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Author:  Hodu
E-mail:  not available
Date:  11/29/2004 12:55:00 PM
Subject:  Re: Thanksgiving
Message:  Dear Rabbi Abadi,

Reagrding your comment: "We are in Galut (Exile). We have been thrown out of our country for our actions. If we were to have corrected them, or right now if we correct them, we are guaranteed to be brought right back. We are yet still here. Even those of us in Israel know that we are all in exile. We cannot even walk safely in our own neighborhoods".

With your permission I would like to add that the mere fact that so many observant Jews in this generation choose to remain in the Galut is implicitly a Chillul H-Shem because it implies that we do not really trust that H-Shem will sustain us in the land of our forefathers. This is the meaning of "Cal HaGar B'Chutz LaAretz Domeh Lo C'Ilu Ein Lo Eloka" - anyone who lives in the Galut has a (mis)perception that they have no G-d. Certainly not a reason to give thanks!
Reply:  When a person sees something, for example he sees a car in front of him, then this person knows as a fact that this car is there.
When a person believes in something that he cannot see nor hear, that is a "belief."
Included in this is if your friend, whom you trust completely, tells you that yesterday he saw a car, then that is a belief to you and a fact to him.

Religions are based on beliefs that were received from other sources. He who researches and verifies the authenticity of his beliefs can certainly acquire the truth, the fact.

In Judaism, and for that matter in most religions, there is only one God, the Supreme Being who created everything. This God gave us a Torah, and with it a whole set of beliefs that were passed down the generations. If anyone has beliefs that did not come from this source, he/she is following another religion. To our God, based on what the Torah presents, one who maintains such beliefs that are not from God is as if he believes in idols, atheism, or any other religion. Doing acts based on those foreign beliefs would be equal to idol worship. (look into the Chovot Halvavot)

Now let us go back to your statement. It is clear that this opinion of yours that "all observant Jews must move to Israel" is a strong belief, and possibly a foundation of your entire spirituality. The key question here is if it is based on God's Torah, or is it a personal or communal belief.

The Talmud at the end of Ketubot brings two different opinions on the issue. The Tzadah LaDerech has an entire multi-page responsa on the topic. His conclusion is that it is ideal to live in Israel, but only if you have a comfortable income. Otherwise he says you are not allowed to go. (Please look it up)

Many people who are not even observant believe in this opinion that all Jews belong in Israel. Beware of having beliefs that are not based on Torah...

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