R' Zev Leff on moving to Eretz Yisrael
Here are some quotes from an essay of R' Leff (a prominent Charedi Rav) taken from The Mitzvah of Living in Eretz Yisrael - Rabbi Zev Leff
...The Chazon Ish, the Gerrer Rebbe, Avnei Nezer and the Pischei Tshuvah in Shulchan Aruch agree with the Ramban and the Chareidim that there is an obligatory mitzvah from the Torah today. Theirs is the majority view of the latter-day poskim.
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein ruled that it is a mitzvah today, but only of a voluntary, not obligatory nature. He compared yishuv ha'aretz to tzitzis, which is also a voluntary mitzvah. (One doesn't have to wear a four cornered garment, but if one chooses to, he needs tzitzis.) But how would we look at a person who doesn't wear tzitzis because it's only a voluntary mitzvah? Obviously, such a person is not a yirei shamayim. He's not a person who's looking for opportunities to do mitzvos. The gemora says that in a time of anger one is punished for avoiding a voluntary mitzvah.
But even if there is a doubt about the mitzvah does that mean it should be dismissed? How much money is spent, how much time is spent on acquiring a kosher mezuzah, written with every hiddur, in careful fulfillment of all the shitos? In normal everyday mitzvos, we take care to be mehadrin min hamehadrin, to be yotzei all the shitos, to take all the halachic opinions into consideration. Yet, we don't find the same attitude when it comes to yishuv ha'aretz. There are people who build their sukkos using only wooden pegs, just to fulfill the shita of the Chazon Ish, which nobody else holds like. The same Chazon Ish says it's a mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael.
Will you be able to survive in Eretz Yisrael financially? If you can survive without begging, that's called making a parnasah.
What is the standard of living that the Shulchan Aruch has in mind that would exempt a person from a mitzvah in which he is otherwise obligated? Is it a question of owning one car instead of two? Or dwelling in five rooms instead of twenty? Will you be able to afford only one maid instead of two, or maybe no maids at all? A person who is used to a certain standard of living, who would have to sacrifice that standard in order to live in Eretz Yisrael, might indeed be exempt from the mitzvah.
But the question is: How proper is it to maintain a life style that prevents you from keeping mitzvos? Is that the kind of life that HaShem wants of a person? So it depends on how we define making a living. Baruch HaShem, there are people living here who are eating, who are functioning, wearing clothing, and are making ends meet without going around begging. Or if not, at least they're close to making ends meet. And if they're not close, someday it'll get close.
But I'll tell you a secret?there are also people in America who don't make ends meet. It all comes from HaShem.
Safety: I find it very amusing. I live on a moshav in what the newspapers call "The West Bank." I don't lock my door at night. True, the moshav is surrounded by a barbed wire fence, and we have guards all the time. But, Baruch HaShem, even after the intifada, the problems have been very minimal. At least I know when I walk out, what my enemy looks like. And I know that the people in the street with the guns are on my side.
But in Boro Park, I'm not sure that the people in the street with the guns are on my side. When I visit the States, a day doesn't go by without somebody being mugged. I find it extremely amusing to hear someone asking me, "Don't you feel unsafe living on the West Bank?"?as they lock the six locks on their door. One has to face the fact that it's not safe in America, either. And in Eretz Yisrael one has a very good protection policy, Hinei, lo yanum v'lo yashen, Shomer Yisrael. HaShem has a special connection with Eretz Yisrael.
Will living in Eretz Yisrael enhance my mitzvah observance?
The places of Torah in chutz l'aretz are just an extension of the Torah of Eretz Yisrael. They are meant for people who want kedusha, but cannot go to live in Eretz Yisrael. For such people, for all practical purposes they are in Eretz Yisrael. (Whereas someone who has his feet in Eretz Yisrael, but his mind is in chutz l'aretz, is in chutz l'aretz.)
It's said that someone who learns the parshayos of korbanos, it's as if he brought a korban. But that's only for someone who cannot bring a korban, because there is no Beis HaMikdash; someone who can bring a korban in the Beis HaMikdash and learns the parasha instead, isn't fulfilling anything. If you can be here and choose not to, just wanting doesn't help.