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Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
Chelkas Yaakov: Is There A Mitzva of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel Today?
The Chelkas Yaakov (YD 128) discusses this matter and writes as follows.  The Ramban counts Mitzvas Yishuv Eretz Yisroel as one of the Taryag Mitzvos and in Parshas Acharei Mos says that it is  “Shakul” to all the other Mitzvos.  The Rambam does not include it in his count but in Hilchos Milachim Perek 5 discusses the importance of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel.

The Chelkas Yaakov continues and says that the Tur and Shulchan Aruch (EH 74) hold that this mitzva applies B’Zman HaZeh; nowadays, with the caveat that if it is dangerous to travel to Eretz Yisroel and there is a food shortage one is not obligated to go.  However when the situation allows it, one is obligated to go.  

Tosfos in Kesubos (110b) brings from Rav Chaim Kohen that since there are many Mitzvos HaTeluyos BaAretz that are difficult to keep, we therefore have no Chiyuv B’Zman HaZeh to move to Eretz Yisroel.  The Maharit (2:28) says that these words of Tosfos are not from Rav Chaim Kohen and they are from a Talmid of his, that we cannot rely on to absolve us of our Chiyuv.

The Tashbatz says that the reason behind the Mitzva of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel is in order that we should perform the Mitzvos HaTeluyos BaAretz and therefore the applicability of Mitzvas Yishuv Eretz Yisroel depends on whether these Mitzvos apply today and if they are MiD’Oiraisa or MiDiRabanan.  Again, here as well the Maharit argues and says that the Mitzva of Yishuv Eretz Yisroel is not related to Mitzvos HaTeluyos BaAretz, rather it is rooted in Kedushas Eretz Yisroel which applies regardless of the situation in Eretz Yisroel and is a Mitzva D’Oiraisa even today.  The Chelkas Yaakov says that the Chasam Sofer in YD 234 and the Avnei Neizer in several places in Yoreh Dei’a also conclude that Yishuv HaAretz is a Mitzva D’Oiraisa even today.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

This article has not been reviewed by the posek of the AskRevach section, Rav Peretz Moncharsh.  Any questions regarding this topic and Halacha L’Maaseh may be asked to him at www.revach.net/ask  
RELATED ARTICLES:Chasam Sofer  Chelkas Yaakov  Eretz Yisroel  halacha  Kedushas Eretz Yisroel  Mitzvos HaTeluyos BaAretz

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