11. Here, you don't have to listen to X-mas carols when you go into stores, turn on the radio etc.

12. You don't need to explain the holidays to anyone. They're ours, celebrated openly here.

13. Only one day chag!.

14. Feeling that special feeling when the whole country is preparing for Shabbat or chag.

15. Children dont feel different because they are Jewish.

As you can see there are more than just the halachik reasons for making Aliya it is the country for the jews, it is that simple; if for no other reason other than eating in the warmth during sukkot rather than the cold.

Related Resources can be found under:

» All > Eretz Yisrael > Aliya

» All > Treats

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