According to Jewish tradition, the only place in the world that is inherently holy is the land of Israel.
So when you move to
Many sources say yes.
Nachmanides (the Ramban) includes making aliyah in his list of the 613 commandments.
In the Talmud, at the end of tractate Ketubot, the Mishnah says:
A man may compel his entire household to go up with him to the land of Israel, but may not compel one to leave.
In other words, a husband or wife can force his or her spouse to move to Israel.
The discussion on this passage in the Mishnah emphasizes the importance of living in
One should always live in the Land of Israel, even in a town most of whose inhabitants are idolaters, but let no one live outside the Land, even in a town most of whose inhabitants are Israelites; for whoever lives in the Land of Israel may be considered to have a God, but whoever lives outside the Land may be regarded as one who has no God.
The Sifri says that the mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael is as important as all the other mitzvot put together. One explanation for this is that there are many mitzvot (such as Shmita, the sabbatical year for farming) which can only be performed in Israel.
Others view the living in Israel in a different light. According to Rav Moshe Feinstein, one of the leading Orthodox rabbis of the 20th century, moving to Israel is like wearing a tallit -- it’s an optional mitzvah.
Rabbi David Golinkin, the leading halachic authority for the Conservative movement in Israel, wrote a response to the Ramban’s opinion on aliyah. Golinkin says the Ramban was in the minority in declaring aliyah a mitzvah because in his times it was virtually impossible for most Jews to move to Israel because he lived during a time when the land of Israel was controlled by Muslims and Crusaders. Despite the difficulties and even though he was in his 70s at the time, he made aliyah to Jerusalem and established a synagogue that still exists today in the Old City.
Living in Israel also makes it easier to observe the commandments: most businesses are closed on Shabbat and holidays, employers are forbidden by law from requiring people to work on Shabbat, many restaurants are kosher, and most grocery stores stock only kosher food.
If you’re ready to move to Israel or just considering it, the resources on this site can help you plan your move.
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