Rabbi Avraham Bornstein - The Avnei Nezer

Rabbi Avraham Bornstein also proclaimed his support for the settling of Eretz Yisrael and Aliyah. Within his seven volume Responsa, the Rabbi specifically addresses the question of Aliyah today[1], and why the Gedolim don’t make Aliyah. Within his answer he quotes the Kuzari of Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi. In the lengthy discussion between the Rabbi and the king, the Rabbi answers all the king’s questions except one. When the king asks the rabbi why the Jews don’t make aliyah, the Rabbi is left without an answer. He says: You have indeed shamed me King Kuzar, and it is this sin that withheld us from realizing the culmination of Divine promise during the second temple… for only a minority returned, and the majority along with the Gedolim, remained in Babylon preferring exile and dependence, rather than leaving their homes and affairs.”

The Avnei Nezer adds that “nevertheless, Heaven forbid us to make the Gedolim of Israel mistaken or conscious sinners, Heaven forbid.” He prefers to explain that the Gedolim of his generation did not make aliyah because they were simply unable to secure visas. He ends his response with the following plea: “And so you leaders and aristocracy of Israel who have the capability to acquire a visa and actualize this honorable idea – upon you is this great mitzvah, and there is no end to the reward of those who help in this matter, whether by attempting to obtain visas, or in the essential matter of purchasing land in Israel.”

Source: Torat Eretz Yisrael by R. David Samson

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