We all know that we are immediately before Mashiach’s arrival, with all that this means and what is going to happen. I live in Eretz Yisrael but I am asking this question on behalf of those who live outside of Eretz Yisrael. Do those who live outside of Eretz Yisrael need to come live in Eretz Yisrael?
The Talmud (Kesubos 110a) says that everyone should move out of their country to go live in Eretz Yisrael, and Tosafos there says, “This is not practiced in our times, because it is dangerous to travel. And Rabbeinu Chaim would say that in our times there is no mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael, because there are many mitzvos which apply only in the land of Eretz Yisrael and there are many punishments for those who are lax in keeping them, and we are not able to so careful in keeping them.” According to Rabbeinu Chaim in the Tosafos, there is both a physical danger and a spiritual danger to go live in Eretz Yisrael, so there is no obligation today to live in Eretz Yisrael. [Even according to the opinions that there is a mitzvah today to live in Eretz Yisrael] there is also a dispute if the mitzvah is Biblical or Rabbinical in nature: this is discussed by the Ramban in Sefer HaMitzvos L’Ramban, and in sefer Pe’as HaShulchan, and others.
Now, there is an obligation upon a person to connect himself to kedushah (holiness), in terms of soul, time, and place. Therefore, besides for the matter if there is a mitzvah or not to live in Eretz Yisrael today, there is still a level of kedushah which can only be attained by one who lives in Eretz Yisrael. That is clear, and simple. In spite of this, however, the view of Rabbeinu Chaim in the Tosafos is that if there is any physical or spiritual danger in moving to Eretz Yisrael, there is no mitzvah to go live there. The “spiritual danger” he is referring to is the laxity of people in observing the unique mitzvos of Eretz Yisrael and the subsequent punishments for those who do not properly adhere to the kedushah of Eretz Yisrael. However, there were still some Gedolim throughout the generations who risked their lives in order to go live in Eretz Yisrael.
In our times, though, besides for the above danger, there is also an additional danger, which we will clarify here, with siyata d’shmaya. Our Sages taught that in the final days, before the coming of Mashiach, when we are not yet meritorious of Mashiach’s arrival, the jurisdiction over the land of Eretz Yisrael is given over to the “Other Side”. In the active sense, this means that the wicked souls of the “Erev Rav” are in charge of controlling Eretz Yisrael. These are very reincarnations of the souls whom Moshe Rabbeinu allowed to convert and be brought up from Egypt. These are the very same souls who later instigated the sin with the golden calf, by convincing the people that Moshe Rabbeinu was no longer with them. They represent an alternative leadership to Moshe Rabbeinu. These are the people who rule Eretz Yisrael in the final days: the heads of the Erev Rav. They are called Erev Rav from the word taaruvos (mixture) which connotes an iruv rav (great mixture), a huge and disturbing mixture of all elements within one place.
Therefore, one who lives in Eretz Yisrael in in spiritual danger of becoming mixed with the Erev Rav, in terms of seeking prestige, money, power, etc. from them. As time goes on, they increase the influences of their great mixture, to the point that every single boundary which our Sages and Gedolim have built is being trampled upon and uprooted. Their mixture of influences affects all people who live in Eretz Yisrael.
Making matter worse, the recent organization “HaShamayim HaPetuchim” (trans. “Open Heavens”) has allowed millions of non-Jews to come live in Eretz Yisrael. Jews leave Eretz Yisrael and mix with the gentiles and become influenced by them, and then return to Eretz Yisrael with all of these influences that they have brought back. This is all due to the Erev Rav’s agenda, which seeks a totally mixed society with every possible influence. They want to incorporate every existing influence into [Israeli] society - and they don’t want to leave anything out. In that way, the tumah (spiritual defilement) of countries outside of Eretz Yisrael differs from the tumah today in Eretz Yisrael. Outside countries contains the tumah of the gentile nations, whereas Eretz Yisrael today contains the tumah of the Erev Rav.
In order to cover all of the details of the disturbing mixture of the many different secular elements that the Erev Rav has so far succeeded in bringing to Eretz Yisrael, we would need several thick volumes. But there isn’t enough time to publish all of the details, so we would only be destroying our precious time, instead of the Erev Rav. For we are currently found deep in the “50th Gate of Defilement”, where evil is covering us on all angles, in front and behind us, and from every possible direction. Basically everything is found in the “exile of the Erev Rav” today.
Therefore, it is proper for every Jew to live in Eretz Yisrael, but only if one has a total separation from the “Erev Rav” here. On a personal level, every individual needs to clarify his personal situation [to see if he should live in Eretz Yisrael or not]. For example, if one is needed by many others, or if one is of spiritual influence to others [in such cases, he should not move to Eretz Yisrael, because others need him]. Also, if raising one’s children in Eretz Yisrael will not be conducive to them, or if moving to Eretz Yisrael will be too hard of a change for them [because they will be switching schools], this is also a factor not to move to Eretz Yisrael, and it needs to be carefully thought about. Also, if one cannot make ample livelihood in Eretz Yisrael, one will need to examine how much bitachon (reliance on Hashem) he really has [and then he can decide].
We are hoping and awaiting the Redemption that it should come speedily. There is a great spiritual gain to be in Eretz Yisrael at a time like this…