Friday, December 21, 2007

The Parameters of Living in Eretz Yisroel Atoning for our Sins

Rabbi Elozar says: One who lives in Eretz Yisroel lives without sin (their sins are forgiven).

The Chasam Sofer writes: He must be a permanent resident of Eretz Yisroel in order to merit this. One who is a guest in Eretz Yisroel does not merit having his sins forgiven.

The Ben Yehoyadah disagrees and says that while he is living in Eretz Yisroel, even if his intention is to return to the Diaspora, his sins will be atoned for.

The Pnei Yehoshua is bothered by this Gemora: If every sin committed in Eretz Yisroel is forgiven automatically, why were our forefathers punished and driven into Exile and the Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed because of their sins? He states that Eretz Yisroel has the capacity to forgive sins if one is living there because there is a mitzvah to settle Eretz Yisroel because of its holiness. He wants that the merit of Eretz Yisroel should protect him against sinning. A person who happens to live there because he was born there, or one that resides in Eretz Yisroel because of its delicious produce and certainly the brazenly wicked people will not be protected from sinning and will not be granted atonement for their sins.