Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan, The Chofetz Chaim (1838 - 1933)

The most authoritative biography of the Chafetz Chaim was written by his son, Reb Aryeh Leib HaCohen, who was the head of the Beit Din in Radin, and the Radin Rosh Yeshiva after his father’s death.

The biography stresses his father’s positive attitude towards Eretz Yisrael and Aliyah:

“I remember that in the years 5650-5651 (1890-1891), when our Jewish brothers were expelled from Moscow, a great movement to make Aliyah to our Eretz Yisroel arose. The hundreds and thousands of refugees sought shelter in the land of our fathers. There they bought land, planted trees, and established settlements. At this time I received a letter from my father of blessed memory in which he pointed out to me the great surge amongst all facets of our nation to make aliyah to Israel. He assumes that these are now the days of the ikvesa d'Meshicha, footsteps of the Mashiach (Messiah), that Hashem has remembered His nation, and that it is very probably the beginning of the ingathering of the exiles which precedes the coming of the Mashiach. If we had the capability, it would be proper to buy land and make aliyah to Israel….” [1]

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[1] Source: Torat Eretz Yisrael by R. David Samson and Tzvi Fishman. Jerusalem, Israel: Torat Eretz Yisrael Publications; 1991. page 237

See also Zion Today - A Torah Perspective by Rabbi Yoel Schwartz pg 85. Translated from the hebrew version titled Tzion Beis Chayeinu by R. Steinberg 1986

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