Friday, May 12, 2006

The Beginning of the Redemption? Eretz Yisrael in Jewish Sources #2

How can we be sure that the return of Jewish People to the Land Israel is the beginning of the redemption?

Consider the following sources:

1) Rabbi Yehoshua of Kutno (1820-1893) - Responsa Yeshu'ot Malko:

There is no doubt that [settling the Land] is a great mitzvah, for the ingathering [of the exiles] is the beginning of redemption. (Yoreh De'ah 66)

2) Rabbi Eliezer Yehudah Waldenberg - the Tzitz Eliezer:

The very gathering [of Jews] in Eretz Yisrael is a telltale sign of the beginning of redemption. (Tzitz Eliezer 7:49, Orchot HaMishpatim, chap. 12)

3) Ramban (Nachmonides) writes (Shir HaShirim 8:12):

The beginning of the future redemption will occur with the permission of the kings. Some of the exiles will gather in Eretz Yisrael, and afterwards, Hashem will extend His hand again [to gather the remaining exiles]. The verse, therefore, says, "The Lord your G-d will bring back your captivity and have mercy on you, and He will return and gather you from all the nations." (Devarim 30:3)

With the above sources in mind, consider this recent headline:

Report: More Jews in Israel than in any other country

For the first time since the first century, there are more Jews in Israel than in any other country, and within 30 years the majority of Jews in the world will be living here, according to one of Israel's top demographers.


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