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Q&A: Should we Make Aliyah to Israel?

Q: The recent events here in the US have impacted heavily upon us. We are seriously considering aliyah to Israel. But it is difficult to leave the comfort of our home and community to embark on an adventure to the unknown. Is aliyah the proper response to this crisis?

A: The Lubavitcher Rebbe said that the Land of Israel is the safest place for the Jewish people. The prime motivator for aliyah should be the desire to come closer to Hashem. Mashiach corresponds to service of God with love, specifically. One should make aliyah to the Land of Israel out of love, and not out of fear.

A person whose shlichut (life mission) is in the diaspora should remain there until his shlichut is finished. A person may consider himself a shaliach if the Rebbe explicitly sent him to a particular place or if many Jews need his positive spiritual influence in a particular place. If neither of these two conditions exist, it is certainly a mitzvah for every Jew to live in the Land of Israel, as our Sages explain in countless sources. (Certainly a person should make the necessary financial arrangements so that he can get by in Israel.)

The Rebbe would bless those who had already decided to make aliyah to the Land of Israel, and would make this conditional on enhanced mitzvah observance. In other words, the main thing is a person's inner intention, which should be to always ascend in levels of holiness, as Rabbi Nachman of Breslov said, "To every place that I go, I am going to the Land of Israel."  When a person's inner thoughts are occupied with ascending in holiness to the Land of Israel, his craving for the materialism of the diaspora is also arrested.

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