Rav Avigdor Miller: Why Haven’t We All Moved to Yerushalayim? Here’s Why

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Wouldn’t moving to Yerushalayim be the most genuine way to express our sadness and yearning that we speak about during these days?

Moving to Yerushalayim is not that simple. First of all it’s a problem – what do you do with your sons? They might be drafted, and you’ll have to start dodging the army. So you’ll say, “Well, I’ll live in Yerushalayim but I’ll come back to America from time to time, and I’ll keep my American citizenship.” But it’s not that simple. Because sooner or later your children will be Israelis. What’s going to happen then? You have to keep them out of the army.

You have to know, by the way, that right now there’s a very great hatred against the Orthodox Jews in Eretz Yisroel. Right now they attacked a synagogue for the first time – and that’s only the beginning. There’s a big movement now among the chofshim, the irreligious Jews, to draft yeshiva boys into the army. And there’s a movement among the chofshim to draft women into the army again. Giyus banos is actual again. Everybody is requested to send letters or telegrams to Shimon Peres, the Prime Minister, and also to Yitzchak Shamir, the Deputy Prime Minister, protesting against any proposal to draft yeshiva boys and any proposal to draft women. It’s a very dangerous time because right now there’s a fire of sinah and anti-semitism against frum Jews in Eretz Yisroel. It just happens that right now it’s reached a peak and we have to hope it won’t get any worse. The attack on the shul is the worst thing that has happened so far.

Frum Jews are being put in jail for nothing, such as a little protest against chillul Shabbos, or a protest against immorality on posters. Therefore, it’s important for us, if possible, to keep this in mind and to send those letters to Shimon Peres, the Prime Minister, and Yitzchak Shamir, the deputy.

Now, if you’re able to make a living and your children are settled let’s say in America, in yeshivos, in a yeshiva world and a frum environment, and you yourself want to move to Yerushalayim. So if you can support yourself, why not? However, if your presence in America is needed because they need a frum father or a frum zeida or a frum mother or bubba to watch over them – that’s how it is; many times if the parents or grandparents are not around then things happen in the family with the children. They need a kind word or a strict word from the parents to manage things properly, so maybe you can’t go.

Also, people should go to Eretz Yisroel and they become dependent on support from America? I don’t approve of that. If you have funds, yes, but to go there and then start writing letters to your American friends to support you, I don’t believe in that.
TAPE # 604 (August 1986)

Rabbi Miller’s recorded lectures are the property of SimchasHachaim.com

Copyright © 2019 Toras Avigdor, All rights reserved.



  1. everything he said is still relevant 100%. The Zionists ONLY goal is to make us frei and participate in sicko “pride” parades.

  2. I’m really not sure why this is relevant to nowadays.

    1) He said that if you get Israeli citizenship then you will have to deal with the army. Okay, so don’t get Israeli citizenship.

    2) Hatred for religious people is definitely less than it was 20 years ago.

    3) People are not being thrown into jail for light protests. Maybe they were 20-30 years ago. They are being thrown into jail for breaking the law and getting caught breaking the law.

    4) If the issue is that the kids need parents to be around, then that is relevant no matter where you live. If the issue is that the grandparents need to be around then it seems that he was saying that it is forbidden for a married couple with children to live more than 2 blocks from the grandparents.

    5) In the last paragraph is he implying that there’s something wrong with kollel? Or is there only something wrong with kollel if you live in Eretz Yisrael?

    • Maybe you don’t live in Israel. Hatred for religious people is intense here. My neighbor got punched in the face recently by a chiloni. Note that they are having a second election all because of the issue of charedim and the draft. There are now 2 dozen charedim in prison, including some girls, all because of the draft. They are coming after the charedim like never before. And people are thrown in jail for protesting all the time. I have seen it. Maybe you are writing propaganda for the Israel government pretending to be Charedi. The government does that too, sends soldiers into charedi neighborhoods to prance around for hours, to provoke.

    • It’s 100% relevant today. It’s almost as if he just said it.
      1) Even if you don’t get Israeli citizenship your children born in Israel will be drafted to the Shmad Army.
      2) Haven’t you just read how the Chilonim refuse to allow religious Jews to live in their neighborhood?
      3) People are thrown into jail for protesting their discriminatory drafting only against Chareidim when 50% Chilonim dodge the draft.

  3. Finally someone: So the reason u are not moving to Israel is because in America u can sit on a park bench all day and no one will bother you. What a life. You convinced me. Im moving back as as soon as I can. Rabbi Miller would be proud of you.

  4. Everything he said is relevant forever. The circumstances change. In his day, the yeshivah community was in a much better position spiritually speaking. Today, with technology, things have gotten out of hand. In Israel, while technology is still a problem, it is not out of control. If you look like you are chareidi and you are carrying a smartphone people look at you funny and possibly even comment. Not to mention the dificulty you will have once the chadarim or beis yaakovs find out. The environtment in Israel is much more wholesome today than in the US. Rav Gifter himself placed a huge focus on the fact that in America we enjoy too many comforts and it inhibits our growth. In his day he was tlaking about pizza shops and coca cola. If he saw the restaraunts, smoke houses, and car leases of today (Not to mention the technology issue) he would be screaming in the streets.
    Obviously there are struggles in Israel but at the end of the day our days in the US are numbered and all the gedolim have started indicating that we should start considering moving to Eretz Yisrael.
    When the Toeiva marriage bill was passed in the US while Obama was in office my rosh kollel reccomended that the avreichim write a letter or make some sort of public protest in order to protect ourselves from any gzeira that Hashem may have decreed on the klal. I personally asked a litfish gadol in the US if I should move to Israel because I felt that I was raising my children on a sinking ship. His words to me were “If chas veshalom mashiach doesn’t come in the next ten years then we will be running from this place.” I am not writing his name because I didn’t ask him permission to publicize. It is also well know that Rav Chaim Kanievsky is telling people that they should move to Israel, which was not his position in years past and not that of the gedolim before him. Things have changed. The question is wether people want to. I moved to Israel a year and a half ago with 2 kids and managed to go back kollel. Shlach yehovcha el Hashem veHu Yechalkeleka. It can work if we adjust our standards (Really painful thing to do btw.)
    Don’t justify your life in America because the problems in Israel make you anxious. Instead, talk about why you are anxious so you can start finding solutions.

  5. וּבָאתָ אֶל הַשֹּׁפֵט אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם - דברים יז:ט

    “send letters or telegrams to Shimon Peres, the Prime Minister, and also to Yitzchak Shamir, the Deputy Prime Minister”

    Thanks for leaving that in to show us how old and not current this piece is.

    Maybe next time you could share something from a רב of a century ago on today’s matzav?

  6. Israel is not one bit better for Charedim than America. Is there a draft in America? Are the American people anti-religious? Answer is no. Can charerdim get jobs in America? Can they get them without being drafted? Yes.

    Israel is an incredibly secular country, except for a few Charedi enclaves. The situation here is worse. So please spare us your Zionism.

    • What does “being better” have to do with it? Israel either is, or is not, the land G-d wants to Jews to live in. One would think that this close to Tisha B’av one would show more sense.


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